London party

2021 Census: results show population growth in London areas

10:41 am 29 June 2022

The combined population of England and Wales recorded in last year’s census is the highest ever found by this means, it has been revealed.

A total of 59,597,300 residents – 56,489,800 in England and 3,107,500 in Wales – were registered on Census Day 2021, which fell on March 21.

READ MORE: Can you complete the 2021 census card game?

Census results revealed that this number had increased by more than 3.5 million, or 6.3%, since a total of 56,075,912 residents were registered 10 years ago.

At 6.6%, England’s population grew more broadly than Wales, where the increase was a more modest 1.4%.

While 3.5 million isn’t a small jump, it’s actually less than the increase seen between 2001 and 2011, when the population grew by 4 million people (7.8%).

Use the interactive map below to see how the population has changed where you live.

Demographic change

Population density in England also increased; from 407 inhabitants per km2 in 2011 to 434 in 2021.

Not surprisingly, the most densely populated areas were in London – which had a regional density of 5,598 people per km2, more than 14 times the national average.

The 20 most densely populated boroughs in England and Wales were Tower Hamlets (15,695 people per km2), Islington (14,578 people per km2) and Hackney (13,611 people per km2).

Population density

The aging population has increased in England and Wales.

According to last year’s census, 11.1 million people – 18.6% of the population – were aged 65 and over, up from 9.2 million in 2011.

London, at 11.6%, had the lowest percentage of residents aged 65 and over – but the highest of those aged 15-64 (70%).

At 17.6%, Havering’s over-65 population exceeds London’s regional total by 11.6%.

For those aged 90 and over, this number increased slightly between 2011 and 2021.

A total of 527,900 people fell into this bracket last year, compared to 429,017 a decade ago.


The number of households – defined as those with at least one usual resident – has also increased over the past ten years.

There were 24,782,800 households in England and Wales on Census Day last year, up 6.1% from 2011.

According to the 2021 census, this represented an additional 1.4 million households.

Notably, the number of households increased by 19% in Tower Hamlets and 13.8% in Newham.

Number of households

The image of London

According to cross-party group London Councils, the capital’s results should be taken with a grain of salt.

Saying the number of Londoners has likely been significantly underestimated, the group warned this could impact future funding allocations for public services.

Its president, Cllr Georgia Gould, said: “The 2021 census took place under the extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic and a national lockdown, so this snapshot data should be treated with extreme caution.”

To ensure fairness, the group says adjustments must be made to reflect the temporary drop in population caused by the pandemic.