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Demography overview
  • Norfolk Population
  • Breckland Population
  • Broadland Population
  • Great Yarmouth Population
  • King's Lynn and West Norfolk Population
  • North Norfolk Population
  • Norwich Population
  • South Norfolk Population

Topic summary (June 2015 snapshot)

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Population Age Structure

Norfolk's population is estimated at 877,700 in mid-2014 – an increase of around 6,700 on the previous year.

Over the decade from 2004, Norfolk's population has increased by 7.6%, compared with an increase of 9.3% in the East of England region and 8.2% in England.

Over the decade, in terms of broad age groups, numbers of children and young people in the county (aged 0-17) rose marginally, numbers of working age adults (aged 18-64) increased by around 19,100, and numbers of older people (aged 65 and over) increased by around 39,200 (23.6%).

The estimates for mid-2014 confirm that Norfolk's population has a much older age profile than England as a whole, with 23.4% of Norfolk's population aged 65 and over, compared with 17.6% in England.

Population Projections

The ONS 2012-based population projections are trend-based, and on this basis, over the next decade there is projected growth of 60,600 people in Norfolk – this is an increase of 7% which is below both the national projected increase of 7.2% and the East of England region projected increase of 8.7%. Norfolk's oldest age groups are projected to grow the quickest in the next decade – with the 75-84 year olds projected to increase by 32.9% and the 85 and overs projected to increase by 39.7%. Although numbers of children aged under 15 are also projected to increase, overall there is little change projected over the decade for younger adults and the middle aged. The age structure of the population varies across Norfolk's local authority areas, but in the main, Norfolk has an ageing population going forward.

Looking further ahead to 2037, there is projected growth of 140,400 people in Norfolk – this is an increase of 16.2% which is similar to the national figure but below the East of England region projected increase of 20.1%.

For both timescales, the largest increase in numbers is projected to be in South Norfolk, and the smallest increase in numbers is projected to be in Great Yarmouth. Norfolk's population is projected to exceed one million by 2036.

Life Expectancy

The 2011-2013 three-year rolling average life expectancy at birth in Norfolk is 80.2 years for men and 83.8 for women. The comparative ages for the region are 80.3 and 83.8 respectively, and for England are 79.4 and 83.1 – so, the county's averages for both men and women are currently very close to the regional averages, and higher than the England averages.

Life expectancy is 6.4 years lower for men in the most deprived areas of Norfolk than in the least deprived areas, and 3.0 years lower for women in the most deprived areas than in the least deprived areas.

The expectation of life at age 65 for 2010-2012 in Norfolk is 19.3 years for men and 21.8 for women. This is a little above the regional average of 19.1 for men and 21.5 for women, and higher than the England average of 18.6 for men and 21.1 for women.

Births and Deaths

In 2013 there were 9,187 live births to mothers resident in Norfolk and 9,404 deaths of Norfolk residents, giving a net loss through natural change of 217. Births had previously exceeded deaths for the last three years. Between 2001 and 2012, the number of births in Norfolk steadily increased – the latest figures show a decrease compared with 2012 numbers (9,662). The number of deaths has risen steadily, reflecting the growth in population.

The total fertility rate (which is the average number of live-born children that would be born per woman if women experienced the current age-specific fertility rates throughout their childbearing life span) of 1.97 in Norfolk as a whole in 2012 was, lower than for the region (2.02) but above that for England (1.94). Easily the lowest rate in Norfolk is 1.76 in Norwich. In Norfolk 53.5% of births in 2011 were outside marriage or civil partnership, well above the rate for the region (45.2%) and England (46.6%).

Under 18 conceptions

The under-18 conception rate in Norfolk is 22.2 per thousand females aged 15-17 in 2013, representing a continuing reduction from 2007. Norfolk's rate is higher than the region rate of 21.0, but lower than the England rate of 24.3. The rate has fluctuated over the past decade, though this may partly be due to uncertainty in population estimates.


The county's ethnic composition has changed significantly since the 2001 Census recorded a minority ethnic population of 30,000 (3.8% of the total). By 2011 this is estimated to have risen to 64,800 (7.6%). Similarly, numbers in ethnic groups other than White rose from 1.5% of the population in 2001 to around 3.5% in 2011.

The 2011 Census indicated that there were almost 8,000 households in Norfolk where no-one had English as a main language, plus another 6,000 where at least one but not all people aged 16 and over had English as a main language.

The 2011 Census showed around 41,400 people in Norfolk had a national identity other than one of the British or Irish identities, plus another 4,000 with other identities and at least one of the British or Irish ones.

The 2011 Census also showed the diversity of passports held by Norfolk residents. There were 22,900 passports held for EU countries outside the UK and Ireland, plus a further 18,500 including Middle East and Africa (6,600) and North America and the Caribbean (5,500).


Internal migration volumes show an estimate of migration within the UK (cross-border flows between each of the constituent countries, as well as migration between local authorities). For the year to June 2013, there were 25,600 inflows, with 22,500 outflows for Norfolk – resulting in an internal net inflow of 3,100 from within the UK.

Long-term international migration volumes represent the number of people arriving in the UK for a period of at least 12 months. For the year to June 2013, there were 5,200 long-term international immigrants, with 2,500 long-term international emigrants – resulting in an international net immigration of 2,700 from outside the UK.

Based on these figures, net inflow into Norfolk in 2013 was 5,800 people.


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