Census 2021

The Population and household estimates, England and Wales: Census 2021, unrounded data, published on 2nd November 2022, show that the total population for the Lancashire-12 area on 21st March 2021 was 1,235,354. The district with the highest population was Preston at 147,835 and that with the lowest was Ribble Valley at 61,561. In the neighbouring unitary authority of Blackburn with Darwen the population figure of 154,739 exceeded that of Preston. The number of households shown for the Lancashire-12 area was 525,247, with 59,978 in Lancaster and 59,607 in Preston. There were 64,789 in the neighbouring unitary authority of Blackpool. The population density in the Lancashire-12 area was 427 persons per square kilometre, which was very close to the England figure.

Change from Census 2011

In all of the districts covered by the Lancashire-12 area the population has risen since the 2011 Census. The rise in Chorley was 9.9% compared to just 1.9% in Hyndburn and South Ribble. The overall increase in population in the Lancashire-12 area was 5.5%, lower than the England rise of 6.6%. Only in Blackpool has the population fallen. The number of households in Lancashire-12 has risen by 5.8% over the ten years, again lower than the England rise of 6.2%. Households in Chorley increased by 11.6% and in Ribble Valley by 11.2%. The ONS interactive tool shows that Chorley was one of only a few authorities where the 65 and over population rose by more than 30% between the Censuses. The rise in Chorley was 34.7%, compared to 20.1% in England. The under 15s increased by more than 10% in Chorley (10.2%), Pendle (12.3%) and Burnley (14%).

Interactive reports

Further details, including figures for males and females and 5 year age bands are given in the Microsoft Power BI report below. The ONS has also provided an interactive report giving detailed analysis of the change for local authorities, comparing them with near neighbours, the national picture and areas which have seen most change. This can be found in the related websites panel. LG Inform have further collated the figures for the county of Lancashire (Lancashire-12) and have provided a detailed interactive report and we have placed a link to this as well in the related websites panel.

Differences between the Census 2021 and 2020 mid-year estimates for Lancashire

We have compared the Census 2021 estimates with the mid-year population estimates which were published in June 2021. The results can also be seen in the Microsoft Power BI report below. It is interesting particularly because the estimate for 2020 gave Lancaster a bigger population than Preston. These two, and also Hyndburn and Fylde, have 'swapped places' in terms of population size order when looking at the 2021 Census estimates. Lancaster is over 5,000 down while Preston is nearly 4,000 up on the 2020 estimate. It is believed that the Covid-19 pandemic may have had an effect during the lockdown periods, which included the Census Night itself. In particular higher education students, who would normally live in halls of residence or other accommodation near to their university or college, might not have been able to travel. ONS have made attempts to adjust figures for students from England and Wales, but this might not have been possible for overseas students. Both Lancaster and Preston are home to major universities, so we might have expected similar effects in both districts. In the 'notes' on the ONS interactive report page we read:

Population change in certain areas may reflect how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected people's choice of usual residence on Census Day, for example, students and in some urban areas.

Interactive report for the Lancashire-14 area

The Phase 1 - Census 2021 topic summaries contains unrounded household figures and population figures split into by single year of age and sex. It is for local authorities, counties, regions and countries and smaller geographies: middle layer super output areas, lower layer super output areas and census output areas (England and Wales only).

Ward level data became available from January 30th, 2023.

From 28th March 2023 the Census data became available in multivariate tables, where two different Census topics are combined. The format was more sophisticated than for the previous Census in that the user can choose the level of detail needed for each variable, as well as the geographic extent, hence avoiding downloading files that were larger than required. ONS also made available a Census data tool which allowed the use to choose any two variables as well as the level of detail and geographic extent. Users who prefer to select from a list of 'Ready Made' tables can find these on the NOMISWEB website.

Page updated 20th April 2023.