The census takes place every 10 years, with every household in the UK required to take part.
Now the first results have been released – and there’s been a large rise in the number of people living in Central Bedfordshire.
On census day, 294,200 people were living in the area – up 16% from 254,381 in 2011, when the last census was carried out – compared to the England and Wales average increase of 6.3%.
This also means the population density has grown to 411 usual residents per square kilometre, up from 355 in 2011.
The census is crucial for the UK’s statisticians to understand how our population is changing, and plays a vital role in how our public services and government operate.
It shows the balance of men and women in the area has changed – Central Bedfordshire’s population is now 49.3% male and 50.7% female, meaning there is now a higher proportion of women in the area than 10 years ago.
In 2011, people living in Central Bedfordshire were 49.5% male and 50.5% female.
It also shows the area has seen a rise in the proportion of both young children and the elderly – a decade ago the population was made up of 12.2% under-10s and 15.7% over-65s, but this had changed to 12.3% and 18% respectively by 2021.
Across England and Wales, the total population grew 6.3% over the past decade, from 56,075,912 in 2011 to 59,597,300 last year.
This included an 8.3% increase in the East of England, where the population rose to 6,334,500 from 5,846,965 in 2011.
There were 24.8 million households in England and Wales on census day 2021, up from 23.4 million in 2011, with an average of 2.4 people in each household – the same as in 2011.
Historic populations of Central Bedfordshire:
Historic populations of the East of England: