Census 2021: South Hams has among the most pensioners in England and Wales

South Hams has among the most pensioners in England and Wales after the proportion of over-65s calling the area home rose in the last decade, new Census figures outline.
Tuesday 28th June 2022 2:53 pm
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Credit by Yui Mok (PA Archive )

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South Hams has among the most pensioners in England and Wales after the proportion of over-65s calling the area home rose in the last decade, new Census figures outline.

The Census takes place every 10 years, with the latest snapshot captured on March 21 2021.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there were 25,000 people aged 65 and over living in South Hams on census day last year – up from 19,754 in 2011, when the Census was last carried out.

The proportion of over-65s living in the area rose from 23.8% to 28.2% over the decade – meaning South Hams now has one of the highest proportions in England and Wales.

The number of older residents has also risen by 87% since the 1981 census, when there were 13,371.

This increase is reflected across England and Wales as a whole, where the population is ageing.

There were 11.1 million over-65s in 2021 – 18.6% of the population – up from 9.2 million in 2011 (16.4%) and 7.3 million (15.0%) 40 years ago.

There were 24,000 people aged 29 and under living in South Hams on March 21 last year, who accounted for 27.1% of the population – in line with 2011.

Of them, 7,900 under-10s called South Hams home.

Data from the 2021 census for England and Wales will be published in stages over the next two years, the ONS said.

Future releases will include figures on ethnicity, religion, the labour market, education and housing plus – for the first time – information on UK armed forces veterans, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The census was taken at a time when coronavirus restrictions were still in place across the UK, with people only allowed to leave their homes in England for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household, and the rule-of-six on outside gatherings not coming into place until the end of March.

The Census, which is used to understand how the UK's population changes over time, shows the balance of men and women across the country.

In South Hams, 48.1% of the population was male and 51.9% was female last year – respectively, this compares to 48.3% and 51.7% 10 years ago.

The City of London (55.8%) had the highest male-to-female ratio, while Kensington and Chelsea (46.7%) had the lowest.

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