West Midlands population estimated to have grown to 5.431 million in 2009

Office for National StatisticsThe population of the West Midlands grew at a lower annual rate than that for England in 2009, according to the latest population estimates released by the Office for National Statistics.

With a population of 5.431 million, the region’s population grew by 0.4 per cent (23,000) on the preceding year.

Natural change (birth minus deaths) was the most significant contributor to the growth at 20,000, whereas net migration accounted for the remainder, and with a value of 3,000, was the lowest of any nation or region in the UK.

Locally within the West Midlands region, the most significant increases in population (in absolute terms) were recorded in:

  • Birmingham  – up 10,000 to 1.029 million
  • Coventry – up 2,000 to 313,000
  • Sandwell – up 2,000 to 291,000

With an increase in population on the preceding year of 0.9 per cent, Birmingham also recorded the largest rate of increase, whereas Stoke-on-Trent’s population is estimated to have decreased by 0.2 per cent.

Across the UK, the population grew to 61.792 million in 2009, an increase of 0.6% on the preceding year, with natural change contributing 217,000 and net migration 177,000.

A detailed breakdown of all the 2009 mid-year population statistics—nationally, regionally and locally, as well as by age groups and gender—are available from the Office for National Statistics.

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West Midlands population increased to over 5.4 million in 2008

Office for National Statistics logoThe population of the West Midlands grew to over 5.4 million in 2008, according to the latest population estimates released by the Office for National Statistics.

With a population of 5.411 million, the region’s population grew by 0.5% (29,000) on the preceding year.

Natural change (births minus deaths) was the most significant contributor to the growth at 20,000, whereas net migration accounted for the remainder (9,000).

Locally within the West Midlands region, the most significant increases in population (in absolute terms) were recorded in Birmingham (up 7,000 to 1.017 million), and Coventry (up 3,000 to 310,000). With an increase in population on the preceding year of 1%, Coventry also recorded the largest rate of increase.

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Plot data on world maps with new OECD tools

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and DevelopmentTwo new online tools from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) now allow you to plot a huge array of social and economic data onto world maps and track them through time creating an animated chart as you follow your chosen geographic area against other areas. It’s easy to use and, more importantly, easy on the eye.

The first tool, the OECD Factbook eXplorer, allows you to display data (subject to availability) for countries from 1950 to 2006, or even beyond if forecast data is available.

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ONS seminars on improvements to 2008 population statistics

Office for National Statistics logoThe Office for National Statistics (ONS) are holding seminars across four locations in June 2009 to explain the forthcoming improvements to the mid-2008 population estimates, sub-national population projections and migration statistics.

The seminars will provide information on adjusting internal (within UK) migration using data on students. They will also cover modelling the geographical distribution of long-term international migration and short-term internal migration at the local authority level, together with other improvements that are being made.

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Understanding our local populations

Richard Wilson from Sandwell PCTAt the Observatory’s recent event to launch the State of the Region dialogue on population change, Richard Wilson from Sandwell PCT spoke about some of the problems with population data. However, with help from quotes from David Brent to Albert Einstein, Richard argued that these problems should not lead to ‘data paralysis’ where problems with data become reasons for not making decisions.

Richard said that although population change is nothing new, it is important to understand how our population is changing by understanding, for example, which age groups are changing quickest, what the new family structures are and where new people are coming from.

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