In 2001, the population
of the United
Kingdom was recorded
just under 59 million people.
5.1 million 9% UK population
2.9 million 5% UK population
N Ireland 1.7
million 3% UK population
Source: National Statistics
on the 2001 Census is available from the Government
Statistics website, http://www.statistics.gov.uk
Since 1951, the
population has grown by 17 per cent. This is lower
than the average growth for countries in the European
Union (which is 23 per cent), and much smaller than
some other countries, such as the USA
(80 per cent), and Australia
(133 per cent).
The UK birth rate was at an all time low in 2002 and,
although it rose slightly in 2003, Britain now has an ageing population.
For the first time, people aged 60 and over form a
larger part of the population than children under
16. There is also a record
number of people aged 85 and over.
Although there has
been a general increase in population in the UK over the last 20 years, the growth
has not been uniform, and some areas, such as the
North East and North West of England have experienced
A census of the population in Britain has been taken every ten years since 1801
(with the exception of 1941, when Britain was at war). The next census
will be in 2011.
When a census takes
place, a census form is delivered to households throughout
the country, and by law must be completed. The form
asks for a lot of information to ensure that official
statistics about the population are accurate, but
is all completely confidential and anonymous as regards
each individual. Only after 100 years can the records
be consulted freely.
The largest ethnic minority in Britain are people
of Indian descent. These are followed by those of
Pakistani descent, of mixed ethnic descent, Black
Caribbean descent, Black African descent, and Bangladeshi
descent. Together these groups make up 7.9 per cent
of the UK population.
Today, about half
the members of the African Caribbean, Pakistani, Indian,
and Bangladeshi communities were born in Britain.
Considerable numbers of people of Chinese, Italian,
Greek and Turkish Cypriot, Polish, Australian, Canadian,
New Zealand and American descent are also resident
within the UK.
White 54.2 million
Mixed 0.7 million 1.2% UK
Asian or Asian British
million 1.8% UK population
0.7 million 1.3% UK population
million 0.5% UK population
Other Asian 0.2
million 0.4% UK population
Black or Black British
Black Caribbean 0.6 million 1.0% UK population
Black African 0.5
million 0.8% UK population
Black Other 0.1
million 0.2% UK population
million 0.4% UK population
0.2 million 0.4% UK population
Source: National Statistics from the 2001 census
Where do people live?
Most members of ethnic minority groups live in England, where
they make up nine per cent of the total population.
This compares with two per cent each in Wales
and Scotland, and less than one per cent in Northern Ireland.
45 per cent of the population of
ethnic minorities live in the London
area, where they comprise 29 per cent of all residents.
Most other members of ethnic minorities in Britain
live in one of four other areas: the West Midlands,
the South East, the North West, and Yorkshire