THE population of Colchester has risen by 11 per cent over the past ten years as the borough booms in comparison to the rest of Essex.

The latest census data has been released, showing population changes in England and Wales since the last figures were announced in 2011.

The population of England and Wales has increased by more than 3.5 million in the 10 years leading up to Census 2021.

There were 59,597,300 people living in England and Wales on 21 March 2021, the day of the latest census.

This is over 3.5 million more (6.3%) than in 2011 and is the largest census population ever recorded.

The English region with the largest population increase was the East of England, which grew by around 8.3% or 488,000 more residents.

Gazette: The East of England saw the largest population growthThe East of England saw the largest population growth

The English region with the smallest increase was the North East, growing by 1.9% or around 50,000 people. In Wales, the population grew by 1.4% or 44,000 people.

In Colchester, the population size has increased by 11.3%, from around 173,100 in 2011 to 192,700 in 2021.

Gazette: Colchester's ranking against the rest of the East of EnglandColchester's ranking against the rest of the East of England

This is higher than the overall increase for England (6.6%), where the population grew by nearly 3.5 million to 56,489,800.

Nearby areas like Maldon and Tendring have seen their populations increase by around 7.4% and 7.3%, respectively, while others such as Braintree saw an increase of 5.5% and Babergh saw smaller growth (5.2%).

The census takes place every ten years, with every household in the UK required to take part.

It is crucial for the UK’s statisticians to understand how our population is changing and plays a vital role in how our public services and government operate.

How has the age of people in Colchester changed?

It shows the balance of men and women in the area has changed – Colchester’s population is now 48.9 per cent male and 51.1 per cent female, meaning there is now a higher proportion of women in the area than ten years ago.

In 2011, people living in Colchester were 49.3 per cent male and 50.7 per cent female.

It also shows the area has seen a rise in the proportion of both young children and the elderly – a decade ago the population was made up of 11.6 per cent under-10s and 15.8 per cent over-65s, but this had changed to 11.7 per cent and 17.8 per cent respectively by 2021.

The largest population increases in the East of England have been seen in Bedford and Cambridge, where the populations have grown by 17.7% and 17.6%, respectively.

At 11.3%, Colchester's population increase is higher than the increase for the East of England (8.3%).

In 2021, Colchester ranked 99th for total population out of 309 local authority areas in England, moving up six places in a decade.