Created 3 years ago, updated a month ago

Introduction

The 2021 mid-year estimate (MYE) is the current official estimate of the population for local authorities in England and Wales. The 2021 MYE is a rolled forward estimate from the 2021 census. Estimates are produced annually by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the 2021 MYE was published on 21 December 2022.

Comparison to previous MYE data

The previous MYE series (for the period 2012-2020) starts with the 2011 census estimate. Each subsequent year's population is calculated by adding estimates of births, deaths and migration to the previous year's population. The 2021 MYE represents a break in this series as it uses the 2021 census as its base.

The ONS will revise the 2012-2020 MYE series in late 2023 to bring it in line with the 2021 MYE. Until then no comparisons can be made between the 2021 estimate and the previous series.

Key Points

  • London's mid-2021 population was 8.797 million
  • London's population fell by 3,100 persons over the 3 months between the census and mid-year
  • Comparison to the 2020 MYE is not possible
  • Components of change data are only available for the period between the census and mid-year:
    • 30,700 births and 12,200 deaths (natural change of 18,600)
    • Net domestic out migration was 22,300
    • Net international in migration was 650
    • Total change over the 3-month period was 3,100

Population Change

London's 2021 population was 8,796,628. The chart below shows the 2021 MYE in the context of previous estimates. Note that the estimates for 2012-2020 will be revised. The difference between the 2020 MYE and the 2021 MYE is not population change.

Components of Change

Births, deaths and migration form the components of population change. Data for the 2021 MYE includes only the components of change for the period between the census and mid-year (3 months).

This period was during the national ‘roadmap out of lockdown'. International migration was very low with net migration of just 883 for all of England and Wales (650 of this was to London).

Domestic migration (migration within the UK) had recovered more quickly and there was an overall outflow from London of 22,300. An outflow of domestic migrants from London is normal and this has been the case each year for the last two decades. This flow is partly because many international in-migrants initially settle in London before moving out to other parts of the UK. The second move in this sequence is counted as a domestic migration.

Future Updates

The revised mid-year estimate backseries for 2012-2020 is scheduled Autumn 2023.

The full ONS mid-year population estimates release and back series can be found on the ONS website: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates.

For information relating to London's population see the demography pages of the London Datastore: https://data.london.gov.uk/demography/ or email demography@london.gov.uk.

An in-depth review of the available evidence for population change in London since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has been produced by GLA Demography: https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/population-change-in-london-during-the-pandemic.