Census 2021 - England & Wales first results

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the first results of the 2021 England & Wales Census this week at Local Authority District level.

Census 2021 - England & Wales first results

The first release of 2021 Census data included five datasets about population and households for England and Wales at Local Authority District.

  • usual resident population by sex
  • usual resident population by 5-year age group
  • usual resident population by sex and 5-year age group
  • usual resident population density
  • number of households


The ONS have done a great job of estimating the population in the gap between the Censuses. On Census Day, the size of the usual resident population in England and Wales was 59,597,300 which is only a couple of hundred thousand less than estimated.

The population of England was 56,489,800.

The population of Wales was 3,107,500.

Age Profile

The results showed slightly fewer children than the ONS expected meaning there is some over estimation of fertility. There are more 20/30/40 year olds demonstrating an underestimation of net migration and marginally fewer older people indicating an ageing society but not by as much as predicted.

Spatial Pattern - 'Flight to the Country'

The LAD results allow spatial patterns to start to be analysed and hypothesis about 'flight to the country' as an impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. There were ~300,000 less people in inner London and ~300,000 more people in the home countries than projected.

"The mechanisms that created this pattern will only become clear when the full data is released this Autumn (international migration, internal migration, second home usage, student locations), but I am pretty sure this is the 'flight to the country' we all heard anecdotal evidence for." - Blair Freebairn, CEO at Geolytix.

We’ll be publishing the data to an open interactive MAPP instance to display these initial results along with comparisons to the previous Censuses in the next few weeks.

Geolytix Modelled Data

In order to bridge between Censuses we create and annually update our Residential data pack with population and household estimates & projections (5 years forward) at postcode and Output Area.

How good are we at modelling future UK occupied households and population at postcode level?

Extremely good is the answer :)