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1. Your local area – South Gloucestershire at a glance


  • The population of South Gloucestershire for mid‐2015 is estimated to be 274,700
  • 18.6%of the population are children (aged under 16), marginally below the national (England) average (19.0%).
  • 18.3% of the population are aged 65 years or over (the pensionable age) – above the national (England) average of 17.7%

Source: 2015 Office of National Statistics (ONS) mid-year population estimate

The area has seen rapid population growth since the 1970s – between 1971 and 2001 the population increased by over a third (from 182,900 to 245,600).

However, more recently population growth has slowed; increasing by only 7.5% in the last decade (2001 to 2011). Between 2001 and 2011, the largest population increases have been in areas which have experienced the highest levels of housing development – particularly areas within the north and east fringes of Bristol.

Population projections

The latest official population projections from ONS (the 2014 Sub-National Population Projections) suggest that the population of the district will rise to 330,800 in 2039, a 21.8% increase on the 2014 baseline (271,600).

By 2039, the latest ONS population projections suggest that:

  • The proportion of the population who are children (those aged under 16) will fall marginally (from 18.5% to 18.2%)
  • The proportion of the population of working age (aged 16-64) will fall from 62.3% to 57.9%.
  • The proportion of the population aged 65 or over will increase from 18.2% to 24.0% and the proportion over the age of 90 will increase from 0.8% to 2.4%.

In numeric terms, these population projections suggest that by there will be:

  • 9,800 more children
  • 19,700 more residents of working age
  • 29,700 more residents aged 65 or over
  • 5,700 more residents aged 90 or over

It is important to note, however, that these official population projections are based on recent population trends in the levels of births, deaths and migration. They do not take into account any future policy changes, housing development or other factors which might influence demographic trends and future population levels. This means that the level of housing development proposed in South Gloucestershire’s Core Strategy is not fully reflected in these official projections. The level of population growth arising from this significant level of new housing development is likely to be considerably higher than the official projections suggest.

Source: ONS 2014 Sub-National Population Projections.

Ethnic composition

According to the 2011 census, 13,200 (5% of the total population) are of black and minority ethnic origin. This is more than twice as many as the number recorded in the 2001 census (5,900 people, 2.4% of the population).

The South Gloucestershire BME population is lower than the national average of 14% (for England and Wales).

Source: 2011 Census, ONS.

Key facts that drive how we shape services in South Gloucestershire

People live longer than the national average: Older people should feel valued and respected in their communities with choice and control over how they live their lives. They should be enabled to live full and active lives with every opportunity to remain independent.

Many people living with long-term conditions, physical disabilities and mental health problems experience difficulties. They should be supported to lead independent, fulfilling and dignified lives.