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Group of five peopleSouthampton's population size and structure

An understanding of the size and structure of Southampton’s population and how it is changing underpins an understanding of population need and is vital for the planning and commissioning of a range of services across the city. Data on Southampton’s population comes from a range of sources, using different methodologies for estimating the size and structure of the population and how this is projected to change in the future. These are summarised below, whilst links to the data and visualisation tools can be found in the resources section at the end of this page.

Residential population estimates

Southampton population pyramid The Hampshire Small Area Population Forecasts (SAPF) are produced annually by Hampshire County Council and estimate the size of the local resident population for Hampshire districts as well as Portsmouth and Southampton. These estimates are considered to provide the most robust local estimate of the current and future resident population as they take account of natural change (births and deaths), internal and international migration and known and planned dwelling completions. They also include future dwellings supply based on residential planning applications. Current forecasts run from 2017 to 2024. The SAPF data is available for Local Authorities, wards and Lower Level Super Output Areas (LSOA), allowing the creation of defined smaller areas or community data. Detailed SAPF data and methodology documents can be found in the resources section at the bottom of the page, whilst a summary of the main points is provided below.

  • In 2018, the resident population of Southampton was estimated to be 256,459, of which 130,500 (50.9%) were male and 125,959 (49.1%) were female
  • There were an estimated 106,237 dwellings in Southampton in 2018
  • Children between the ages 0 to 4 make up 6.2% (15,766) of the population, which is similar to the national average of 6.0%
  • Approximately 19% of Southampton’s resident population is aged between 15 and 24 years compared to just 12% nationally. This is largely due to Southampton being a university city and home to approximately 43,000 students
  • Just over 13% of the population are aged over 65 (33,508 people) which is lower than the national average of 18.2%
  • The ward with the largest population is in Bargate, which has a population of 24,101 people or 9.4% of Southampton’s total population
  • The wards with the smallest population are Coxford and Sholing that both have a population of 14,193 people or 5.5% of Southampton’s population
  • In Bargate, 36.6% of the population are aged 15-24 reflecting the large student population in Southampton
  • The overall population is projected to increase by 4.8% between 2018 and 2025. Further information on how the population is projected to change can be found on the population change page

The population pyramid above shows how the profile of Southampton’s population differs from the national average; an interactive population pyramid tool can be downloaded from the resources section below. The tool allows customisable population pyramids to be created for various geographies within the city and models how the population profile of the city is likely to change over time.

Population trend 1991 to 2018 (mid year estimates)Alternative resident population estimates are produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). These are known as the ONS Mid-Year Population Estimates (MYE) and are useful as they provide comparable trend data across the whole country. These estimates are produced annually and are calculated by rolling forward the 2011 Census results, taking into account natural change (births and deaths) and internal and international migration between 1 July and 30 June each year.

The latest MYE (2018) suggests that Southampton’s population is 252,796 residents of which 129,167 (51.1%) were male and 123,629 (48.9%) were female. It also shows that the resident population of the city is estimated to have grown by over 23.46% since 1991; that is an extra 48,044 people. More information on the ONS MYE can be found in the resources section below.

GP registered population

GP registered population January 2019An alternative source of population data comes from GP practice registers; these provide the number of patients registered with a Southampton GP practice. The registered population differs from the resident population as a person can be registered with a Southampton GP practice but live outside the city, or may live in the city, but be registered with a GP practice outside of Southampton. For this reason, the registered population can be quite different to the resident population. This information is particularly useful for the planning of health services.

NHS digital collates the registered population at GP practice, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) level. The data is available by age and gender and is released monthly. In January 2019, there are 289,684 people registered at a Southampton GP, of which 150,137 (52%) were male and 139,547 (48%) were female. This is around 13% higher than the estimated resident population (33,225 people), although the age structure of the population is similar as demonstrated by the population pyramid opposite. Data at CCG, GP practice and Locality levels is displayed in the population pyramid tool, which can be downloaded from the resources section below.

Household composition

The 2011 Census revealed lots about the way people live in Southampton; as expected from the large student population, Southampton has a higher proportion of single (never married) residents than nationally (33% compared to 26%). Southampton has 10,249 widowed residents and 17,184 residents who are single through separation or divorce. There are 11,283 households in Southampton consisting of older people living alone and 416 people in a registered same-sex civil partnership. Living alone is a key risk factor for loneliness and social isolation, which can have impacts on health and wellbeing and on demand for services. More information can be found on the loneliness and social isolation page.

In 2011, there were 6,918 lone parent families in Southampton with dependent children. Of these, 47% were not in employment (compared to 41% nationally) and the vast majority were female (over 91%). To access more detailed data from the 2011 Census, see the link to the NOMIS website in the resources section below.

Resources

Population data compendium and tools

Data on the size and structure of Southampton's population, using both the Hampshire County Council Small Area Population Forecasts (SAPF) and the ONS Mid-Year Population Estimates (MYE) can be found in the data compendium, which can be downloaded below. In addition, the Southampton population pyramid tool is available which allows customisable population pyramids to be generated for various geographies within the city, and models how the population profile of the city is likely to change over time.

Population data compendium
Dataset
xlsx | 1MB | 09.08.19
Population pyramid tool
Dataset
xlsx | 277KB | 11.07.19

Hampshire County Council Small Area Population Forecasts (SAPF)

The Small Area Population Forecasts (SAPF) are produced by Hampshire County Council and cover Hampshire, the local districts, Portsmouth and Southampton. These figures are based on natural change (births and deaths), internal and international migration and known dwelling completions. They also include future dwellings supply based on residential planning applications. The forecasts run from 2017 to 2024. The SAPF data is available for Local Authorities, wards and Lower Level Super Output Areas (LSOA), allowing the creation of defined smaller areas or community data.

Hampshire County Council Small Area Population Forecasts
Dataset

ONS Mid-Year Population Estimates (MYE)

The ONS Mid-Year Population Estimates (MYE) are produced by the Office for National Statistics, and provide comparable resident population data across the whole country by quinary (5 year) and single age year bands. The estimates are calculated by rolling forward the 2011 Census results, taking into account natural change (births and deaths) and internal and international migration between 1 July and 30 June each year. Data is produced annually and is available at various geographies including local authorities, wards and Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA).

ONS - population estimates for the UK: mid-2018
Report
ONS - analysis of population estimates tool: mid-2018
Dataset

Patients registered at a GP practice

NHS digital collates the registered population at GP practice, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) level. The data is available by age and gender and is released monthly.

NHS Digital - Patients registered at a GP practice
Dataset

NOMIS - ONS 2011 Census data

The 2011 Census was taken on 27th March 2011. The full data from this census are available in several hundred separate datasets (or tables), covering the whole range of population characteristics and subject areas. These data tables can be queried through the 2011 Census NOMIS website. A link to NOMIS is provided below.

NOMIS - ONS 2011 Census data
Dataset

Last updated: 26 March 2019