Council Leader responds to the Census

Council statement following the publication of the initial data for the 2021 Census.

Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:

“The census is a really important process that gives a picture of our population, our direction of travel as a city and country, and is used by Government as a means for deciding how much funding areas get as part of the local government budget settlement.  

“This last bit is incredibly important for Councils particularly as our budgets become tighter and we look to do more with less funding. We know that Manchester is growing quickly and to receive less budget than our population requires could have a massive bearing on our ability to provide services to our residents.  

“Initial analysis of the Census data using our own forecasting model suggests that Manchester’s population has been underestimated, perhaps by as much as 33,000 people. There could be a number of reasons for this. The data seems to be missing people in their 20s, which is likely linked to our large student population. And the impact of the pandemic, where people were living at the point of the count and the engagement with the process during lockdown, could also have impacted on the results.   

“However, we currently only have the initial headline stats and the full data underpinning the results won’t be available until later this year. But we are keen to work with ONS to ensure that the census accurately reflects Manchester.” 


The Council’s forecasting model suggested that we would be reaching a population of around 585,000 and a growth rate of 16%.  

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