The Council and democracy Census 2021 - Overview

  • Manchester’s population has grown by 48,900 between censuses, it was 503,100 in 2011.
  • The largest increases between censuses have been in the 10-14 age group, rising by 9,500 and the 35-39 age group rising by 8,000.
  • Proportionally, the 10-14 and 55-59 age groups have changed most, both growing by 36%.
  • The median average age band is 30-34 years old, the median age is 31.
  • The census recorded 214,700 households in Manchester.
  • Based on census figures, there are 4,773 people per square kilometre.
  • The majority of Manchester's residents (313,630) identify with the White ethnic group (57%) followed by the Asian ethnic group (115,113, 21%) and the Black ethnic group (65,891, 12%).
  • After English (434,289 residents aged 3+), the most common language spoken is Urdu (17,572) then Arabic (10,425). In 2011, 13,095 residents spoke Urdu and 7,037 Arabic.
  • 199,873 residents are recorded as Christian, a decrease from 245,247 in 2011 while those stating no religion 179,037, and Muslim 122,962 rose significantly.
  • Across England and Wales, 89.4% of those aged 16 and over identified as straight or heterosexual (43.4million people), 3.2% identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or other sexual orientation (1.5million people), and 7.5% did not answer (3.6million people).
  • Across England and Wales, the gender identity of 93.5% of those aged 16 and over is the same as registered at their birth (45.5 million people), and the gender identity of 0.5% differs (262,000 people). The remaining 6% did not answer (2.9 million people).
  • 31% of residents were born outside the UK.
  • After those born in the UK, the second highest region of birth is the Middle East and Asia (52,085 residents), as in 2011.
  • In Manchester, fewer people in 2021 considered themselves in bad or very bad health than in 2011 (2,712 fewer).
  • The number of people providing hours per week of unpaid care decreased between censuses by 4,426 people.
  • Census 2021 shows a decrease in those economically active from 63.5% of the population in 2011 to 59.2% in 2021. However, caution is needed in comparing these values as census 2011 included those aged 16-74 whereas census 2021 included 16+ and so likely included more people economically inactive due to age.
  • Driving a car or van remained the most common method of travel to work between censuses, with working from home becoming the 2nd most common, up from 6th in 2011. The travel distances to work decreased between censuses to include working from home as the most common.
  • Across England and Wales, 82% of the population aged 16 and over have some form of qualification (39.8 million people), with 34% having a level 4 qualification and above (16.4 million people). 18% had no qualifications (8.8 million people).
  • The most common tenure type in Manchester are Owned properties at 37%, down from 38% in 2011. The second most common tenure type are Private Rented at 32%, up from 28%, and replacing Social Rented (32%) in 2011.

For more information on Manchester, please see our interactive insight tool.

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