Population of England and Wales (2023)


Last updated 7 August 2020 - see all updates


  1. 1. Navigate toMain facts and figures section
  2. 2. Navigate toThings you need to know section
  3. 3. Navigate toBy ethnicity section
  4. 4. Navigate toBy ethnicity over time section
  5. 5. Navigate toData sources section
  6. 6. Navigate toDownload the data section

1. Main facts and figures

  • according to the 2011 Census, the total population of England and Wales was 56.1 million, and 86.0% of the population was White
  • people from Asian ethnic groups made up the second largest percentage of the population (at 7.5%), followed by Black ethnic groups (at 3.3%), Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups (at 2.2%) and Other ethnic groups (at 1.0%)
  • among the specific ethnic groups, people from the White British ethnic group made up the largest percentage of the population (at 80.5%), followed by Other White (4.4%) and Indian (2.5%)
  • from 2001 to 2011, the percentage of the population of England and Wales that was White British decreased from 87.4% to 80.5%, while the Other White group saw the largest increase in their share of the population, from 2.6% to 4.4%
  • the percentage of the population from a Black African background doubled from 0.9% in 2001 to 1.8% in 2011

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

This data measures the size of the population of England and Wales, and the number and percentage of people from each ethnic group.

(Video) Population of England and Wales grows 6.3% in a decade, census shows | ITV News

Census data covers people in around 25 million private households. It also includes communal establishments, such as care homes and university halls of residence.

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Read more about the 2011 Census.

Not included in the data

The data does not include households that did not answer the question about ethnicity.

94% of households completed the 2011 Census. Of those, 97% answered the question about ethnicity.

The data has been adjusted to take into account people and households who were not counted or counted incorrectly.

The ethnic groups used in the data

This data uses the standardised list of 18 ethnic groups that were developed for the 2011 Census.

The ethnic groups used in the 2011 Census were slightly different from the 2001 Census ethnic groups.

There were 2 ethnic groups added in 2011 – Gypsy and Roma in the White category, and Arab in the Other category. The Chinese ethnic group was moved from the Other category to the Asian category.

As a result, figures for the White, Other and Asian ethnic groups are not directly comparable for 2001 and 2011, although the groups concerned account for very low percentages of the overall population.


Read the detailed methodology document for this data.

You can find confidence intervals for the data in the ONS archive.

3. By ethnicity

England and Wales
Time period:
England and Wales 2011 Census
(Video) The headliners react to England and Wales' 2021 census results
Population of England and Wales by ethnicity
Ethnicity Number %
All 56,075,912 100.0
Asian 4,213,531 7.5
Bangladeshi 447,201 0.8
Chinese 393,141 0.7
Indian 1,412,958 2.5
Pakistani 1,124,511 2.0
Asian other 835,720 1.5
Black 1,864,890 3.3
Black African 989,628 1.8
Black Caribbean 594,825 1.1
Black other 280,437 0.5
Mixed 1,224,400 2.2
Mixed White/Asian 341,727 0.6
Mixed White/Black African 165,974 0.3
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 426,715 0.8
Mixed other 289,984 0.5
White 48,209,395 86.0
White British 45,134,686 80.5
White Irish 531,087 0.9
White Gypsy/Traveller 57,680 0.1
White other 2,485,942 4.4
Other 563,696 1.0
Arab 230,600 0.4
Any other 333,096 0.6

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Population of England and Wales By ethnicity Summary

The 2011 Census data shows that:

  • the total population of England and Wales was 56.1 million
  • 48.2 million people (86.0%) were from White ethnic groups, with 45.1 million of those identifying with the White British group (80.5% of the population) and 2.5 million with the Other White ethnic group (4.4%)
  • 4.2 million people (7.5%) were from Asian ethnic groups, with 1.4 million of those identifying with the Indian ethnic group (2.5%), and 1.1 million with the Pakistani ethnic group (2.0%)
  • 1.9 million people (3.3%) were from Black ethnic groups, with just under 1 million of those identifying with the Black African ethnic group (1.8%), and 0.6 million with the Black Caribbean ethnic group (1.1%)
  • 1.2 million people (2.2%) had Mixed ethnicity, with 0.4 million of those identifying with the Mixed White/Black Caribbean group (0.8%), and 0.3 million with the Mixed White and Asian group (0.6%)
  • 0.6 million people (1.0%) belonged to other ethnic groups

4. By ethnicity over time

England and Wales
Time period:
2001 to 2011
England and Wales 2011 Census
Population of England and Wales by ethnicity over time
Ethnicity 2001 2011
Bangladeshi 0.5 0.8
Chinese 0.4 0.7
Indian 2.0 2.5
Pakistani 1.4 2.0
Asian other 0.5 1.5
Black African 0.9 1.8
Black Caribbean 1.1 1.1
Black other 0.2 0.5
Mixed White/Asian 0.4 0.6
Mixed White/Black African 0.2 0.3
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 0.5 0.8
Mixed other 0.3 0.5
White British 87.4 80.5
White Irish 1.2 0.9
White Gypsy/Traveller N/A* 0.1
White other 2.6 4.4
Arab N/A* 0.4
Any other 0.4 0.6
(Video) England and Wales animated population pyramid 1841-2019

* Not applicable

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of Population of England and Wales By ethnicity over time Summary

Census data shows that:

  • from 2001 to 2011, the percentage of the population of England and Wales that identified as White British decreased from 87.4% to 80.5%
  • other ethnic groups whose percentage of the population decreased were White Irish (from 1.2% to 0.9%), and Mixed White and Black African (from 0.4% to 0.3%)
  • the Other White group saw the largest increase in their share of the population, from 2.6% to 4.4% – this group includes people born in Poland, who became the second largest group of residents born outside the UK (579,000) behind people born in India (694,000)
  • the percentage of the population from a Black African background doubled from 0.9% in 2001 to 1.8% in 2011

5. Data sources


England and Wales 2011 Census

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics


Office for National Statistics

(Video) Census 2021 results | The first population estimate for England and Wales

Publication frequency

Every 10 years

Purpose of data source

The Census is carried out every 10 years. Data from the March 2021 Census will not be available until 2022, so 2011 Census data is used instead.

Census data gives the government the information it needs to plan and run public services. It is also used as a benchmark for other statistical estimates, and it can help illustrate differences between various groups in the population.

6. Download the data

Population of England and Wales - Spreadsheet (csv) 4 KB

This file contains: Measure, Time, Ethnicity, Value, Value note, Source, Geography

Publication release date: 1 August 2018

Updated: 7 August 2020

full page history
  1. 7 August 2020 Moved all contextual information to ‘Things you need to know’ and its new subsections. Increased visibility by adding it to the table of contents. Removed any duplication and added links to content about understanding our data. Charts, tables and the data file have not been updated.
  2. 14 May 2019 Some headings have been changed. No data or commentary has been updated.
  3. 30 April 2019 Remove empty row from first dimension's table
  4. 8 March 2019 Added a meta description (for search engines, social sharing, etc.)
  5. 3 August 2018 Download file added
  6. 1 August 2018 First published

From: Office for National Statistics

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(Video) Understanding the Census of England and Wales


What is the population of England 2022? ›

England has an estimated population of 55,977,178 according to the latest mid-year estimates. England is the largest of the four countries that comprise the United Kingdom.

What's the population in Wales 2022? ›

According to ons, Wales population in 2022 is estimated to be 3.19 million, covers area of 20,779 sq.km (8,023 sq mi). Major cities are Cardiff, Swansea & Newport, Its capital, Cardiff, is the main economic centre and financial services is one of the most important sectors.

What is the largest race? ›

The world's largest ethnic group is Han Chinese, with Mandarin being the world's most spoken language in terms of native speakers. The world's population is predominantly urban and suburban, and there has been significant migration toward cities and urban centres.

What percentage of Wales are English? ›

According to the 2011 census, Welsh is spoken by 19% of the population and English is spoken by 99% of the population.

What was the population of England in 1948? ›

When the National Health Service began in 1948, the UK population was 49.4 million, 60 years later the population stands at an estimated 61.4 million, an increase of 24%.

What was the population of England in 1950? ›

Looking back, in the year of 1950, the United Kingdom had a population of 50.4 million people.

What was the population of England in 1940? ›

UK Population (Thousands) 1901 to 2001.
United KingdomEngland & Wales
8 more rows

Is Welsh the same as Irish? ›

While both languages originate from the same source, the written and spoken forms are different. A Welsh speaker would find it hard to understand Irish Gaelic. The alphabets are slightly different too - the Irish alphabet uses 18 letters, while the Welsh alphabet has 29.

When did Wales stop being part of England? ›

The Welsh Language Act 1967 repealed a section of the Wales and Berwick Act and thus "Wales" was no longer part of the legal definition of England.

What was the population of Wales in 1970? ›


What is the largest race in the UK? ›

The largest ethnic group in the United Kingdom is White British, followed by Asian British. Ethnicity in the United Kingdom is formally recorded at the national level through a census.

How many Muslims are in UK? ›

The vast majority of Muslims in the United Kingdom live in England: 2,660,116 (5.0%), 76,737 Muslims live in Scotland (1.45%), 45,950 in Wales (1.50%).
Islam in Europe.
Total population
Greater London1,012,823
West Midlands376,152
North West England356,458
Yorkshire and the Humber326,050
8 more rows

What is the fastest growing ethnic group in the UK? ›

Mixed-race Britons are the country's fastest-growing minority group. By the end of the century, roughly one in three of the population will be mixed-race, with this figure rising to 75% by 2150. Mixed-race is, quite literally, the future.

Which race is the smallest in the world? ›

With a population that hovers around 2,000, the Toto are today considered one of the world's smallest ethnic groups, and, like their fellow Indigenous peoples from the Amazon to Australia, are experiencing the consequences of extractive industries.

What is America's largest race? ›

As of 2020, White Americans are the racial and ethnic majority, with non-Hispanic whites representing 57.8% of the population. Hispanic and Latino Americans are the largest ethnic minority, comprising 18.7% of the population, while Black or African Americans are the largest racial minority, making up 12.1%.

What are the 3 biggest races in the world? ›

The world population can be divided into 4 major races, namely white/Caucasian, Mongoloid/Asian, Negroid/Black, and Australoid.

Are Welsh ethnically different from English? ›

A 2015 genetic survey of modern British population groups found a distinct genetic difference between those from northern and southern Wales, which was interpreted as the legacy of Little England beyond Wales. Research suggests the Welsh are genetically distinct from the rest of mainland Britain.

Does Prince William speak Welsh? ›

During a recent visit to Wales, Prince William spoke about how he was learning Welsh, and said he'd learned the word 'paned' - meaning cup of tea - and 'bara brith'.

Can an English person move to Wales? ›

Moving to Wales from England is surprisingly easy and stress-free, considering you are moving to another country! The first thing you should do is read up about the different cities, towns and rural villages in Wales to find an area that suits your ideal lifestyle.

What was Britain's population in 1776? ›

What were the populations of the two sides? Great Britain had 8 million residents in 1775, and the 13 colonies about 2.5 million (of which half a million were slaves). The four largest American colonies were Virginia (447,016), Pennsylvania (240,057), Massachusetts (235,308), and Maryland (202,599).

What was the population of the UK in WW2? ›


What was UK population in 1776? ›

In 1775 the British had an estimated 8,000,000 people; 2,350,000 of these could be considered the military manpower of the nation.

Why is England's population so high? ›

Drivers of growth

The average number of children per woman (total fertility rate) has been declining since 2012 and now stands at 1.74. Net migration has been the main driver of population change since the 1990s. The UK has the highest teenage birth rate in Western Europe.

What was Britain's population in 1914? ›

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the population of the British Empire had stood at 88 million.

What was the population of England in 1700? ›

The population of Britain grew rapidly during this period, from around five million people in 1700 to nearly nine million by 1801.

How many Scots live in England? ›


What proportion of the UK is white? ›

White British45,134,68680.5
White Irish531,0870.9
White Gypsy/Traveller57,6800.1
20 more rows
1 Aug 2018

What language is closest to Welsh? ›

Welsh developed from the Celtic language known as Brythonic or Brittonic. The two most closely related languages are Cornish and Breton. Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx are also Celtic languages but are more distantly related.

What did the Welsh call Britain? ›

Lloegyr is the medieval Welsh name for a region of Britain (Prydain).

What is the Welsh word for Scotland? ›

Welsh word of the day: Yr Alban = Scotland.

Why is there no Welsh flag in the Union Jack? ›

The Welsh dragon does not appear on the Union Flag. This is because when the first Union Flag was created in 1606, the Principality of Wales by that time was already united with England and was no longer a separate principality. The Union Flag was originally a Royal flag.

Where does Welsh DNA come from? ›

So, who are the Welsh? The early settlers of Wales are believed to be descendants of the Beaker culture, mixed with immigrants coming from what is now Ireland (Celts) and the Basque country in Northern Spain.

Did Prince Charles learn Welsh? ›

Taught at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth by the lecturer and Welsh-nationalist politician Edward Millward, Prince Charles spent ten weeks leading up to his investiture learning about Welsh culture, history and language, and during the ceremony he gave his replies in both English and Welsh.

What was the population of England before 1066? ›

Danegeld and heregeld. In 1066 the total population of England was somewhere between 2 and 2.5 million. North and East of the A5 – or Watling Street- a good chunk of the population was of Scandinavian (largely Danish) descent being in the Danelaw part of the country.

What was the population of the UK in 1922? ›

According to the Registrar-General's Statistical Review for 1924 the population of Great Britain at the middle of the years 1913 and 1922 was estimated at 41,302,000 and 43,062,000, respectively.

What was the population of England in 1965? ›


What race is White British? ›

White British is an ethnicity classification used for the native white population identifying as English, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, Northern Irish, or British in the United Kingdom Census.

What race are Scots? ›

91.8% of people identified as 'White: Scottish' or 'White: Other British' 4.2% of people identified as Polish, Irish, Gypsy/Traveller or 'White: Other'

Which city in England has the largest black population? ›

Almost 97 per cent of Black Britons live in England, particularly in England's larger urban areas, with most (over a million) Black British living in Greater London.

How many Pakistani live in England? ›

1.1 million

How many Hindus live UK? ›

Hinduism is followed by 1.5% of the population of the England.
4 more rows

What percentage of UK is mixed race? ›

In that census, 677,177 classified themselves as of mixed ethnicity, making up 1.2 percent of the UK population.

What percent of London is black? ›

History and ethnic breakdown of London
Ethnic Group19912011
Black or Black British: Total535,21613.32%
Black or Black British: African163,6357.02%
Black or Black British: Caribbean290,9684.22%
23 more rows

What was the population of England and Wales in 1700? ›

The total population of the British Isles in 1700 is estimated at 8.2 million. The population of England and Wales in 1700 at 5.1 million, that of Ireland at 2.0 million and Scotland 1.1 million.

What was the population of England and Wales in 1750? ›

In 1750, the population of England was about 5.75 million. Scotland had 1.25 million people, and Wales 0.5 million. A century later, in 1851, the numbers had more than doubled, to 16.7 million, 2.9 million and 1.2 million respectively; by 1951 they had reached 41.6 million, 5.1 million and 2.2 million.

What was the population of England and Wales in 1901? ›

The population of England and Wales on 1 April 1901 was recorded as 32,527,813, an increase of over 12% since the 1891 census.

What was the population of England and Wales in 1881? ›

When the 1881 census was taken on April 3rd, the total population of England, Wales and Scotland was recorded as 29,707,207.

Are the Welsh the original inhabitants of England? ›

Research suggests the Welsh are genetically distinct from the rest of mainland Britain. Professor Peter Donnelly, of Oxford University, said the Welsh carry DNA which could be traced back to the last Ice Age, 10,000 years ago.

What was the population of Britain when the Romans invaded? ›

About 650 BC a people called the Celts migrated to Britain. Then in 43 AD, the Romans invaded. It is impossible to accurately estimate the population of Britain before the Romans came. However, the population of Roman Britain was probably about 4 million.

What was the population of England in 1943? ›


What was the population of the UK after ww2? ›

UK Population (Thousands) 1901 to 2001.
United KingdomEngland & Wales
8 more rows

What was the black population in England in 1800? ›

In the latter half of the 18th century England had a Black population of around 15,000 people. They lived mostly in major port cities - London, Liverpool and Bristol - but also in market towns and villages across the country. The majority worked in domestic service, both paid and unpaid.

What was the population of the UK in 1911? ›

The United Kingdom Census 1911 of 2 April 1911 was the 12th nationwide census conducted in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The total population of the United Kingdom was approximately 45,221,000, with 36,070,000 recorded in England and Wales, 4,761,000 in Scotland, and 4,390,000 in Ireland.

What was the population of England in 1967? ›

Population records increases in United Kingdom

United Kingdom ended 1967 with a population of 55,086,300 people, which represents an increasea of 285,400 people compared to 1966.


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