Population overview

This page provides an overview of the total population of Herefordshire using figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS); including information about recent and predicted total population growth and age structure.  Data and further details are available to download at the bottom of the page.

Note - In March 2018 the ONS published revised population estimates which replace the mid-2012 through to mid-2016 estimates reported on here. The revised estimates incorporate a wider range of administrative and survey data than previously, resulting in an upward revision of around 200 people in Herefordshire, from 189,300 to 189,500. These revisions will be published on Facts & Figures following publication of the mid-2017 population estimates in June 2018.

  • The current (mid-2016) estimate of the county's resident population is 189,300 people.

  • 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 (44,800 people), compared to 18 per cent nationally.

  • The total population of Herefordshire has grown by eight per cent between 2001 and 2016, which is less than the 12 per cent growth in the population of England and Wales overall. This growth has been entirely due to net in-migration (largely immigration).

Total population growth

Herefordshire's resident population was 189,300 in mid-2016; an increase of 1,200 people (0.6 per cent) since mid-2015. This latest increase is largely due to migration, with 1,200 people from overseas and 300 people from other parts of the UK taking up residence in the county. There were around 300 fewer births than there were deaths during the year.

Net annual growth had been gradually declining since mid-2011, but increased during the year ending mid-2016 to a similar level seen five years ago; however, growth remains lower than during the three years immediately following the eastward expansion of the European Union (EU) in 2004.

Herefordshire's population grew by eight per cent between 2001 and 2016, which is less than the 12 per cent growth in the population of England and Wales as a whole.

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 2017

As there have been fewer births than deaths over the period, growth in Herefordshire's population has been entirely due to net in-migration (i.e. more people moving into the county than moving out). Since the expansion of the EU in 2004, the majority (around 75 per cent) of annual net migration has been from outside the UK.

Age structure

The chart below shows the age structure of the mid-2016 population for Herefordshire compared with the equivalent for England & Wales.
This chart and associated data can be downloaded below.
Source: Annual Mid-Year Population Estimates for the UK, Office for National Statistics © Crown Copyright 2017

Older people

As shown in the population pyramid above, the county still had an older age structure than England & Wales as a whole in 2016, with 24 per cent of the population aged 65+ (44,800 people), compared to 18 per cent nationally. This includes 6,000 people aged 85+. There were 33 per cent more people aged 65+ than there were in 2001, compared with a 26 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.


There remains a similar proportion of under-16s (17 per cent) as nationally (19 per cent). Numbers of children have declined by around seven per cent over the last decade. However, the number of under-fives and births has been rising for the best part of the last decade. The next 10 years are expected to yield a gradual increase in the numbers of children.

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 decade, largely due to international migration. However, since 2008 numbers have been gradually declining due to relatively lower migration levels and since 2010 by the post-war 'baby-boomers' moving into retirement age. 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 factor in economic growth.

The population of Herefordshire


Underlying data & charts

  • Population of Herefordshire, 2016Population of Herefordshire, 2016
  • 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.
  • 396 Kb

Last updated: Thursday, June 14, 2018