Warwickshire population set to increase by 120,000 people to 658,900 by 2035

The 2010-based subnational population projections were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 21st March 2012.  These cover a 25 year period up to 2035 and provide a breakdown of the official national population projections for England to regional, county, and local authority district level.

The population of Warwickshire is projected to reach a total of 658,900 by 2035 – an increase of 120,000 people or 22.3% on the 2010 ONS mid-year estimate.  This increase over the 25 year period is higher than the projected regional and national population growth rates of 18.2% and 18.9% respectively.

Within Warwickshire,Rugby and the south of the County (Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick) are expected to experience the highest rates of population growth.  Growth will be most rapid in Rugby Borough with an overall increase of 30.0% between 2010 and 2035, which would bring the total population in the Borough to 124,700.

Across Warwickshire, the highest rates of projected population growth are among the age groups 65 and over.  The rate of growth at these older ages increases with age, with the eldest age group, those aged 85 and over, projected to increase by over 190% between 2010 and 2035. 

Dependency ratios consider the proportion of the population who are dependent (those aged 0 -15 years and 65+ years) relative to the working age population.  Warwickshire’s dependency ratio is projected to increase by over 18 percentage points to 0.76 by 2035. Effectively this means there are 7.6 dependents for every ten people of working age.  As the dependent population grows, this is likely to have implications for future service delivery.

See the briefing note attached below for more information:

2010-based Subnational Population Projections – Warwickshire

The ONS have also produced an interactive population pyramid allowing you to compare national, regional and local populations in terms of size and structure. Animation is used to overlay the graphs for easier comparison as well as visualising changes over time.  Access the pyramid by clicking on the link above and click on the title which opens a new window.

One Response

  1. Do we think these figures are reliable?

    It’s important to make the distinction between projections and forecasts. I’d like to draw attention to the section in Kate’s briefing note that says “The projections are based on assumptions that recent trends in fertility, mortality and migration will continue, and therefore, provide the best available estimate of future population levels that would result from these trends. It is important to emphasise that the projections provide the population levels and structure that would result if the assumptions about the fertility, mortality and migration levels were realised”.

    I think the crucial aspect of this is the impact of migration. That has been the main driver of population growth in Warwickshire in recent decades and, along with increasing life expectancy, will have formed the basis for the large projected increase in population through to 2035.

    But with house building in Warwickshire at its lowest level for more than twenty years (see http://bit.ly/GHtRlP), the ability of the county to accommodate historical levels of migration is unlikely, certainly in the short term.

    Whilst the issues around the age structure of the population are likely to materialise (with the associated impact on dependency levels), I think it is unlikely that we will see the scale of growth suggested in these projections.

    The Observatory is currently developing some work around more sophisticated population forecasts, allowing us to predict demographic trends more accurately based on known local development plans. We’ll post updates on that through this blog.

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