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First 2021 census data revealed including Derbyshire changes

Published: 5 July 2022

Derbyshire’s population has grown at less than half the rate recorded for England as a whole according to new data revealed in the 2021 census.


The national census is conducted every 10 years and the first data from Census Day 2021 has now been released.

It shows that the population of Derbyshire is 794,600, an increase of 24,900 since the last census in 2011, giving a population growth of 3.2%, when the growth for England is 6.6%.

The national census is designed to collect statistics on a number of areas ranging from:

  • population
  • households
  • health
  • migration
  • ethnic groups
  • national identity
  • religion
  • qualifications
  • employment
  • transport
  • visitors

Census Day was on 21 March 2021 and was the first digital census, with 88.9% of all households in England and Wales taking the opportunity to respond online.

It was also the first time people were asked if they’d ever served in the armed forces and about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Census data provides a wealth of detailed information nationally and about Derbyshire and can be used to plan vital local services people rely on such as transport, housing, schools and hospitals.

Other information about Derbyshire released from the 2021 census reveals:

Most Derbyshire districts have experienced a growth in population over the last 10 years, with the exception of Chesterfield which is one of 18 local authorities across England to have experienced a decline in population since 2011, albeit a very small decline of 0.2% (the equivalent of 200 people).

South Derbyshire has seen the largest growth in population with an increase of 12,600 people since 2011. This equates to a 13.3% increase and ranks as the 25th (/309) fastest growing local authority across England.

There were 404,800 women (50.9% of the overall population) and 389,800 men (49.1%) in Derbyshire.

Children aged 0 to 14 represent 15.9% of Derbyshire’s population, lower than the England average of 17.4% and a 0.6% (800) decline in the age group since 2011.

The number of 15 to 24-year-olds has declined by 12.5% since the last census, higher than the England decline of 4.4% and highlighting potential challenges to the local labour market in terms of the supply of labour and skills shortages.

The number of people aged 65+ in the county has grown by 22.8% (32,600) since 2011, now representing 22.1% of Derbyshire’s population and remaining well above the England average of 18.4%. The ongoing increase in the number of older people in the county will continue to have significant implications for older people’s services in Derbyshire.

2021 census figures show there were 354,200 households in Derbyshire. This represents an increase of 6.5% since 2011, higher than the England increase of 6.2%.

Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis said:

“We track population growth and trends across the county all the time using the information we receive each year from the Office for National Statistics. This helps us to monitor or predict changes and allows us to plan the delivery of our services and ensure the right resources are where they need to be.

“However, the census data gives us more comprehensive information which is so valuable to us when we look ahead, helping us to shape future levels of service provision.

“We are already looking closely at the new statistics released and look forward to more details later this year so we can consider any implications for our services over the next 10 years.”

The first phase of data is just the start of a number of other data releases from the census which will be revealed in the future. We will be analysing all the new data as it comes out to find out what it means for Derbyshire and its communities.

More detailed census information is available from Derbyshire Observatory.

National information can be found via the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS also has information on how the population has changed.