Youthful Birmingham revealed in Census 2011 results

The Office of National Statistics has released data from the 2011 census which give a fascinating insight into Birmingham and the wider West Midlands on census day March 27 2011.

Birmingham's population has increased to 1,073,000 while the former West Midlands County has grown to 2,738,100,; Birmingham is  made up of 1,051,400 Household Residents and 21,700 Communal Establishment Residents,

The West Midlands region has also increased 6 per cent from 2001 increasing from 5.3 to 5.6 million people, West Midlands population rises by 300,000.

Birmingham continues to be a very young city with 29 per cent of the population aged 19 and under and only 13 per cent of Birmingham's population aged 65 and over.  Birmingham also has the largest average household size in the region with 2.6 people.

All local authorities in the West Midlands grew in population. The largest growth was in Rugby (14 per cent) and the smallest growth was 0.3 per cent in North Warwickshire which also had the smallest population (62,000).

Birmingham was the largest local authority by population in the whole of England and Wales with 1.1 million people, an increase of 88,000 (9 per cent) between 2001 and 2011. Birmingham is the only local authority in England and Wales with a population greater than a million.

Birmingham was also the most densely populated local authority in the region with 4,000 people per square kilometre, which equates to 40 people on a rugby pitch. The least densely populated was the County of Herefordshire, with 88 people per square kilometre.

The following image, reproduced from the Census website:, shows Birmingham and the West Midlands with 2001 figures for comparison in outline.

Not all the data from the census has been released yet and it will be interesting to see the continuing ethnic diversity of the city as predicted in 2011 by researchers, Celebrating Birmingham Diverse-City

The figures revealed so far show a youthful city which is expected to be richly diverse but they also highlight the need for a clear focus on employment opportunities.  Currently 49,767 or 12 per cent of the workforce are unemployed and a recent  study has predicted that 2025 Birmingham could see a gap between vacancies and those needing jobs of 143,000 and will need to create at least 127,000 jobs if it is to rise above the national average for employment, Birmingham facing 2020 jobs crisis, claims city council report.

Also linked to the need to think about employment in youthful Birmingham is the question of identity facing Birmingham.  Perhaps it was deliberate timing or more fortuitous timing that four days prior to the launch of the census data the Birmingham Mail raised the City Council's soul searching question of What makes us Brummies? Birmingham City Council on a mission to find out.

My subsequent post will discuss this question and also linked to the census results the question raised by the Centre for Cities of "What happened to the 'City of a Thousand Trades?'.


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