Harborough has seen one of the largest population growths in the country

The new census figures paint an interesting picture of our district

The census takes place every 10 years, with every household in the UK required to take part.
The census takes place every 10 years, with every household in the UK required to take part.

Harborough has seen one of the largest population growths in the country.

This is according to the latest census data which have just been released.

On census day, 97,600 people were living in the Harborough district – up 14 per cent from 85,382 in 2011, when the last census was carried out.

This also means the population density has grown to 165 usual residents per square kilometre, up from 144 in 2011.

This is the 17th highest increase in the country.

The census is crucial for the UK’s statisticians to understand how our population is changing, and plays a vital role in how our public services and government operate.

It shows the balance of men and women in the area has stayed the same since 2011 – Harborough’s population is 49.6 per cent male and 50.5 per cent female, close to what it was 10 years ago.

It also shows the area is aging – a decade ago the population was made up of 11.3 per cent under-10s and 18.3 per cent over-65s, but this had changed to 10.3 per cent and 22.1 per cent respectively by 2021.

Across England and Wales, the total population grew 6.3 per cent over the past decade, from 56,075,912 in 2011 to 59,597,300 last year.

This included a 7.7 per cent increase in the East Midlands, where the population rose to 4,880,200 from 4,533,222 in 2011.

There were 24.8 million households in England and Wales on census day 2021, up from 23.4 million in 2011, with an average of 2.4 people in each household – the same as in 2011.

Historic populations of Harborough:

1981: 60,654

1991: 67,607

2001: 76,557

2011: 85,382

2021: 97,600

Historic populations of the East Midlands:

1981: 3,782,137

1991: 3,953,372

2001: 4,172,174

2011: 4,533,222

2021: 4,880,200

How do official population figures compare to estimates?

ONS statisticians estimated there were 95,537 people of all ages living in Harborough as of mid-2020 – below the 2021 census figure of 97,600.

Snapshot data from the census in March 2021 tells us there were 21,600 (22.1 per cent) over-65s living in the area, showing little difference to the 20,998 (22 per cent) estimated by the ONS.

There are more males in Harborough than estimated by the ONS – 2021 census results revealed 48,400 males (49.6 per cent) were usual residents, while the mid-2020 prediction was 47,084 (49.3 per cent).

The latest estimates suggested there were 48,453 (50.7 per cent) females in the area, and on census day, 49,300 (50.5 per cent) said Harborough was their home.

The 2020 mid-year population estimate for England and Wales as a whole stood at 59.7 million – very close to the 2021 census figure of 59.6 million.

The ONS noted that population change in certain areas "may reflect how the coronavirus pandemic affected people’s choice of usual residence on census day".

“These changes might have been temporary for some and more long-lasting for others," it added.

The ONS says population statistics are “vital in making a range of decisions and informing public debate".