Census and Population

The English and Welsh census takes place every ten years. It provides a wealth of information about population numbers and characteristics. The census underpins the allocation of billions of pounds of public money.

The latest Census was held on 21 March 2021. At census date, Sheffield had a population of 556,500 individuals, in 232,000 households. This is 0.7% higher than at the 2011 census (552,698).

Sheffield has a bulge in population in the 20 to 24 age group due to the significant student population at the city’s two universities, however numbers of people in this age group have declined in comparison with 2011. There are also fewer people in the 40 to 49 age group, but more in the 50 to 59 age group.

50.6% of Sheffield’s population is female compared to 49.6% in 2011, with the difference mostly a result of larger numbers of females in 75+ age groups.

Having fallen in the 1980s, Sheffield’s population has grown since the 1990s although the rate of growth has slowed since 2011.

Census 2021 output release plans

The information released so far is only a small fraction of the total outputs from the 2021 Census. 

From October 2022 to the end of the year, the Office for National Statistics will publish a series of data and supporting commentary groups by a similar theme, known as topic summaries. Topic summaries in publication order are:

  • demography and migration
  • ethnic group, national identity, language, and religion
  • UK armed forces veterans
  • housing
  • labour market and travel to work
  • sexual orientation and gender identity
  • education
  • health, disability, and unpaid care

The final phase of data release will take place between spring and summer 2023. This will include data about workplaces, smaller populations and migration patterns.

Further information about census release plans is available on the ONS website.

Sheffield Local Insight

More data about Sheffield’s population is available via Sheffield Local Insight. Local Insight will be updated with 2021 census data within one week of it being published.

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