The Office for National Statistics (ONS) today released their annual mid-year population estimates for 2006, along with revised population estimates for the years, 2002 to 2005. These have been published as a result of a substantial and long-term programme of work to improve the population statistics ONS produces.
The population of the United Kingdom now stands at 60.6 million, with 50.8 million living in England. The population of Warwickshire is 522,200 – an increase of 3,300 people (or 0.6%) on the mid-2005 figure of 518,900. This rate of growth is in line with that experienced at a national level (0.6% growth) but greater than that at regional level (0.3% growth).
Since 2002, the County population has grown at a relatively fast rate compared to the rest of the West Midlands Region, although population growth has occurred most rapidly in South Warwickshire. The majority of this increase in population has been due to positive net in-migration. This is comprised of migration from elsewhere in the U.K. and migration from overseas.
Warwick District has experienced the greatest rate of population growth within the County with a 4.4% increase between 2002 and 2006. Over 40% of Warwickshire’s total population growth over the same period took place in Warwick District and its’ mid-2006 estimate is now 132,900. In terms of population change between 2002 and 2006, Warwick district is ranked as the 50th fastest growing local authority in England (out of 354 local authorities) and the 2nd fastest growing in the West Midlands Region.
In Stratford-on-Avon, significant levels of net in-migration from other parts of the U.K. have contributed to a mid-2006 population of 116,100 – an increase of 3.5% on the mid-2002 estimate.
Rugby Borough has also experienced modest population growth, with an increase of 2.3% between 2002 and 2006. The current population estimate for Rugby is now 90,200.
The population of Nuneaton & Bedworth has remained fairly stable since 2002. The Borough’s population has increased by 1% and has now reached 120,700. North Warwickshire’s current population also continues to remain relatively static at 62,300 with natural change and net-migration resulting in only a 0.8% increase between 2002 and 2006.
Warwickshire has a typically ageing population. This is the result of declines both in fertility rates and in the mortality rate. This has led to a declining proportion of the population aged under 15 and an increasing proportion aged 65 and over. In the County, the number of people aged 65 and over has increased by 4,300 or 5.2% between 2002 and 2006 whilst the number aged under 15 has decreased by 1,200 or 1.3% over the same period.
Cllr Alan Farnell, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: "These figures provide us with crucial information in planning our future priority needs and this can clearly be seen with our work in planning for the various issues surrounding an ageing population in the county. It is crucial that we move with the times, and remain one step ahead of these trends where possible.
"Of course, with population growth such as we’ve seen in Warwick District, there are many other issues, such as increased traffic congestion, which we are always looking at and working on ways to tackle, including sustainable schemes with cycle ways and improved public transport.”