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Population overview

This page provides an overview of the total population of Herefordshire using figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Data and further details are available to download at the bottom of the page.

Herefordshire's resident population was 191,000 in mid-2017; an increase of 1,500 people (0.8 per cent) since mid-2016. This is the largest annual growth since 2007-08, although the nine per cent growth seen between 2001 and 2017 is still lower than the 12 per cent growth in the population of England and Wales as a whole.

As usual, net migration (largely immigration) was the sole driver of population growth since there were fewer births than deaths, with 1,000 more people from overseas and 800 people from other parts of the UK moving to the county than there were moving out. There were around 400 fewer births (1,700) than there were deaths (2,100) during the year.

The county has an older age structure than England & Wales as a whole, with 24 per cent of the population aged 65 years or above (45,800 people), compared to 18 per cent nationally.

Drivers of population change

The chart below shows the factors affecting population change in Herefordshire since the turn of the century.Annualpopulationchange
*Other changes comprise further population adjustments, including those to Armed Forces personnel and school borders. This chart and associated data can be downloaded below. Source: Annual Mid-Year Population Estimates for the UK, Office for National Statistics © Crown Copyright 2018

Since the expansion of the EU in 2004, the majority (around 75 per cent) of annual net migration has been from outside the UK. However, 2016-17 saw a return to pre-recession levels of net internal (within-UK) migration.

There have been relatively high numbers of deaths in the last three years, compared with previous years, at around 2,100 per year. A national increase in deaths during 2016-17 was partly attributed to the most dominant type of ‘flu over the winter[1].

Age structure

The chart below shows the age structure of the mid-2017 population for Herefordshire compared with the equivalent for England & Wales.
Agestructure
This chart and associated data can be downloaded below.
Source: Annual Mid-Year Population Estimates for the UK, Office for National Statistics © Crown Copyright 2018

Older people

The county still had an older age structure than England & Wales as a whole in 2017, with 24 per cent of the population aged 65+ (45,800 people), compared to 18 per cent nationally. This includes 6,100 people aged 85+. There were 36 per cent more people aged 65+ than there were in 2001, compared with a 28 per cent increase nationally. The number aged 65-84 is projected to grow at a similar rate as during the last decade, but the number aged 85+ will rise even more rapidly.

Children

There remains a similar proportion of under-16s (17 per cent) as nationally (19 per cent). A fall in the numbers of children throughout the previous decade (2000-09) bottomed out at the beginning of the current decade and is expected to increase slightly until 2026.

Working age

Herefordshire has a lower proportion of younger working age adults (from the age of 16 to mid-forties) compared with England & Wales as a whole, but has a higher proportion of older working age adults (mid-forties to the age of 64). There was a sharp increase in the number of 16 to 64 year olds during the middle of the previous decade (2000-09), largely due to international migration. However, since 2008 numbers have remained fairly level. If recent trends in migration were to continue, natural ageing would see Herefordshire’s working age population gradually fall over the next 20 years, although this does not take account of any planned economic growth.

[1] Office for National Statistics. Population estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: mid- 2017

The population of Herefordshire

 

Underlying data & charts

  • Population of Herefordshire, 2017Population of Herefordshire, 2017
  • Age & gender breakdown of the current official estimate of the population of Herefordshire county, plus a comparison with the national age structure and changes since 2001.
  • 176 Kb
 

Last updated: Friday, July 20, 2018