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Mid-year population estimates: 2022
On 23 November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the latest mid-year population estimates for Wales and England for 2022. The Welsh Government also have a headline relating specifically to Wales’ population estimates.
- On 30 June 2022, there were estimated to be around 3,132,000 people living in Wales, an increase of 0.8% since mid-2021 (around 26,000 more people).
- The population increase between mid-2021 and mid-2022 has mainly been driven by an increase in net international migration.
- In the year to mid-2022, it is estimated that net international migration to Wales was around 21,900 compared with around 5,400 in the year to mid-2021.
- In the year to mid-2022, there continued to be more deaths than births in Wales.
- There were around 35,700 deaths in Wales in the year to mid-2022, slightly fewer than in the year to mid-2021. The number of births in the year to mid-2022 was around 29,100, which was an increase of 1,100 compared with the year to mid-2021.
Population by age
- People aged 65 years or older were estimated to account for just over a fifth (21.5%, or 674,000 people) of the total population in Wales in mid-2022.
- 60.9% of the population were aged 16 to 64 years old in mid-2022 (around 1,909,000 people).
- Children and young people aged 0 to 15 years old accounted for the remaining 17.5% of the population in mid-2022 (549,000 children and young people).
Population by area
- The population is estimated to have increased in all but one of the local authorities in Wales between mid-2021 and mid-2022, with the largest increases in Cardiff (3.4% increase), Swansea (1.4% increase) and Ceredigion (1.3% increase).
- Conwy is the only local authority whose population is estimated to have decreased between mid-2021 and mid-2022 (a decrease of 0.4%).
Note that methods for measuring international migration are in development and the ONS has updated previously published estimates of international migration for the year ending June 2022. Also, the data used to produce internal migration estimates for 2022 had quality issues which are not fully resolved. If these are more fully resolved, estimates of local population change will be revised. More information can be found in the ONS release: International migration research, progress update: November 2023.
The ONS plans to release a full set of UK population estimates for mid-2022 in February 2024. This includes estimates for Northern Ireland produced by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) and estimates for Scotland produced by National Records of Scotland (NRS).
Rebased population estimates: 2012 to 2021
On 23 November, the ONS also published rebased population estimates for Wales and England for 2012 to 2021. This uses Census 2021 data to rebase the mid-year population estimates that were initially rolled-forwards from Census 2011. Our StatsWales page will be updated in due course to reflect these changes.
Latest and revised migration estimates
In addition to the above publications, on 23 November the ONS published revised UK international migration statistics for 2012 to 2021 and long-term UK international migration estimates for year ending June 2023.
Supporting information including methodology and research updates have also been published alongside these releases:
- International migration research, progress update: November 2023 (Office for National Statistics)
- Improving international migration statistics using administrative data (Office for National Statistics)
- Reason for international migration, international students update: November 2023 (Office for National Statistics)
National population projections
The ONS has pre-announced the publication of national population projections. The provisional dates are:
- 2021-based interim national population projections (using Census 2021 data and the latest international migration estimates and new international migration assumptions) - January 2024 (provisional)
- 2022-based national population projections (using the latest census data, including from Scotland, new assumptions and a range of variants) - October / November 2024 (provisional)
We are planning to publish updated subnational population and household projections for local authorities and national parks in Wales at the earliest opportunity, following the publication of the 2022-based national population projections for Wales by the ONS.
Consultation on the future of population and migration statistics in Wales and England
The ONS consultation on the future of population and migration statistics for Wales and England closed on 26 October.
The Welsh Government submitted a response to this consultation, and this was accompanied by a letter from the Minister for Finance and Local Government to the National Statistician, Sir Ian Diamond. A written statement was issued from the Minister for Finance and Local Government alongside the letter.
A copy of the Welsh Government’s response to the consultation is available upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org.