The population of Bristol was estimated to be 472,400 people on Census Day, 21 March 2021.


Bristol is the largest city in the South West and one of the 11 ‘Core Cities' in the United Kingdom.

Bristol was the fastest growing of all the Core Cities in England and Wales over the last 10 years.

Future population trends are currently uncertain both in Bristol and nationally due to:

  • the impacts of COVID-19
  • Brexit
  • the war in Ukraine
  • the economic crisis and the global climate emergency

Initial Census 2021 results

You can find a summary of the initial results from the Census 2021, including population estimates by age and sex on our Census 2021 page.

More detailed Census 2021 results will be published later in 2022.

An updated population of Bristol report will be produced in early 2023 which will include more detailed analysis of revised population trends.

Population by Equalities Group

The main sources of equalities statistics for the Bristol population can be found in the briefing note:  pdf Equalities Statistics for Bristol what is available and where to get it? (569 KB)

The briefing note includes the latest data available, together with information about each of the data sources. Information is included on:

  • age
  • sex
  • ethnic group
  • religion
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity
  • marital status
  • pregnancy

Population projections

The latest population projections for the Bristol local authority area are the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2018: based population projections:

Advice on using the projections

These projections published on 24 March 2020 are based on the 2018 mid-year population estimates.

The projections are trend-based projections, which mean assumptions for future levels of births, deaths and migration are based on observed levels mainly over the last five years.

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.

Future population projections are uncertain. Current events including the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the EU, the war in Ukraine, the new Hong Kong British National Overseas visa, the economic crisis and the global climate emergency – and their potential impacts on our economy and society, are not reflected in the current 2018-based population projections.

New 2021-based subnational population projections and household projections will be published by ONS in Spring or Summer 2023. These projections will use Census 2021 data and revised trends to re-base the projections.