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2021 Census: First results

Population and Household estimates from the 2021 Census

Headlines

  • Surrey population has increased to 1,203,100 – 6.2% increase on 2011 Census. This growth rate is lightly lower than England as a whole (6.6%).
  • All borough / district councils exhibited population growth varying from 2.4% (Mole Valley) to 9.5% (Reigate and Banstead).
  • Population density across Surrey is 724 usual residents per square kilometre.  This varies between borough / district councils from a low of 333 (Mole Valley) to a high of 2,374 (Epsom and Ewell).
  • Surrey saw population decreases for the under 4s (-8.0%), those aged 35-49 (-9.2%), and amongst those aged 60-64 (-0.7%) but an increase in all other 5-year age bands.
  • Large percentage increases were seen in our older population: 34.0% growth in those aged 70-74, 18.2% growth in those aged 75-79, and 14.5% growth in those aged 80 and above.
  • Total population has grown faster than the number of households, so average household size has increased. Across Surrey there were 481,800 households – a growth of 5.7% relative to the 2011 Census.
  • All borough / district councils exhibited an increase in households varying from 3.4% (Guildford) to 7.9% (Reigate and Banstead).

The raw data from this Census release has been processed by the Population Insight Team and is available here.

Contents

Total population

Age

Gender

Key Age groups

Households and household size

Total population

The usually resident population of Surrey, counted by the 2021 Census, was 1,203,100. This represents an increase of 70,710 (6.2%) since 2011. All borough / district councils showed growth since 2011, with the highest growth seen in Reigate and Banstead (9.5%) and the lowest in Mole Valley (2.4%).

Table 1: Population change by local authority

Area name All persons – 2021 All persons – 2011 Change from 2011 to 2021:
All persons
Percentage change from 2011 to 2021:
All persons
England 56,489,800 53,012,456 3,477,344 6.6%
South East 9,278,100 8,634,750 643,350 7.5%
Surrey 1,203,100 1,132,390 70,710 6.2%
Elmbridge 138,800 130,875 7,925 6.1%
Epsom and Ewell 80,900 75,102 5,798 7.7%
Guildford 143,600 137,183 6,417 4.7%
Mole Valley 87,400 85,375 2,025 2.4%
Reigate and Banstead 150,900 137,835 13,065 9.5%
Runnymede 88,100 80,510 7,590 9.4%
Spelthorne 103,000 95,598 7,402 7.7%
Surrey Heath 90,500 86,144 4,356 5.1%
Tandridge 87,900 82,998 4,902 5.9%
Waverley 128,200 121,572 6,628 5.5%
Woking 103,900 99,198 4,702 4.7%

Age

The largest 5 year cohort across Surrey are those aged 50-54 years, with a population of 87,300.

The fastest growing cohort compared to previous Census are those aged 70-74, with a growth of 34% (an additional 14,834 persons). This group reflects the post-WWII baby boom. Other older age groups have also increased: those aged 75-79 by 18.2%, and those aged 80 or older by 14.5%. At a local authority level, the largest increases in older people are: 44.4% increase in the 70-74 age group in Reigate and Banstead; 28.3% increase in 75-79 year olds in Tandridge; and, 37.5% increase in those aged 80 or above in Surrey Heath.

The amount of the Surrey population aged 4 or below has decreased by 8.0% since the previous Census. A similar level decrease (-7.3%) was observed across England, indicating that birth rates have fallen since 2016/17. This age group has fallen in all areas other than Runnymede (where it remained unchanged), with the largest decrease observed in Guildford, which saw a 17.4% reduction in the number of preschool children across the past decade.

Table 2: Surrey population by 5 year age group

Age 2021 Census 2011 Census change % change
All persons 1,203,100 1,132,390 70,710 6.2%
Aged 4 years and under 65,600 71,306 -5,706 -8.0%
Aged 5 to 9 years 74,100 65,841 8,259 12.5%
Aged 10 to 14 years 76,500 67,566 8,934 13.2%
Aged 15 to 19 years 69,800 67,676 2,124 3.1%
Aged 20 to 24 years 63,500 61,519 1,981 3.2%
Aged 25 to 29 years 62,900 62,154 746 1.2%
Aged 30 to 34 years 72,700 71,859 841 1.2%
Aged 35 to 39 years 79,100 81,033 -1,933 -2.4%
Aged 40 to 44 years 84,700 87,659 -2,959 -3.4%
Aged 45 to 49 years 86,600 89,727 -3,127 -3.5%
Aged 50 to 54 years 87,300 76,646 10,654 13.9%
Aged 55 to 59 years 84,300 65,559 18,741 28.6%
Aged 60 to 64 years 68,900 69,379 -479 -0.7%
Aged 65 to 69 years 56,700 54,273 2,427 4.5%
Aged 70 to 74 years 58,400 43,566 14,834 34.0%
Aged 75 to 79 years 44,500 37,650 6,850 18.2%
Aged 80 and over 67,500 58,977 8,523 14.5%

Gender

Overall, 51.2% of Surrey’s population is female. This is slightly above the national position for England of 51.0%, reflecting our older population structure. Tandridge (at 51.8% female) has the largest female population proportion, and Woking (at 50.3%) the lowest female proportion amongst our borough and district councils.

The proportion of residents who are female generally increases with age: 48.8% of those aged 4 or under are female, compared to two thirds (67.6%) of those aged 90 or older.

Figure 1: Proportion of Surrey population who are female, by 5 year age group

Figure 2: Surrey population by 5 year age group and sex (‘population pyramid’)

Key Age groups

Across Surrey, fewer than a quarter of residents were aged 19 or under (23.8%), with roughly 6 in 10 of ‘working age’ (20-64 years, 57.4%), and just under a fifth (18.9%) being ‘older people’ (aged 65 or above).

Amongst borough and districts, Elmbridge had the highest proportion of younger residents (at 25.6%), and Mole Valley the lowest (21.4%).

Woking had the highest proportion of ‘working age’ residents (59.3%) and Waverley the lowest (54.1%).

Mole Valley had the highest proportion of ‘older people’ at 23.8%; Woking had the lowest (16.5%).

Table 3: Proportion of population by broad age, for each local authority

Area name Total population ‘Children’ (aged 0-19 years) ‘Working age’ (aged 20-64 years) ‘Older people’ (aged 65 or above) % ‘Children’ % ‘Working age’ % ‘Older people’
England 56,489,800 13,057,600 33,030,900 10,401,200 23.1% 58.5% 18.4%
South East 9,278,100 2,140,500 5,333,300 1,804,300 23.1% 57.5% 19.4%
Surrey 1,203,100 286,000 690,000 227,100 23.8% 57.4% 18.9%
Elmbridge 138,800 35,600 78,300 24,800 25.6% 56.4% 17.9%
Epsom and Ewell 80,900 19,900 46,400 14,600 24.6% 57.4% 18.0%
Guildford 143,600 33,600 85,000 25,100 23.4% 59.2% 17.5%
Mole Valley 87,400 18,700 47,800 20,800 21.4% 54.7% 23.8%
Reigate and Banstead 150,900 36,600 87,500 26,800 24.3% 58.0% 17.8%
Runnymede 88,100 20,900 51,900 15,100 23.7% 58.9% 17.1%
Spelthorne 103,000 23,600 60,600 18,600 22.9% 58.8% 18.1%
Surrey Heath 90,500 20,500 52,100 17,800 22.7% 57.6% 19.7%
Tandridge 87,900 20,800 48,800 18,400 23.7% 55.5% 20.9%
Waverley 128,200 30,900 69,400 28,000 24.1% 54.1% 21.8%
Woking 103,900 25,000 61,600 17,100 24.1% 59.3% 16.5%

Households and Household size

The total number of households in Surrey, established by the 2021 Census, was 481,800. This is an increase of 26,009 (5.7%) since the previous Census.

The imputed average Household size (mean average of residents per household) was 2.50 for Surrey – a higher value than for England as a whole. Amongst borough and district councils, average Household size varies from 2.36 in Mole Valley to 2.58 (Epsom and Ewell).

Surrey as a whole, and all local authorities, saw an increase in average Household size compared to the previous Census.

Table 4: Household numbers and average household size

Area name All usual residents 2021 Number of households with at least one usual resident (2021) Average Household size (people per household)
England 56,489,800 23,435,700 2.41
South East 9,278,100 3,807,900 2.44
Surrey 1,203,100 481,800 2.50
Elmbridge 138,800 55,600 2.50
Epsom and Ewell 80,900 31,300 2.58
Guildford 143,600 55,800 2.57
Mole Valley 87,400 37,100 2.36
Reigate and Banstead 150,900 59,800 2.52
Runnymede 88,100 34,800 2.53
Spelthorne 103,000 41,800 2.46
Surrey Heath 90,500 36,000 2.51
Tandridge 87,900 35,600 2.47
Waverley 128,200 52,400 2.45
Woking 103,900 41,400 2.51

The raw data from this Census release has been processed by the Population Insight Team and is available here.