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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 14:21 GMT
At a glance: Census results
2001 Census
The results of the 2001 census published on Thursday reveal a detailed picture of race, religion, health, family relationships, housing and work across England and Wales.

Here are some of the main findings of the report, which generated two billion items of information and cost 200m to administer.

Ethnicity and religion

  • The ethnic minority population of England and Wales rose from 6% in 1991 to 9% in 2001. But experts stressed that figures on race were not directly comparable because questions on the census form changed between the 1991 and 2001 surveys.

  • 87% of the population of England and 96% of the population of Wales gave their ethnic origin as White British.

  • The largest proportions of people of mixed origin are in London, with the exception of Nottingham, where 2% of people are Mixed White and Black Caribbean.

  • Two areas of Britain have more blacks and Asians than white people for the first time ever. White people made up 39.4% of the population in Newham, east London, and 45.3% in Brent, north west London.

  • Just over 37 million people (72%) gave their religion as Christian, with Islam being the second largest faith with 3% of the population in England and Wales - just over 1.5 million people.

  • Seven people in every thousand in England and Wales gave their religion as 'Jedi' in the box marked 'any other religion'. This was the first time a religion question was included in the census, which was the only question it was not compulsory to answer.


  • The number of married couples showed a significant decline, making up 50.7% of the adult population, compared with 68% in 1971.

  • The number of divorced people rose from 26.3% in 1991 to 30.1%, while cohabiting couples made up one in 10 of the population - double the number a decade earlier.

  • The number of single people went up from 26.3% in 1991 to 30.1% in 2001.

  • The proportion of lone parent families increased from 5.2% to 6% over 10 years.


  • For the first time, the census in April 2001 asked if householders were caring for an elderly sick relative or friend. Officials discovered 5.2 million people were providing unpaid care, with one million of them giving more than 50 hours a week.

  • Overall 9.2% of people in England and Wales said they were not in good health.

  • In Wales, the proportion reporting their health as 'not good' was 12.4%. In England, the region with the highest level of 'not good' health was the North East, with 12%.


  • The proportion of people who own their own homes increased to 68.2% compared with 67.6% a decade earlier.

  • The proportion who do not own a vehicle has fallen from 32% to 27% since 1991 while the proportion owning two cars has increased 3% to 23%.

  • Four out of 10 households in the Isles of Scilly do not have central heating and one in a 100 households in London do not have their own toilet or bath.


  • Women make up the biggest proportion of employees in low paid occupations and are more likely to be part-time workers. More than two out of five women work part-time, compared with one in 10 men.

  • Women make up 84% of employees in personal services, such as care assistants and childminders, 78% of those doing secretarial and administrative work and 71% of sales and customer services staff.

  • Women in the City of London were most likely to have a professional job (28%), while Stoke-on-Trent had the highest proportion of women in skilled trades (11%).

  • Men tend to work long hours in jobs that pay more.

  • Nine out of 10 skilled jobs, such as mechanics, bricklayers and electricians, are taken by men.

  • Key stories


    UK breakdown


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