Census 2011: East London boroughs show biggest rise in UK population over last decade

Graphic: Lauren Buljubasic, Source: ONS

Tower Hamlets has seen the largest increase in population in the United Kingdom according to the Census data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Monday’s Census release by the ONS has shown that Tower Hamlets and Newham have seen the largest population increase by percentage of all areas – whether borough, county, district or local authority – in England and Wales in ten years.

Tower Hamlets ranked first with an increase of 24.6 per cent since 2001 with an estimated population of 254, 100 residents as of 22 March last year.

Newham had the second highest rate of population growth with 23.5 per cent, with Hackney in fourth place with an increase in population of 18.9 per cent in ten years.

England and Wales saw a combined population increase of 7.1 per cent, the largest ten-year increase since 1801 when the first census took place. Most areas saw growth over the past 10 years, with the ONS reporting only 17 of 348 areas not seeing any growth.

A spokesperson for the ONS said: “Tower Hamlets and Newham were the only local or unitary authorities to show growth of over 20 per cent, continuing previous growth.  Both grew by over 15 per cent between 1991 and 2001, and both also grew between 1981 and 1991.”

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, cited the impact of the Olympics on the area as the reason for the population rise, saying: “The inclusion of Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Hackney and Newham in the top 10 areas for population growth is, I believe, a reflection of the positive impact of the Olympics in bringing about vibrant new growth to East London.”

However, with Tower Hamlets topping the UK for rates of over crowding, he also acknowledged the challenges of this kind of growth. “I am of course concerned about the demands of supporting a growing population at a time of Government cuts,” he said.

“I’m committed to continuing to support this growth with my plans for 4000 additional new homes and our ongoing work to support our residents, especially the borough’s younger people, into work.”

Graphic: Lauren Buljubasic, Source: ONS

An analysis of ONS data by ELL shows a large number of people between the ages of 20 and 34 reside in the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney, while the borough of Croydon have a resident population that is more stable across age groups.

East London Line boroughs also featured prominently in lists of areas which have a high population density, with three out of the four boroughs featured in the ONS top density table. Hackney and Tower Hamlets featured in third and fourth place respectively; behind Islington, and Kensington and Chelsea in first and second place.

Hackney has 12,930 people per kilometre square and Tower Hamlets is close behind with 12,825 inhabitants per kilometre square. Lewisham placed thirteenth on the list of highest population density of 2011 with 7,839 people per kilometre square.

Interestingly, despite the strong overall population growth reported by the ONS in the 2011 Census release, the ONS said that the 7.5 per cent growth rate in the number of households was second lowest between censuses in the last 100 years. Typical growth is between 8 and 17 per cent and only the period between 1991 and 2001 showed lower growth.

Tower Hamlets saw an increase of 28.2 per cent and Hackney of 18.3 per cent in household growth between 2001 and 2011. These boroughs were the only two London boroughs identified in the top 20 areas across England and Wales for percentage growth in the number of households.

The ONS uses births, deaths and migration data to determine population growth levels. Migration increases account for 56 per cent of the overall increase in population for England and Wales at 2.1 million. The ONS reports 6.6 million births and 5 million deaths for the period between March 2001 and March 2011. This net increase of 1.6 million accounts for the remaining 44 per cent of the total population increase between 2001 and 2001, the ONS report said.

For more information visit www.ons.gov.uk

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