Census 2021: Birmingham among areas with most young people in England and Wales

Birmingham is among the areas with the most young people in England and Wales despite the proportion of under-30s calling the area home falling in the last decade, new Census figures outline.

A woman reading a leaflet from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) containing information about The Census 2021, sent to households in England and Wales. Picture date: Monday March 22, 2021.
A woman reading a leaflet from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) containing information about The Census 2021, sent to households in England and Wales. Picture date: Monday March 22, 2021.

Birmingham is among the areas with the most young people in England and Wales despite the proportion of under-30s calling the area home falling in the last decade, new Census figures outline.

The Census takes place every 10 years, with the latest snapshot captured on March 21 2021.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there were 501,600 people aged 29 and under living in Birmingham on census day last year – up from 489,713 in 2011, when the Census was last carried out.

The proportion of under-30s living in the area fell from 45.6% to 43.8% over the decade – but despite this, it means Birmingham now has one of the highest proportions of young people in England and Wales.

Some 156,300 under-10s also called Birmingham home.

The number of younger residents has also risen by 11% since the 1981 census, when there were 451,104.

But across England and Wales as a whole, the population is ageing.

There were 11.1 million over-65s in 2021 – 19% of the population – up from 9.2 million in 2011 (16.4%) and 7.3 million (15.0%) 40 years ago.

Of them, 150,500 lived in in Birmingham, accounting for 13.1% of the local population – up from 138,213 (12.9%) in 2011.

Data from the 2021 census for England and Wales will be published in stages over the next two years, the ONS said.

Future releases will include figures on ethnicity, religion, the labour market, education and housing plus – for the first time – information on UK armed forces veterans, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The census was taken at a time when coronavirus restrictions were still in place across the UK, with people only allowed to leave their homes in England for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household, and the rule-of-six on outside gatherings not coming into place until the end of March.

The Census, which is used to understand how the UK's population changes over time, shows the balance of men and women across the country.

In Birmingham, 49% of the population was male and 51% was female last year – respectively, this compares to 49.2% and 50.8% 10 years ago.

The City of London (55.8%) had the highest male-to-female ratio, while Kensington and Chelsea (46.7%) had the lowest.