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2011 Census
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What is the Census and why is it done?

The census is carried out every ten years. The first census in England and Wales took place in 1801 to help plan for the future and has been carried out every ten years ever since (except in 1941 during the Second World War). In England and Wales the census is planned and carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The census results help government and local authorities to plan the services and resources people need, such as transport, housing, health care and education. The amount of money the council has to spend on these important services over the next ten years is directly influenced by population statistics from the census. That’s why it is so important that everyone takes part.

2011 Census - First release of statistics

The first results from the 2011 Census were published 16th July 2012 and show that over 61,000 more people are living in Norfolk now compared with the previous census in 2001.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) carried out the Census and a follow-up coverage survey and produced initial results for population, households, household residents and short term residents, along with information on the quality of the response area by area.

In 2011, Norfolk’s population was estimated to be 857,900, an increase of 61,200 from 2001.  All local authorities in the County increased in population, the highest being South Norfolk (which gained 13,300) and King’s Lynn & West Norfolk (12,200).  The lowest increase was in North Norfolk (3,100).

In the East of England Region:

  • Most local authorities increased in population;
  • North Norfolk had the largest proportion of people aged 65 and over in the Region (29%), the smallest proportion of people aged 19 and under (19%) and the smallest increase in under fives (4%). The proportion aged 65 and over was the third highest of all local authorities in England and Wales;
  • Norwich had the lowest average household size (2.1);
  • Breckland was the least densely populated (100 people per square kilometre).

These population changes are broadly in line with expectations; notably in Norwich, where recent population estimates from ONS had suggested that growth over the last few years was much less than originally thought.  In King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, however, the recent estimates would have indicated a figure around 2,000 lower than the final Census result.

Norfolk has more older people than in 2001 – all age groups 55 and over increased, in particular ages 60-64 and 60-69, and there was also a significant increase in 20-24 year olds, though there are fewer children aged 5-14 and fewer adults in their thirties.

There are 372,100 households in Norfolk, with an average household size of 2.26 (the figures vary from 2.34 in Breckland to 2.12 in Norwich).  This is 29,000 more households than in 2001, though average household size has only fallen marginally, from 2.27.

Norfolk achieved high estimated response rates to the Census of around 96%, compared with 95% for each of Suffolk, Essex and Hertfordshire.

On 24 September ONS released these first releases unrounded, as well as additional detail of single year of age by sex at local authority level.

On 22 October ONS published information on the number of people who have a second address, reason for use and the local authority of that second address.

On 23 November, for the third phase of the first release ONS will be publishing population estimates at output area and ward level by five year age bands and sex, and estimates of occupied households. This release will provide the estimates initially released in July at a lower geographic level.

Where can I find out more?

2011 Census - Second release of statistics

Key and univariate statistics
The second phase release of 2011 Census statistics will take place between December 2012 and the end of March 2013. The four phases are:

  • On 11 December, 35 Key Statistics and 9 Quick Statistics tables for local authorities.
  • On 30 January 2013, 35 Key Statistics and all 71 Quick Statistics tables for output areas, LSOAs, MSOAs, wards, the larger parishes, Parliamentary Constituencies.
  • On 19 February 2013, the same 106 tables for postcode sectors, districts and areas, and health areas; and Key Statistics for national parks.
  • On 26 March 2013, tables for the non-UK short-term residents (economic activity, country of birth and passports held) and by sex and five-year age groups; and also Quick Statistics tables on passports held, national identity and country of birth. All will be to local authority level except table QS213EW Country of Birth (expanded) which will be to regional level.
Examples of tables include:

Usual resident population
Age structure
Living arrangements
Marital and civil partnership status
Country of birth
Ethnic group
Health and provision of unpaid care
Economic activity
Hours worked
Household language
Passports held
National identity
Length of residency in the UK

The statistics in the February release are a new presentation of the data released as part of the Key Statistics and Quick Statistics for output areas in England and Wales that were published 30 January 2013. They provide new best fit aggregations of these statistics for health administration areas and postcode sectors in England and Wales. The estimates are best-fitted from output areas in line with the Geography Policy for National Statistics.

Following the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which will abolish Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities s on 31 March 2013, new look-up files and new best-fit statistics will be made available for the restructured health geography in England later in 2013.

Postal geography is used as a common basis for organising information collected in the public and private sectors, and census results for postal areas are provided to support this wider use. 2011 Census estimates of the number of usual residents by sex, and the number of households with at least one usual resident, for unit postcodes in England and Wales will also be released later in 2013. We will aggregate these estimates for all Norfolk parishes including the 51 small parishes not counted separately in the January release of Key and Quick Statistics for parishes.

The 35 Key Statistics tables are provided for the 13 national parks in England and Wales as at December 2011, including the Broads - which is widely considered to be part of the national parks family.

The sparse populations of national parks means that production of statistics using the best-fit of output areas approach that is used for all other census statistics would tend to poorly estimate their populations and would not be fit for purpose. For this reason, statistics for national parks are provided for the populations within the exact boundaries of the parks, subject to the standard modifications to protect against the disclosure of confidential information. These more accurately reflect the population and characteristics of these areas, and provide the best information possible for use by National Park Authorities in their responsibilities for conservation, planning, recreation management and fostering the social and economic wellbeing of local communities.

More detailed analyses of the census estimates are also provided for some topics published in parallel with each of these releases; these are available via the Census Analysis website. Further analyses will be published during 2013.

During 2013 ONS will release cross tabulations of characteristics, such as by age, sex or ethnicity in the third and fourth release phases. These will provide an even richer and more valuable data source for the many users of the Census.

Where can I find out more?

2011 Census - Third release of statistics

Multivariate statistics: May – July 2013
Table layouts planned for the third release are being published over the next weeks.

Release 3.1 - 2011 Census - Detailed Characteristics for Local Authorities in England and Wales
Published on 16 May 2013

  • Topics: Migration, ethnicity, identity, language, religion and health.
  • Geographies: Local Authority level.
  • Statistics are available on the Nomis website.

Release 3.2 - 2011 Census - Population Estimates by single year of age and sex for Local Authorities in the United Kingdom

  • Topics: Housing and demography.
  • Geographies: Higher level geographies including middle layer super output areas, wards, unitary and local authorities, regions, country, health areas, and national parks.

Release 3.3

  • Topics: Households, labour market, qualifications and armed forces.
  • Geographies: Higher level geographies including middle layer super output areas, wards, unitary and local authorities, regions, country, health areas, and national parks.

Release 3.4
To be confirmed.

The release will support the output area hierarchy and wards, and statistics will also be available at unitary and local authority level, regional, national and health areas.

The planned tables and layouts may be subject to change or redesign before release, to better fulfil user requirements, for data quality issues, or as a result of statistical disclosure control. Layouts will be updated if they change and Prospectus e-mail alerts will be issued when new layouts are published. For any queries regarding the 2011 Census, please contact Census Customer Services.

Where can I find out more?

2011 Census - Fourth release of statistics

Fourth release of 2011 Census statistics (three phases)
Multivariate statistics: August – October 2013
Local Characteristics tables will be released in three phases, according to geography. Each phase will be released via the ONS website and the Nomis website.

Release 4.1

  • Local Characteristics tables for output areas, as well as lower and middle layer super output areas.
  • Statistics for Wales, for England, the regions, unitary and local authorities, and for England and Wales.

Release 4.2

  • Wards.

Release 4.3

  • The remaining geographies, including parishes, parliamentary constituencies and health areas.

Included in fourth release stage
The statistics in the fourth release will generally correspond to the 2001 Census Area Statistics tables. For the proposed content of the fourth release stage, download the 2011 Census Prospectus: Tables and schedule.

Examples of tables include:

  • Age by sex and resident type.
  • Sex and age by ethnic group.
  • Sex and age by economic activity.
  • Sex and age by general health and provision of unpaid care.
  • Country of birth by age and sex.
  • Sex and occupation by age.
  • Dwelling type and accommodation type by household space type.

Where can I find out more?


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