Written by Will Grimond, Data Reporter

THE first results of the 2021 census are in – and they show South Somerset has seen its population swell over the last decade.

The census takes place every 10 years, with every household in the UK required to take part.

The latest snapshot of England and Wales was captured on March 21 2021.

Now the first results have been released – and there’s been a rise in the number of people living in South Somerset.

On census day, 172,700 people were living in the area – up 7 per cent from 161,243 in 2011, when the last census was carried out.

This also means the population density has grown to 180 usual residents per square kilometre, up from 168 in 2011.


The census is crucial for the UK’s statisticians to understand how our population is changing, and plays a vital role in how our public services and government operate.

It shows the balance of men and women in the area has changed – South Somerset’s population is now 48.9 per cent male and 51.1 per cent female, meaning there is now a slightly higher proportion of women in the area than 10 years ago.

In 2011, people living in South Somerset were 49.1 per cent male and 50.9 per cent female.

It also shows the area is aging – a decade ago the population was made up of 10.6 per cent under-10s and 21.6 per cent over-65s, but this had changed to 10 per cent and 25.5% respectively by 2021.

Across England and Wales, the total population grew 6.3 per cent over the past decade, from 56,075,912 in 2011 to 59,597,300 last year.

This included a 7.8 per cent increase in the South West, where the population rose to 5,701,200 from 5,288,935 in 2011.

There were 24.8 million households in England and Wales on census day 2021, up from 23.4 million in 2011, with an average of 2.4 people in each household – the same as in 2011.

Historic populations of South Somerset:

1981: 129,288
1991: 141,655
2001: 150,972
2011: 161,243
2021: 172,700

Historic populations of the South West:

1981: 4,251,941
1991: 4,609,424
2001: 4,928,434
2011: 5,288,935
2021: 5,701,200

National census map