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Census 2021

All about the 2021 Census and the first release of census information on population.

The census is a survey that is carried out every ten years. It gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in the district.


The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published the first results from the 2021 Census. This data provides information on the population and the number of households in local authority areas in England and Wales.

What the census found

In Uttlesford, the population size has increased by 14.9%, from around 79,400 in 2011 to 91,300 in 2021. This is higher than the overall increase for England (6.6%), where the population grew by nearly 3.5 million to 56,489,800.

As of 2021, Uttlesford is one of the least densely populated of all the local authority areas in the East of England, with around one person living on each football pitch-sized area of land.

Across the country the population has continued to age. In Uttlesford, there has been an increase of 36.3% in people aged 65 years and over, an increase of 10.5% in people aged 15 to 64 years, and an increase of 11.3% in children aged under 15 years.


We have put together a sheet of information from the census results showing local population data for Uttlesford and authorities in the East of England.

Estimates of the number of people by sex and age for all local authorities in the East of England including Uttlesford (gi.ui.mediatype.spreadsheets) [46KB]

In this data you can find information on:

  • usual resident population by sex
  • usual resident population by 5-year age group
  • usual resident population by sex and 5-year age group
  • usual resident population density
  • number of households 

How the population has changed

The ONS have produced some animations looking at which places have seen the biggest increases and decreases in population and how local authority areas like Uttlesford compare with others.

See how the population has changed in Uttlesford from the Census 2021 results on the ONS website.

Full dataset

You can see the full data set of estimates of the number of people by sex and age for all local authorities in England and Wales on the ONS website.

To explain the data the ONS have published a bulletin on the rounded population and household estimates for England and Wales.

Essex data

Essex County Council have published some analysis of the 2021 data covering the whole county and showing the change from 2011.

Later releases of results

In autumn to winter 2022 the ONS will be releasing topic summary results.

A topic summary is a set of data and supporting commentary, grouped by a similar theme. The topics will be:

  • demography and migration
  • ethnic group, national identity, language, and religion
  • health, disability, and unpaid care
  • housing
  • labour market and travel to work
  • sexual orientation and gender identity
  • education
  • UK armed forces veterans

Details of later releases can be viewed on the proposed outputs and release plans pages on the ONS website.

Why it is important

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. The information you give helps decide how services are planned and funded in your local area. This could mean things like doctors' surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

It asks questions about you and your household to build a picture of all of us. It looks at who we are and how we live. There's no other survey that gives as much information about our society and future needs.

Charities also use census information to help get the funding they need. Businesses use it to decide where to set up, which creates job opportunities.

The ONS has published some census stories showing how different organisations use census information to plan services.

Veterans and the census

Former armed forces personnel were, for the first time, be able to identify themselves as veterans in the 2021 Census.

Keeping your data safe

No one can identify you in the published census statistics. Your census record is kept confidential for 100 years and only then can future generations see it. Find more information about how your data is kept safe on the census website.

The ONS have also produced an animated video about keeping your data safe that you can watch on YouTube. This provides information about data and security for Census 2021 and explains how the ONS protects your personal information.


Additional information

The latest information on the 2021 Census can be found on the Census 2021 official website (opens new window) (opens in new window).

Census milestones - the different stages involved in organising Census 2021 in England and Wales.

ONS Purple Plaques scheme which aims to recognise 22 people who have made an outstanding contribution to their community.

2011 Census - Office for National Statistics

2001 Census - Office for National Statistics

Census data 1801-1991 - For UK censuses 1801-1991, printed data reports are available. A small amount of data is available online from the 1991 Census

A vision of Britain through time - collection of maps, data, much drawn from the census reports and other resources