Population hits new high

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WIGAN’S population increased by 5.4 per cent to a record high in the last decade according to the results of last year’s census.

The jump from 301,500 to 317,800 illustrated that the borough had one of the largest population increases in the North West, although it was still below the average for England and Wales of seven per cent.

The borough had 136,400 households with at least one permanent resident and only the North East of England saw a smaller increase in population than the North West.

Jil Matheson, National Statistician said: “I’d like to thank everyone in the North West for their support.

“The 2011 Census has been a resounding success and I am proud of the incredible effort that has been put in. It is a rich source of information about the population and its characteristics. Across England and Wales around 19 out of 20 people responded and we have excellent statistical methods for ensuring we have a complete estimate of the whole population. These statistics will provide valuable information for planners, policy-makers and the public for years to come.”

Wigan’s largest age group in terms of population was of people aged between 40 and 44, with some 25,600 of the 317,800 falling in the age range – eight per cent. The borough also had 1,700 residents aged over 90.

Nationally, the population of England and Wales has reached 56.1 million, up by 3.7 million in a decade, the 2011 Census shows.

It is the largest growth shown by any census since they began in 1801.

The population in England was 53 million on March 27 when the Census was taken, about 400,000 more than official estimates.

Glen Watson, Census Director said: “The whole operation has worked well. We met our targets both for response and quality.

“We’ve had fantastic support from the public, and also from voluntary groups, community groups and local authorities throughout England and Wales.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved, including the 35,000 people who worked on the data collection and helped to make the census a success.”