The population of Bristol

The population of Bristol

The population of Bristol is estimated to be 465,900 people. Bristol is the largest city in the South West and one of the ten ‘Core Cities’ in Great Britain


An overview of the population living in the Bristol Local Authority area is available in the report:

The population of Bristol, December 2021 (pdf, 9.1MB) (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.

Some facts about Bristol's population

  • We have a population of about  465,900; the largest city in the South West.
  • We are one of Great Britain's ten 'Core Cities'.
  • Bristol's population is expected to reach half a million by 2031.
  • We have more children under sixteen than people of pensionable age.
  • 16% of our population belongs to a black or minority ethnic group.

Population by Equalities Group

The main sources of equalities statistics for the Bristol population can be found in the briefing note: Equalities Statistics for Bristol what is available and where to get it? (pdf, 555KB) (opens new window)

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

Data documents

The data, together with more information about the estimates, can be found in the following:

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.

These projections show what the population will be if the trends assumed continue. They provide the best estimates of the future population of English regions and local authorities currently available.

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 and detailed age and sex breakdowns.

The projected resident population of an area includes all people who usually live there, whatever their nationality.

People moving into or out of the country are only included in the resident population if their total stay in that area is for 12 months or more, and so visitors and short-term migrants are not included. Armed forces stationed abroad are not included, but armed forces stationed within an area are included. Students are taken to be resident at their term-time address.