Demography of the United Kingdom

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Demographics of United Kingdom
Northwestern Europe at night by VIIRS cropped to GB.jpg
NASA VIIRS, indicating population centres of the British Isles
Population66,796,807 (mid-2019)
Density259 per sq km (2011 census)
Birth rate11.0 per 1000 (2018)
Death rate9.3 per 1000 (2018)
Life expectancy81 years (2010–2015)
Fertility rate1.68 (2018)

In the 2011 UK Census, the total population of the United Kingdom was about 63,182,000.[1] It is the 21st most populated country in the world. Its population density is 259 people per square kilometre (671 people per square mile), with England having significantly greater density than Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.[2] Almost a third of the population lives in England's southeast, which is predominantly urban and suburban, with about 9,000,000 in the capital city, London, whose population density is just over 5,200 per square kilometre (13,468 per sq mi).[3]

The population of the United Kingdom has undergone demographic transition—that is, the transition from a (typically) pre-industrial population, with high birth and mortality rates and slow population growth, through a stage of falling mortality and faster rates of population growth, to a stage of low birth and mortality rates with, again, lower rates of growth. This growth through 'natural change' has been accompanied in the past two decades by growth through net migration into the United Kingdom, which since 1999 has exceeded natural change. By 2031, the United Kingdom is expected to have a total population of 67.1 million, with the majority of the population growth coming from net migration.[4]

The United Kingdom's high literacy rate (99% at age 15 and above)[5] is attributable to universal public education, introduced at the primary level in 1870 (Scotland 1872, free 1890[6]) and at the secondary level in 1900. Parents are obliged to have their children educated from the ages of 5 to 16 years (18 in England as of 2013),[7] and can continue education free of charge in the form of A-Levels, vocational training, and apprenticeship until the age of 18. The Church of England and the Church of Scotland are the national churches in their respective countries (Wales has had no established church since disestablishment (1920)), and all the major religions found in the world are represented in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom's population is predominantly White British. Lying near continental Europe, the countries that formed the United Kingdom were subject to many invasions and migrations from the continent, especially from Scandinavia, and including Roman occupation for several centuries. Historically, British people were therefore thought to be descended mainly from the different ethnic stocks that settled there before the 11th century: pre-Celtic, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Norman. Modern genetic testing has revealed the complexity of the British gene pool; some studies in the early 21st century suggested that as much as 80% of white British DNA may come from paleolithic people who settled in the British Isles 12,000 years ago.[8][9][10]

Celtic languages are spoken in Scotland, Cornwall, and Northern Ireland; the predominant language overall is English. Welsh is widely spoken as the first language in North and West Wales, and less so in the South East of the country, where English is the dominant first language.

History[edit]

Roman Britain had an estimated population between 2.8 million and 3 million at the end of the second century CE. At the end of the fourth century, it had an estimated population of 3.6 million, of whom 125,000 consisted of the Roman army and their families and dependents.[11] The urban population of Roman Britain was about 240,000 people at the end of the fourth century.[11] Roman Britain's capital city, Londinium, is estimated to have had a population of about 60,000.[12][13] Londinium was a diverse city, with inhabitants from across the Roman Empire, including natives of Britannia and Romans who were raised in continental Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.[14] There was also cultural diversity in other Roman-British towns, which were sustained by considerable colonial migration, both within Britannia and from other Roman territories, including North Africa,[15] Roman Syria, the Eastern Mediterranean, and continental Europe.[16]

During the Industrial Revolution, child mortality decreased dramatically. The proportion of children born in London who died before the age of five decreased from 74.5 per thousand in 1730–1749 to 31.8 per thousand in 1810–1829.[17] According to Robert Hughes in The Fatal Shore, the population of England and Wales, which had remained steady at 6 million from 1700 to 1740, rose dramatically after 1740.[citation needed]

The first Census in 1801 revealed that the population of Great Britain was 10.5 million.[4][18] In 1800, the population of Ireland was between 4.5 and 5.5 million.[19][20]

The 1841 UK Census counted the population of England and Wales to be 15.9 million.[21] Ireland's population was 8.2 million in 1841.[21][22] The population of Scotland was 2.6 million.[21]

The Great Irish Famine, which began in the 1840s, caused the deaths of one million Irish people, and caused well over a million to emigrate.[23] Mass emigration became entrenched as a result of the famine, and the population continued to decline until the mid-20th century.

The population of England had almost doubled from 16.8 million in 1851 to 30.5 million in 1901. Ireland's population decreased rapidly, from 8.2 million in 1841 to less than 4.5 million in 1901.[24]

Population[edit]

Map of population density in the UK as at the 2011 census.
Population density (people per km2) by country, 2012.
Part Population
(mid-2019)[25]
Percentage of total

population (%)

Area
(km2)[26]
Percentage
of total

area (%)

Population

density

England 56,286,961 84.3 84.3
 
130,309 54 430/km²
Scotland 5,463,300 8.2 8.2
 
77,911 32 70/km²
Wales 3,152,879 4.7 4.7
 
20,736 9 151/km²
Northern Ireland 1,893,667 2.8 2.8
 
13,793 6 136/km²
United Kingdom 66,796,807 100 100
 
242,749 100 274/km²

(The population of Great Britain is therefore 64,553,909 (97.2% of UK) in an area of 228,956 km2 (94.3% of UK) and the population density is 282/km2.)

The United Kingdom (UK) Office for National Statistics' 2016-based National Population Projections indicated that, if recent trends continue, the UK's population would increase by 3.6 million between mid-2016 and mid-2026. This represents an average annual growth rate of 0.5%. Over the same period, the population of England is projected to grow by 5.9%; for Wales, this figure is 3.1%, while for Scotland and Northern Ireland the figures are 3.2% and 4.2% respectively. These projections do not allow for any possible effects of the UK leaving the European Union.[27]

There are 13 urban areas that exceed 500,000 inhabitants: they are centred on London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds and Bradford, Southampton and Portsmouth, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leicester, Manchester, Belfast, Bristol, Newcastle upon Tyne and Nottingham.[28]

The population of the UK in the 2011 census was 63 million, of whom 31 million were male and 32 million female. The 2011 census recorded the population of England as 53.0 million, Scotland as 5.3 million, Wales as 3.1 million, and Northern Ireland as 1.8 million.[29]

Population change over time[edit]

The following table shows the total UK population estimated at census dates. Pre 1901 figures include the whole of Ireland, whereas from 1901 onwards only the population of Northern Ireland is included.

United Kingdom population at census dates[30][31][32]
Intercensal
period
Population
at start
of period
Average annual numbers of Population
density
at start
of period (per km2)
Overall
change
Births Deaths Net natural
change
Net
migration*
1851–1861 27,368,800 154,910 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown 87
1861–1871 28,917,900 256,680 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown 92
1871–1881 31,484,700 344,980 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown 100
1881–1891 34,934,500 286,790 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown 111
1891–1901 37,802,400 373,580 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown 120
1901–1911 38,237,000 385,000 1,091,000 624,000 467,000 −82,000 156
1911–1921 42,082,000 195,000 975,000 689,000 286,000 −92,000 172
1921–1931 44,027,000 201,000 824,000 555,000 268,000 −67,000 180
1931–1951 46,038,000 213,000 793,000 603,000 190,000  22,000 188
1951–1961 50,225,000 258,000 839,000 593,000 246,000  12,000 205
1961–1971 52,807,000 312,000 962,000 638,000 324,000 −12,000 216
1971–1981 55,928,000 42,000 736,000 666,000 69,000 −27,000 229
1981–1991 56,357,000 108,000 757,000 655,000 103,000   5,000 231
1991–2001 57,439,000 161,000 731,000 631,000 100,000  61,000 235
2001–2011 59,113,000 324,000 722,000 588,000 134,000 191,000 242
2011–2021 63,182,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 259

* and possibly other changes[which?]

Birth rates in the UK 1938–2017.[33]

In 2015, there were 777,165 recorded live births in the UK. The crude birth rate was 11.9 per 1,000 population. The total fertility rate was 1.80. Also in 2015, 602,782 deaths were recorded, with the crude death rate being 9.3 per 1,000. The infant mortality rate was 3.9 per 1,000 live births.[34] Population density based on:

Vital statistics[edit]

Total fertility rate (1552–1899)[edit]

The total fertility rate is the number of children born per woman. It is based on fairly good data for the entire period. Sources: Our World In Data and Gapminder Foundation.[35] Note: To see every year from 1552 see the reference link.

Years 1552 1556 1560 1565 1570 1575 1580 1590 1595 1600 1605 1610 1615 1620 1625 1630 1640 1650[35]
Total Fertility Rate 5.12 4.78 4.7 5.31 4.64 4.48 4.62 4.25 4.47 4.63 4.79 4.47 4.51 4.78 4.35 4.45 4.71 3.49
Years 1660 1665 1670 1675 1680 1690 1695 1700 1705 1710 1715 1720 1725 1730 1735 1740 1750 1755[35]
Total Fertility Rate 3.83 4.1 3.97 3.75 3.97 4.29 4.37 4.39 4.37 3.79 4.25 4.16 4.51 4.28 4.94 4.58 4.73 4.64
Years 1760 1765 1770 1775 1780 1785 1790 1795 1797 1799 1800[35]
Total Fertility Rate 4.56 4.81 4.98 4.96 4.9 5.09 5.35 5.21 5.4 5.11 4.97
Years 1801 1802 1803 1804 1805 1806 1807 1808 1809 1810[35]
Total Fertility Rate 4.6 5.3 5.61 5.65 5.55 5.49 5.45 5.4 5.24 5.36
Years 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816 1817 1818 1819 1820[35]
Total Fertility Rate 5.43 5.31 5.45 5.46 6.02 5.73 5.69 5.54 5.45 5.4
Years 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829 1830[35]
Total Fertility Rate 5.55 5.69 5.54 5.42 5.38 5.36 5.07 5.23 4.85 4.83
Years 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840[35]
Total Fertility Rate 4.78 4.78 5 4.89 4.83 4.86 4.79 4.78 4.93 4.9
Years 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850[35]
Total Fertility Rate 4.89 4.83 4.82 4.83 4.75 4.9 4.58 4.71 4.78 4.85
Years 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860[35]
Total Fertility Rate 4.94 4.94 4.78 4.89 4.85 4.94 4.9 4.79 4.97 4.86
Years 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870[35]
Total Fertility Rate 4.88 4.92 4.94 4.96 4.94 4.92 4.94 4.97 4.82 4.88
Years 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880[35]
Total Fertility Rate 4.85 4.89 4.94 4.93 4.92 4.9 4.89 4.88 4.81 4.75
Years 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890[35]
Total Fertility Rate 4.68 4.62 4.55 4.47 4.39 4.32 4.24 4.16 4.11 4.06
Years 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899[35]
Total Fertility Rate 4 3.95 3.9 3.84 3.79 3.73 3.68 3.62 3.58

Vital statistics (1900–2019)[edit]

Births and deaths in the UK from 1950 to 2017.[33]
Average population[36] Live births [37] Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Total fertility rate[fn 1][35][38]
1900 1,089,487 695,867 393,620 3.53
1901 1,092,781 655,646 437,135 3.49
1902 1,103,483 636,650 466,833 3.44
1903 1,113,086 613,726 499,360 3.40
1904 1,109,542 651,301 458,241 3.35
1905 1,092,108 617,516 474,592 3.30
1906 1,098,475 629,955 468,520 3.24
1907 1,077,851 625,271 452,580 3.19
1908 1,102,345 621,427 480,918 3.14
1909 1,073,781 614,910 458,871 3.07
1910 1,051,240 578,091 473,149 2.99
1911 1,033,395 620,828 412,567 2.92
1912 1,025,828 580,977 444,851 2.90
1913 1,032,286 600,554 431,732 2.93
1914 1,032,734 611,970 420,764 2.88
1915 956,877 666,322 290,555 2.59
1916 922,085 599,621 322,464 2.60
1917 790,736 589,416 201,320 2.10
1918 787,427 715,246 72,181 2.03
1919 826,202 602,188 224,014 2.31
1920 1,126,849 555,326 571,523 3.08
1921 1,001,725 544,140 457,585 2.69
1922 924,740 579,480 345,260 2.44
1923 900,130 526,858 373,272 2.38
1924 865,329 563,891 301,438 2.28
1925 842,405 558,132 284,273 2.20
1926 825,174 536,411 288,763 2.15
1927 777,520 568,655 208,865 2.01
1928 783,052 543,664 239,388 2.01
1929 761,963 623,231 138,732 1.95
1930 769,239 536,860 232,379 1.95
1931 749,974 573,908 176,066 1.89
1932 730,079 567,986 162,093 1.83
1933 691,560 579,467 112,093 1.72
1934 711,483 558,072 153,411 1.76
1935 711,426 561,324 150,102 1.75
1936 720,129 580,942 139,187 1.77
1937 723,779 597,798 125,981 1.79
1938 735,573 559,598 175,975 15.5 1.84
1939 726,632 581,857 144,775 15.2 1.84
1940 701,875 673,253 28,622 15.2 1.74
1941 695,726 627,378 68,348 15.5 1.72
1942 771,851 562,356 209,495 17.4 1.93
1943 810,524 585,582 224,942 18.5 2.03
1944 878,298 573,570 303,728 20.1 2.25
1945 795,868 567,027 228,841 18.1 2.05
1946 955,266 573,361 381,905 20.3 2.47
1947 1,025,427 600,728 424,699 21.2 2.69
1948 905,182 546,002 359,180 18.2 2.39
1949 855,298 589,876 265,422 17.1 2.26
1950 50,150,000 818,421 590,136 228,285 16.3 11.8 4.6 2.08
1951 50,286,900 796,645 632,786 163,859 15.8 12.6 3.3 2.10
1952 50,429,200 792,917 573,806 219,111 15.7 11.4 4.3 2.15
1953 50,592,900 804,269 577,220 227,049 15.9 11.4 4.5 2.20
1954 50,764,900 794,769 578,400 216,369 15.7 11.4 4.3 2.26
1955 50,946,100 789,315 595,916 193,399 15.5 11.7 3.8 2.33
1956 51,183,500 825,137 597,981 227,156 16.1 11.7 4.4 2.40
1957 51,430,200 851,466 591,200 260,266 16.6 11.5 5.1 2.48
1958 51,652,500 870,497 604,040 266,457 16.9 11.7 5.2 2.55
1959 51,956,300 878,561 606,115 272,446 16.9 11.7 5.2 2.63
1960 52,372,500 918,286 603,328 314,958 17.5 11.5 6.0 2.71
1961 52,807,400 944,365 631,788 312,577 17.9 12.0 5.9 2.78
1962 53,291,800 975,635 636,051 339,584 18.3 11.9 6.4 2.87
1963 53,624,900 990,160 654,288 335,872 18.5 12.2 6.3 2.90
1964 53,990,800 1,014,672 611,130 403,542 18.8 11.3 7.5 2.95
1965 54,349,500 997,275 627,798 369,477 18.3 11.6 6.8 2.88
1966 54,642,700 979,587 643,754 335,833 17.9 11.8 6.1 2.80
1967 54,959,000 961,800 616,710 345,090 17.5 11.2 6.3 2.69
1968 55,213,500 947,231 655,998 291,233 17.2 11.9 5.3 2.61
1969 55,460,600 920,256 659,537 260,719 16.6 11.9 4.7 2.51
1970 55,632,200 903,907 655,385 248,522 16.2 11.8 4.5 2.44
1971 55,928,000 901,648 645,078 256,570 16.1 11.5 4.6 2.40
1972 56,096,000 833,984 673,938 160,046 14.9 12.0 2.9 2.20
1973 56,223,000 779,545 669,692 109,853 13.9 11.9 2.0 2.03
1974 56,235,000 737,138 667,359 69,779 13.1 11.9 1.2 1.92
1975 56,225,000 697,518 662,477 35,041 12.4 11.8 0.6 1.81
1976 56,216,000 675,526 680,799 -5,273 12.0 12.1 -0.1 1.74
1977 56,189,000 657,038 655,143 1,895 11.7 11.7 0.0 1.69
1978 56,178,000 686,952 667,177 19,775 12.2 11.9 0.4 1.75
1979 56,240,000 734,572 675,576 58,996 13.1 12.0 1.0 1.86
1980 56,329,000 753,708 661,519 92,189 13.4 11.7 1.6 1.90
1981 56,357,000 730,712 657,974 72,738 13.0 11.7 1.3 1.82
1982 56,290,000 718,999 662,081 56,918 12.8 11.8 1.0 1.78
1983 56,315,000 721,238 659,101 62,137 12.8 11.7 1.1 1.77
1984 56,409,000 729,401 644,918 84,483 12.9 11.4 1.5 1.77
1985 56,554,000 750,520 670,656 79,864 13.3 11.9 1.4 1.79
1986 56,683,000 754,805 660,735 94,070 13.3 11.7 1.7 1.78
1987 56,804,000 775,405 644,342 131,063 13.7 11.3 2.3 1.81
1988 56,916,000 787,303 649,178 138,125 13.8 11.4 2.4 1.82
1989 57,076,000 777,036 657,733 119,303 13.6 11.5 2.1 1.79
1990 57,237,000 798,364 641,799 156,565 13.9 11.2 2.7 1.83
1991 57,438,000 792,269 646,181 146,088 13.8 11.3 2.5 1.82
1992 57,584,000 780,779 634,238 146,541 13.6 11.0 2.5 1.79
1993 57,713,000 761,526 658,194 103,332 13.2 11.4 1.8 1.76
1994 57,862,000 750,480 626,222 124,258 13.0 10.8 2.1 1.74
1995 58,024,000 731,882 641,712 90,170 12.6 11.1 1.6 1.71
1996 58,164,000 733,163 638,879 94,284 12.6 11.0 1.6 1.73
1997 58,314,000 726,622 632,517 94,105 12.5 10.8 1.6 1.72
1998 58,474,000 716,888 627,592 89,296 12.3 10.7 1.5 1.71
1999 58,684,000 699,976 629,476 70,500 11.9 10.7 1.2 1.68
2000 58,886,000 679,029 610,579 68,450 11.5 10.4 1.2 1.64
2001 59,113,000 669,123 604,393 64,730 11.3 10.2 1.1 1.63
2002 59,365,000 668,777 608,045 60,732 11.3 10.2 1.0 1.63
2003 59,636,000 695,549 612,085 83,464 11.7 10.3 1.4 1.70
2004 59,950,000 715,996 584,791 131,205 11.9 9.8 2.2 1.77
2005 60,413,000 722,549 582,964 139,585 12.0 9.6 2.3 1.76
2006 60,827,000 748,563 572,224 176,339 12.3 9.4 2.9 1.82
2007 61,319,000 772,245 574,687 197,558 12.6 9.4 3.2 1.87
2008 61,823,000 794,383 579,697 214,686 12.8 9.4 3.5 1.96
2009 62,260,000 790,204 559,617 230,587 12.7 9.0 3.7 1.89
2010 62,759,000 807,721 561,666 246,055 12.9 8.9 3.9 1.92
2011 63,285,000 807,776 552,232 255,544 12.8 8.7 4.0 1.91
2012 63,705,000 812,970 569,024 243,946 12.8 8.9 3.8 1.92
2013 64,105,000 778,803 575,458 203,345 12.1 9.0 3.2 1.83
2014 64,596,000 776,352 570,341 206,011 12.0 8.8 3.2 1.82
2015 65,110,000 777,165 602,782 174,383 11.9 9.3 2.7 1.80
2016 65,648,000 774,835 595,659 179,176 11.8 9.1 2.7 1.79
2017 66,040,200 755,066 607,172 147,894 11.4 9.2 2.2 1.74
2018 66,436,000 731,213 616,014 115,199 11.0 9.3 1.7 1.68
2019 66,797,000 712,699 604,707 107,992 10.7 9.1 1.6 1.65

Life expectancy (1543–1950)[edit]

Sources: Our World In Data and the United Nations.

1543-1950

Years 1543 1548 1553 1558 1563 1568 1573 1578 1583 1588 1593 1603 1608 1613 1618 1623 1628 1633[39]
Life expectancy 33.9 38.8 39.6 22.4 36.7 39.7 41.1 41.6 42.7 37.1 38.1 38.5 39.6 36.8 40.3 33.4 39.7 39.7
Years 1638 1643 1648 1653 1658 1663 1668 1673 1678 1683 1688 1693 1698 1703 1713 1718 1723 1728[39]
Life expectancy 34.0 36.3 39.7 39.1 33.0 33.3 33.5 37.4 32.4 31.3 35.9 36.5 38.1 38.5 36.9 35.8 35.5 25.3
Years 1733 1738 1743 1748 1753 1758 1763 1768 1773 1778 1783 1788 1793 1798 1803 1808 1813 1818[39]
Life expectancy 36.3 35.3 34.3 36.5 39.8 38.1 35.4 36.2 39.1 37.7 35.8 39.0 37.9 38.9 40.0 40.6 41.3 40.8
Years 1823 1828 1833 1838 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850[39]
Life expectancy 40.5 41.4 40.9 40.6 41.0 41.6 41.2 42.2 40.2 38.5 39.9 37.7 42.8
Years 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860[39]
Life expectancy 41.0 40.4 40.0 39.5 40.7 42.5 40.9 39.5 40.4 41.9
Years 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870[39]
Life expectancy 41.6 42.1 40.4 39.6 39.8 40.1 42.0 41.7 41.3 40.6
Years 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880[39]
Life expectancy 41.1 42.7 43.3 42.1 41.5 42.7 43.7 42.0 43.5 43.0
Years 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890[39]
Life expectancy 45.1 44.0 44.0 43.6 44.6 44.6 45.1 46.3 45.9 44.1
Years 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900[39]
Life expectancy 44.4 45.6 44.7 48.3 45.4 47.1 46.4 46.1 45.2 45.6
Years 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910[39]
Life expectancy 46.9 48.3 49.5 48.1 49.9 49.6 50.6 51.0 51.7 53.3
Years 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920[39]
Life expectancy 51.2 54.3 53.4 53.2 51.2 54.2 54.2 47.3 54.3 57.3
Years 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930[39]
Life expectancy 58.1 57.0 59.3 58.1 58.4 59.6 59.0 59.9 57.6 60.8
Years 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940[39]
Life expectancy 60.0 60.5 60.6 61.3 62.0 61.8 62.3 63.2 63.6 60.9
Years 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950[39]
Life expectancy 61.4 64.0 64.0 64.8 65.8 66.3 66.3 68.4 68.1 68.6

1950-2015

Years 1950–1955 1955–1960
Life expectancy 69.4 70.6
Years 1960–1965 1965–1970
Life expectancy 71.0 71.7
Years 1970–1975 1975–1980
Life expectancy 72.3 73.0
Years 1980–1985 1985–1990
Life expectancy 74.2 75.1
Years 1990–1995 1995–2000
Life expectancy 76.3 77.2
Years 2000–2005 2005–2010
Life expectancy 78.4 79.7
Years 2010–2015
Life expectancy 81.0

Source: UN World Population Prospects[40]

Age structure[edit]

Population pyramid showing the age structure for men and women in 2018

The key features of the age distribution profile for the UK population, as measured in the 2011 Census, were summarised in December 2012 by the Office for National Statistics in terms of peaks and wide bands of the pyramid reflecting high numbers of births in previous years, particularly for people aged 60–64 born following the Second World War and those aged 40–49, born during the 1960s baby boom. There is a smaller number of children aged five to nine years than ten years ago, which is a consequence of low numbers of births at the beginning of the 21st century, and the broadening of the pyramid in the 0–4 years category is due to higher numbers of births in recent years. At higher ages, females outnumber males, reflecting the higher life expectancy of females. At lower ages, there are more males than females, reflecting that there are slightly more boys than girls born each year.[41][42]

The most recent UK Office for National Statistics' population estimates for mid-2016 suggest the median age of the UK population was 40.0 years.[43]

In 2015, there were estimated to be over half a million people (556,270) aged 90 and over living in the UK, up from 194,670 people in 1985,[44] and there were estimated to be 14,570 centenarians (people aged 100 or over) and 850 people aged 105 or over.[45]

The UK Office for National Statistics' 2016-based National Population Projections suggest that the UK population will continue to age, with the number of people aged 85 and over doubling from 1.6 million in mid-2016 to 3.2 million in mid-2041.[46]

Age structures 1976-2016 Source: Office for National Statistics[47]
Ages 1976 1986 2016
0–15 years (%) 24.5 20.5 18.9
16–64 years (%) 61.2 64.1 63.1
65 years and over (%) 14.2 15.4 18.0
Age structure for each five-year band in 2011[48]
Ages attained

(years)

Population % of total
0–4 3,914,000 6.2
5–9 3,517,000 5.6
10–14 3,670,000 5.8
15–19 3,997,000 6.3
20–24 4,297,000 6.8
25–29 4,307,000 6.8
30–34 4,126,000 6.5
35–39 4,194,000 6.6
40–44 4,626,000 7.3
45–49 4,643,000 7.3
50–54 4,095,000 6.5
55–59 3,614,000 5.7
60–64 3,807,000 6.0
65–69 3,017,000 4.8
70–74 2,463,000 3.9
75–79 2,006,000 3.2
80–84 1,496,000 2.4
85–89 918,000 1.5
90+ 476,000 0.8
Age structure for men and women in 2011[49]
Age group Population Percentage (%)
Male

(million)

Female

(million)

Total

(million)

0–14 5.681 5.419 11.100 17.6
15–64 20.751 20.953 41.704 66.0
65+ 4.597 5.781 10.378 16.4
All ages 31.029 32.153 63.182 100

Social issues[edit]

Fertility[edit]

In 2012, the UK's total fertility rate (TFR) was 1.92 children per woman,[50] below the replacement rate, which in the UK is 2.075.[51] In 2001, the TFR was at a record low of 1.63, but it then increased every year until it reached a peak of 1.96 in 2008, before decreasing again.[50] The TFR was considerably higher during the 1960s 'baby boom', peaking at 2.95 children per woman in 1964.[52] In 2012 and 2013, England and Wales's TFR decreased to 1.85.[50][53] In Scotland however TFR is lower: it decreased from 1.75 in 2010 to 1.67 in 2012.[50] Northern Ireland has the highest TFR in the UK, standing at 2.02 in 2010 and 2.03 in 2012.[50]

In 2014, 27% of births were to mothers born outside the UK, a 0.5 point increase since 2013. The 2014 fertility rate was higher for foreign-born mothers (2.09) than UK-born mothers (1.76). In the 2010–14 time period, the most common countries of birth for mothers (excluding the UK) were Poland, Pakistan and India; and Poland and India for fathers. Within the UK, Newham, London had the highest rate of births to non-UK mothers (76.7%) and Torfaen, Wales the lowest (3.2%).[54]

Below is the number of births in England and Wales in 2011 by mother's country of birth, as well as their total fertility rate.[55]

Country of birth Births TFR
 Afghanistan 2,775 4,25
 Somalia 5,654 4,19
 Iraq 2,412 3,91
 Pakistan 18,434 3,82
 Nigeria 7,476 3,32
 Bangladesh 8,371 3,25
 Ghana 3,328 3,24
 Romania 3,497 2,93
 Sri Lanka 3,431 2,62
 India 14,892 2,35
 Lithuania 3,788 2,29
 Poland 20,495 2,13
 United Kingdom 539,364 1,84
 United States 3,317 1,83
 Zimbabwe 2,837 1,83
 South Africa 4,430 1,79
 China 3,611 1,76
 Germany 5,108 1,74
 Philippines 2,870 1,66
 Ireland 2,941 1,56
 France 2,538 1,41
Others 62,344 -
Total 723,913 1,9

Death rate and cause[edit]

Most common causes of death by gender in 2015[56]
First cause Second cause
Male Ischaemic heart disease Dementia and Alzheimer's disease
Female Dementia and Alzheimer's disease Ischaemic heart disease
Most common causes of death by gender in 2013[57]
First cause Second cause
Male Ischaemic heart disease (~15.4%) Malignant neoplasms of trachea, bronchus and lungs (lung cancer)
Female Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (~12.2%) Ischaemic heart disease

(Percentiles are rounded where given)

Other demographics statistics[edit]

Birth and death rates between 1950 and 2008

Demographic statistics according to the World Population Review in 2019.[58]

  • One birth every 39 seconds
  • One death every 52 seconds
  • Net gain of one person every minute
  • One net migrant every 3 minutes

Demographic statistics according to the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.[38]

Population
65,105,246 United Kingdom (July 2018 est.)

Constituent countries:

England 55,268,100
Scotland 5,404,700
Wales 3,113,200
Northern Ireland 1,862,100
Age structure
Population pyramid of the United Kingdom in 2017
0-14 years: 17.59% (male 5,871,268 /female 5,582,107)
15-24 years: 11.71% (male 3,895,850 /female 3,726,311)
25-54 years: 40.29% (male 13,387,119 /female 12,843,549)
55-64 years: 12.22% (male 3,936,466 /female 4,022,245)
65 years and over: 18.19% (male 5,321,392 /female 6,518,939) (2018 est.)
0-14 years: 17.53% (male 5,819,363/female 5,532,123)
15-24 years: 11.9% (male 3,938,643/female 3,770,511)
25-54 years: 40.55% (male 13,387,903/female 12,873,090)
55-64 years: 11.98% (male 3,843,268/female 3,918,244)
65 years and over: 18.04% (male 5,246,475/female 6,439,832) (2017 est.)
Median age
total: 40.5 years. Country comparison to the world: 48th
male: 39.3 years
female: 41.7 years (2018 est.)
total: 40.5 years
male: 39.3 years
female: 41.7 years (2017 est.)
Birth rate
12 births/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 167th
12.1 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate
9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 53rd
Total fertility rate
1.88 children born/woman (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 137th
Population growth rate
0.51% (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 154th
0.52% (2017 est.)
Ethnic groups

white 87.2%, black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)

Net migration rate
2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.) Country comparison to the world: 37th
Mother's mean age at first birth
28.5 years
note: data represent England and Wales only (2014 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 80.8 years
male: 78.6 years
female: 83.1 years (2017 est.) Country comparison to the world: 35th
Religions

Christian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, other 2%, unspecified 7.2%, none 25.7% (2011 est.)

Urbanization
urban population: 83.4% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.89% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 55.5
youth dependency ratio: 27.4
elderly dependency ratio: 28.2
potential support ratio: 3.5 (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.) Country comparison to the world: 185
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 18 years
male: 17 years
female: 18 years (2014)
Unemployment, youth ages 15–24
total: 14.6% Country comparison to the world: 91st
male: 16.2%
female: 12.9% (2015 est.)

LGBT[edit]

There are known difficulties in producing reliable estimates of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population.

The Integrated Household Survey,[59] published by the Office for National Statistics, provides the following estimates for the adult UK population as of 2011:

  • 1.1 percent (approximately 545,000 adults at the time of the survey) identify as gay or lesbian.
  • 0.4 percent (approximately 220,000 adults) identify as bisexual.
  • 0.3 percent identify as "other".
  • 3.6 percent of those surveyed replied "don't know" or refused to answer the question.
  • 0.6 percent of those surveyed provided "no response" to the question.
  • An estimated 2.7 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds in the UK identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual compared with 0.4 percent of those aged over 65.

Other sources provide alternative estimates of the population by sexual orientation. For example, one British journal published in 2004 estimated that approximately 5% of the British population is gay.[60] A government figure estimated in 2005 that there are 3.6 million gay people in Britain comprising 6 percent of the population.,[61] though a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission[62] described that estimate as 'of questionable validity' when set against available survey estimates.

The Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) estimated in 2009 that "56,000 might potentially be transsexual people",[63] noting that it is very difficult to make a reliable estimate. This would be 0.09% of the population at the time.

Country of birth[edit]

Below are the 60 largest foreign-born groups in the UK according to 2019 ONS estimates.[64]

Rank Country of birth Population
1  India 863,000
2  Poland 818,000
3  Pakistan 547,000
4  Romania 427,000
5  Ireland 360,000
6  Germany 289,000
7  Bangladesh 260,000
8  South Africa 252,000
9  Italy 233,000
10  China 217,000
11  Nigeria 215,000
12  France 185,000
13  Lithuania 168,000
14  Portugal 165,000
15  United States 161,000
16  Spain 159,000
17  Australia 153,000
18  Philippines 153,000
19  Zimbabwe 128,000
20  Bulgaria 128,000
21  Sri Lanka 126,000
22  Jamaica 123,000
23  Kenya 121,000
24  Ghana 114,000
25  Brazil 101,000
26  Somalia 99,000
27  Hungary 98,000
28  Canada 95,000
29  Latvia 89,000
30  Afghanistan 79,000
31    Nepal 76,000
32  Iran 72,000
33  Slovakia 72,000
34  Turkey 71,000
35  Netherlands 68,000
36  Iraq 67,000
37  New Zealand 67,000
38  Greece 66,000
39  Malaysia 61,000
40  Russia 59,000
41  Cyprus 57,000
42  Thailand 54,000
43  Uganda 52,000
44  Taiwan 49,000
45  Syria 48,000
46  Albania 47,000
47  Singapore 44,000
48  Czech Republic 44,000
49  Sweden 42,000
50  Egypt 39,000
51  Japan 39,000
52  Ukraine 38,000
53  Colombia 38,000
54  Belgium 35,000
55  Mauritius 34,000
56  Saudi Arabia 33,000
57  Sudan 33,000
58  Kosovo 29,000
59  Zambia 29,000
60  Malta 27,000

Ethnicity[edit]

Map showing the percentage of the population who are not white according to the 2011 census.
Census estimate for the main ethnic group categories
Ethnic group 2001[65][66][67][68] 2011[69]
Number % Number %
White: Total 54,153,898 92.12% 55,073,552 87.17%
White: Irish Traveller 63,193 0.10%
Asian or Asian British: Total 2,578,826 4.39% 4,373,339 6.92%
Asian or Asian British: Indian 1,053,411 1.79% 1,451,862 2.30%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 747,285 1.27% 1,174,983 1.86%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 283,063 0.48% 451,529 0.71%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese[note 1] 247,403 0.42% 433,150 0.69%
Asian or Asian British: Asian Other 247,664 0.42% 861,815 1.36%
Black or Black British[note 2] 1,148,738 1.95% 1,904,684 3.01%
British Mixed 677,117 1.15% 1,250,229 1.98%
Other: Total 230,615 0.39% 580,374 0.92%
Total 58,789,194 100.00% 63,182,178 100.00%

Note:

  1. ^ In 2001, listed under the "Other ethnic group" heading.
  2. ^ For the purpose of harmonising results to make them comparable across the UK, the ONS includes individuals in Scotland who classified themselves in the "African" category (29,638 people), which in the Scottish version of the census is separate from "Caribbean or Black" (6,540 people),[70] in this "Black or Black British" category. The ONS note that "the African categories used in Scotland could potentially capture White/Asian/Other African in addition to Black identities".[71]

Religion[edit]

This chart shows the proportion of UK citizens responses with regards to their religion at the 2011 census.
Percentage of respondents in the 2011 census in the UK who said they were Christian

The traditional religion in the United Kingdom is Christianity. In England the established church is the Church of England (Anglican). In Scotland, the Church of Scotland (a Presbyterian Church) is regarded as the 'national church' but there is not an established church.

In Wales there is no established church, with the Church in Wales having been disestablished in 1920. Likewise, in Ireland, the Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1871. In Northern Ireland and similarly in parts of Scotland, there is a degree of sectarian divide between Roman Catholic and Protestant communities.

The table below shows data regarding religion for the 2001 and 2011 censuses:

Religion 2001[72][73][74][75] 2011[76][77][78][79]
Number % Number %
Christian 42,079,417 71.58% 37,583,962 59.49%
Muslim 1,591,126 2.71% 2,786,635 4.41%
Hindu 558,810 0.95% 835,394 1.32%
Sikh 336,149 0.57% 432,429 0.68%
Jewish 266,740 0.45% 269,568 0.43%
Buddhist 151,816 0.26% 261,584 0.41%
Other religion 178,837 0.30% 262,774 0.42%
No religion 16,221,509 25.67%
Religion not stated 4,528,323 7.17%
(No religion and Religion not stated) 13,626,299 23.18% 20,749,832 32.84%
Total population 58,789,194 100.00% 63,182,178 100.00%

In the 2011 Census, rather than select one of the specified religions offered on the Census form, many people chose to write in their own religion. Some of these religions were reassigned to one of the main religions offered. In England and Wales, 241,000 people belonged to religious groups which did not fall into any of the main religions.[80] The largest of these were Pagans (57,000) and Spiritualists (39,000). The census also recorded 177,000 people stating their religion as Jedi Knight. These returns were classified as "No religion", along with Atheist, Agnostic, Heathen and those who ticked "Other" but did not write in any religion.

In 2012 the British Social Attitudes Survey found the highest number to be non-religious (48%) followed by Christians (46%) with another six percent identifying otherwise. Discrepancies found between surveys may be the result of differences in phrasing, question order, and data collection method.[81]

Languages[edit]

The United Kingdom's de facto official language is English which is spoken as a first language by 95% of the population. Six regional languages; Scots, Ulster-Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Irish and Scottish Gaelic are protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Abilities in these languages (other than Cornish) for those aged three and above were recorded in the UK census 2011 as follows.[82][83][84]

Ability Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
Welsh Scottish Gaelic Scots Irish Ulster-Scots
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Understands but does not speak, read or write 157,792 5.15% 23,357 0.46% 267,412 5.22% 70,501 4.06% 92,040 5.30%
Speaks, reads and writes 430,717 14.06% 32,191 0.63% 1,225,622 23.95% 71,996 4.15% 17,228 0.99%
Speaks but does not read or write 80,429 2.63% 18,966 0.37% 179,295 3.50% 24,677 1.42% 10,265 0.59%
Speaks and reads but does not write 45,524 1.49% 6,218 0.12% 132,709 2.59% 7,414 0.43% 7,801 0.45%
Reads but does not speak or write 44,327 1.45% 4,646 0.09% 107,025 2.09% 5,659 0.33% 11,911 0.69%
Other combination of skills 40,692 1.33% 1,678 0.03% 17,381 0.34% 4,651 0.27% 959 0.06%
No skills 2,263,975 73.90% 5,031,167 98.30% 3,188,779 62.30% 1,550,813 89.35% 1,595,507 91.92%
Total 3,063,456 100.00% 5,118,223 100.00% 5,118,223 100.00% 1,735,711 100.00% 1,735,711 100.00%
Can speak 562,016 18.35% 57,602 1.13% 1,541,693 30.12% 104,943 6.05% 35,404 2.04%
Has some ability 799,481 26.10% 87,056 1.70% 1,929,444 37.70% 184,898 10.65% 140,204 8.08%

Cornish is spoken by around 2,500 people. In the 2011 census, 464 respondents aged three and over in Cornwall said that Cornish was their main language, amounting to 0.09% of the total population of Cornwall aged three and over.

After English, Polish was the second most common language given in the United Kingdom census 2011. 618,091 respondents aged three and over said that Polish was their main language, amounting to 1.01% of the total population of the United Kingdom aged three and over.

The French language is spoken in some parts of the Channel Islands although the islands, like the Isle of Man, are not part of the United Kingdom.[85] British Sign Language is also common.

National identity[edit]

Respondents to the 2011 UK census gave their national identities as follows.[86][87][88]

National identity United Kingdom Country
England Scotland Wales N. Ireland
English only 51.41% 60.38% 2.28% 11.22% 0.60%
Scottish only 5.93% 0.79% 62.43% 0.50% 0.37%
Welsh only 3.26% 0.55% 0.15% 57.51% 0.06%
Northern Irish only 0.81% 0.21% 0.33% 0.14% 20.94%
British only 18.77% 19.19% 8.37% 16.95% 39.89%
English and British only 7.82% 9.09% 1.26% 1.54% 0.27%
Scottish and British only 1.67% 0.15% 18.29% 0.07% 0.09%
Welsh and British only 0.44% 0.11% 0.06% 7.11% 0.02%
Northern Irish and British only 0.22% 0.03% 0.15% 0.02% 6.17%
Other combination of UK identities only (excludes Irish) 0.45% 0.37% 1.01% 1.10% 0.13%
Other identity and at least one UK identity 0.97% 0.90% 1.25% 0.43% 3.05%
Irish only 1.31% 0.64% 0.41% 0.32% 25.26%
Other 6.94% 7.59% 4.01% 3.10% 3.12%
Total 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

Education[edit]

Brayton Church of England Infant School in Brayton, North Yorkshire

Each country of the United Kingdom has a separate education system, with power over education matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being devolved.

The Secretary of State for Education is responsible to the UK Parliament for education in England. Depending on the status of state schools, control of day-to-day administration and funding may be the responsibility of either the local education authorities or the school's own governing institution. Universal state education in England and Wales was introduced for primary level in 1870 and secondary level in 1900.[89] Education is mandatory from ages 5 to 18, raised from 16 (15 if born in late July or August) in 2013. The majority of children are educated in state-sector schools, only a small proportion of which select on the grounds of academic ability. Despite a fall in actual numbers, the proportion of children in England attending private schools rose slightly from 7.1% to 7.3% between 2004 and 2007.[90]

Just over half of students at the leading universities of Cambridge and Oxford had attended state schools.[91] State schools that are allowed to select pupils according to intelligence and academic ability can achieve comparable results to the most selective private schools: out of the top ten performing schools in terms of GCSE results in 2006, two were state-run grammar schools. England has four universities ranked amongst the top ten in the 2011 THES - QS World University Rankings.[92]

In Scotland, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning is responsible to the Scottish Parliament for education, with day-to-day administration and funding of state schools being the responsibility of local authorities. Scotland first legislated for universal provision of education in 1696. The proportion of children in Scotland attending private schools is just over 4%, though it has been rising slowly in recent years.[citation needed] Scottish students who attend Scottish universities pay neither tuition fees nor graduate endowment charges, as the fees were abolished in 2001 and the graduate endowment scheme was abolished in 2008.[93]

The Welsh Government Minister for Education is responsible to the Senedd for education in Wales. One of the most notable distinctive features of education in Wales is the emphasis on the Welsh language – lessons in which are compulsory for all until the age of 16. Whilst a significant minority of students (15.7% in the 2014\15 academic year) are taught primarily through the medium of Welsh.[94]

The Northern Ireland Assembly is responsible for education in Northern Ireland though responsibility at a local level is administered by 5 Education and Library Boards covering different geographical areas.

The UK has some of the top universities in the world with Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College ranked amongst the top 10 in the 2014–15 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The Programme for International Student Assessment coordinated by the OECD currently ranks the overall knowledge and skills of British 15-year-olds as 13th in the world in reading literacy, mathematics, and science with the average British student scoring 503.7, compared with the OECD average of 493.[95]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In fertility rates, 2.1 and above is a stable population and has been marked blue, 2 and below leads to an aging population and the result is that the population decreases.

References[edit]

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