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  1. ITV Report

Population of the Anglia region grows 70,000 in a year

The population of the Anglia region grew by more than 70,000 people in the year to June in 2016. Photo: ITV News Anglia

The population of the Anglia region grew by more than 70,000 people in the year ahead of the EU Referendum in 2016.

In the latest population estimates released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the number of people in Anglia region had reached 7.3 million in June 2016. That was up 73,144 on the previous year.

In the decade since 2006, the population has grown by 10% with an additional 649,415 people living in the region.

The ONS says population of the UK at 30 June 2016 is estimated to be 65,648,000 people, up by 0.8% or 538,000 people.

The number of people in Anglia region had reached 7.3 million in June 2016. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"The population of the UK continued to grow in the year to mid-2016 at a similar rate to that seen over recent years.

"Net international migration continued to be the main driver, but there was also an increase in births and fewer deaths than last year.”

– Neil Park, Head of Population Estimates Unit, Office for National Statistics

In the six counties that make up the East of England - Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk - the population was 6,130,542, up by 54,091 or 0.9% on the previous year.

One third of the population increase in the East is down to natural demographics - more people are being born in the region than dying. There were nearly 18,000 more births than deaths between 2015 and 2016.

A large proportion of the rise in population, 38%, is down to migration from abroad while 28% of it is down to people moving to the region from elsewhere in the UK.

The Welwyn Hatfield area of Hertfordshire has the fastest growing population in the Anglia region between 2015 and 2016. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The population of Welwyn Hatfield in Hertfordshire was the fastest growing in the Anglia region between 2015 and 2016 - up by 2.5%. It was the third biggest rise of any local authority area in the UK after the City of London and Tower Hamlets.

Welwyn Hatfield’s population grew by 2,980 to 121,996 in June 2016 but was split between migration from abroad (43%) and migration from elsewhere in the UK (41%).

Fastest growing areas of the Anglia region

  • Welwyn Hatfield - 121,996 - up 2,980 (+2.5%)
  • Aylesbury Vale - 193,113 - up 4,406 (+2.3%)
  • Corby - 68,187 - up 1,333 (+2.0%)
  • Central Bedfordshire - 278,937 - up 4.915 (+1.8%)
  • Daventry - 81,316 - up 1,302 (+1.6%)

At the other end of the scale, Ipswich in Suffolk saw the smallest population growth in the Anglia region - up by only 0.2% or 308 people.

While births outstripped deaths by 867 and international net migration added 245 more people to the population, overall it is estimated that more than 800 people left Ipswich to move elsewhere in the UK.

Slowest growing areas of the Anglia region

  • Ipswich - 135,908 - up 308 (+0.2%)
  • Waveney - 116,514 - up 332 (+0.3%)
  • Babergh - 89,498 - up 283 (+0.3%)
  • St Albans - 146,282 - up 485 (+0.3%)
  • St Edmundsbury - 112,938 - up 415 (+0.4%)
Ipswich in Suffolk saw the smallest population growth in the Anglia region. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The biggest population rise in the traditional counties was in Bedfordshire where it was up by 1.45% or 9,495 people in a year while in Suffolk the population increase was just 0.46% or 3,379 people.

In the decade from 2006, Bedfordshire was also the fast growing county in the East with a population increase of 14%. Cambridgeshire was next with an increase of 12%. The population rise in Suffolk was the lowest in the region at 6%.

Populations of the traditional counties in June 2016 (including unitary authorities)

  • Bedfordshire - 568,008 - up 9,495 (+1.4%)
  • Cambridgeshire - 712,143 - up 7,817 (+0.9%)
  • Essex - 1,616,258 - up 15,127 (+0.8%)
  • Hertfordshire - 1,035,523 - up 10,381 (+0.9%)
  • Milton Keynes - 212,707 - up 2,717 (+1.0%)
  • Norfolk - 798,618 - up 7,892 (+0.9%)
  • Northamptonshire - 630,986 - up 10,102 (+1.4%)
  • Suffolk - 669,913 - up 3,379 (+0.5%)
The median age of the population in the East of England is 41.5 - higher than the national average. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The figures also show that median age in the UK is 40 meaning half the people are older than that and half are younger. The average age of the population of the East of England is slightly older at 41.5.

Highest median age in the Anglia region - 53 in North Norfolk (second highest in the UK)

Lowest median age in the Anglia region - 31 in Cambridge followed by Luton and Norwich at 33

More than a quarter of the population of Luton and Milton Keynes are children under the age of 18 - the highest proportion in the region.

While the smallest proportion of under 18s are found in North Norfolk (16%), Cambridge (17.5%) and Tendring in Essex (18.5%).

The places with the highest proportion of people aged 65 or over are all at the coast with North Norfolk on 32%, Tendring in Essex at 29.5%, Suffolk Coastal at 27% and Waveney on 26.5%.

There are more than 2,000 people in the Tendring area of Essex who are aged 90 or older.