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An overview of the population living in the Bristol Local Authority area is available in the report The Population of Bristol – August 2013. (pdf, 3.4 MB)(opens new window)
The report aims to build a picture of the population of Bristol now and in the future. The report brings together statistics on the current estimated population of Bristol, recent trends in population, future projections and looks at the key characteristics of the people living in Bristol.
The Office for National Statistics published the first results from the 2011 Census in July 2012. For more information about the 2011 Census, including a briefing note about these first results, please go to our Census web page.
- We have a population of about 432,500 - the largest city in the South West.
- We are one of England's eight 'Core Cities'.
- Bristol's population is expected to reach 472,900 people by 2021.
- We have more children under sixteen than people of pensionable age.
- 16% of our population belongs to a black or minority ethnic group.
- We are the 7th largest city in England (not including London) and the 10th largest Local Authority in England and Wales.
The data, together with more information about the estimates, can be found in the following:
- 2012 Mid Year Estimates briefing note (pdf, 328 KB)(opens new window)
- 2012 Mid Year Estimates for Bristol Local Authority (pdf, 44 KB)(opens new window)
- Frequently asked questions about population estimates (pdf, 63 KB)(opens new window)
- Mid-2012 Ward population estimates by broad age band (pdf, 236 KB)(opens new window)
- Mid-2012 LSOA population estimates by broad age band (pdf, 374 KB)(opens new window)
- 2001-2012 Ward population change (pdf, 0.6 MB)(opens new window)
- Somali Community Calculator (pdf, 41 KB)
- Somali Community Profile (pdf, 444 KB)
Small area population estimates can be displayed on a map using our Instant Atlas data tool.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published 2011-based population projections for Bristol:
- Bristol population projections briefing note (pdf, 221 KB)(opens new window)
- 2011-based population projections by broad age band (pdf, 206 KB)(opens new window)
- Note on population projections across England (pdf, 112 KB)(opens new window)
Advice on using the projections
These projections are based on the 2011 population estimates published on 25 September, which take into account results from the 2011 Census. They are trend-based projections, which mean assumptions for future levels of births, deaths and migration are based on observed levels mainly over the 2006 to 2010 period. These projections show what the population will be if the trends assumed continue. The projections do not attempt to predict the impact that future government or local policies, changing economic circumstances, local development policy, the capacity of an area to accommodate population or other factors might have on demographic behaviour.
Projections become increasingly uncertain the further they are carried forward due to the inherent uncertainty of demographic behaviour. This is particularly so for smaller geographical areas such as Local Authorities.
Bristol has concerns about these projections as they do not fully take account of revised inter-censal trends and have produced unreliable and anomalous results for some local authorities across the country. The next set of 2012-based subnational population projections are due to be published by ONS in spring 2014.