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2011 Census: Key Statistics for Swansea

(Second Release Phase)

The first detailed local area results from the 2011 Census were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 11 December 2012. Key Statistics for local authorities in England & Wales provide the core Census information on local population characteristics at a local authority level.

Amongst the statistics detailed in this release include:

  • The usually resident population of Swansea was 239,023 in 2011, an increase of 15,500 or seven per cent since 2001. Nearly one in five (18 per cent, 42,800) of Swansea residents were aged 65 or over, with around 17% (41,400) aged under 16. The median age of Swansea residents is 39 (Wales: 41). 
  • The Census data suggests that there are 108,729 dwellings in Swansea (March 2011), with 103,497 occupied households. Average household size in Swansea is now 2.31, a slight fall on 2001 (2.33). 
  • A higher proportion of residents aged 16 and over are single in 2011 than 2001 (up from 29.7% to 36.7%). Conversely, a lower proportion was married in 2011 (43.8%) than in 2001 (50.1%). The numbers and proportions separated or divorced have also increased over the ten year period. 
  • In 2011 Swansea had a higher percentage of residents with a long term health problem or disability, at just under a quarter of all people (23.3%, around 55,700); slightly above the Wales average (22.7%). This proportion has fallen slightly since 2001 (24.7%). 
  • In terms of ethnicity, the census recorded that 94% of Swansea's usually resident population were white (around 224,700 people). The proportion of non-white ethnic population in Swansea has increased from 2.2% in 2001 (around 4,800 people) to 6.0% in 2011 (14,300), with the largest non-white ethnic groups in Swansea now Chinese (2,052 people, 0.9%) and Bangladeshi (1,944, 0.8%). 
  • Fifty-five per cent (131,451) of Swansea residents stated Christian as their religion in 2011, a 16 percentage point drop since 2001. Over one third (34%, 81,219) of the population in Swansea stated they had no religion in 2011, up from around 44,000 in 2001. The largest minority religion in Swansea is Muslim (5,415, or 2.3% of all people). 
  • In 2011, 7.2% (17,233) of people in Swansea were born outside the UK, an increase of 3.6 percentage points (around 9,300 people) on 2001. 
  • The proportion of people aged 3 and over able to speak Welsh in Swansea decreased from 13.4 per cent (28,938) in 2001 to 11.4 per cent in 2011 (26,332 people). This fall (by 9.0%) is greater than that recorded for Wales over the period (-3.5%). 
  • In 2011, a lower proportion of households in Swansea (64.0 per cent, 66,259 households) owned their accommodation than in Wales (67.4 per cent). This was the 4th lowest proportion of the 22 unitary authorities in Wales.  Conversely, Swansea has higher proportions of households in the social rented (19,878 / 19.2%) and private rented sectors (15,260 / 14.7%). 
  • The number of cars and vans available to households in Swansea increased from 97,825 to 118,896 between 2001 and 2011. In 2001 there were on average 1.04 cars per household in Swansea whereas in 2011 this figure had increased to 1.15. The greatest increase numerically has been in two car households (+4,655) and proportionately in 4+ car households (+85.6%). 
  • A higher proportion of people (12.7%, 30,349) in Swansea provided unpaid care than Wales (12.1%) in 2011. Around 43% of people (13,000) providing care in Swansea did so for 20 or more hours in 2011, higher than the equivalent 2001 figure (around 11,000). 
  • Over a quarter of the usually resident population in Wales aged 16 and over (25.8% / 51,081 people) reported having level 4 and above (mainly Degree) qualifications, slightly higher than the proportion in Wales (24.5%). However, 23.9% of those aged 16+ in Swansea had no qualifications (Wales 25.9%). 
  • The Swansea figures show increases in economic activity over the last ten years, up from 58.6% to 63.0% in total, with increases in the proportion of people aged 16-74 working part-time, self-employed and students. At the same time, there have been reductions in the 'looking after home/family' and 'long-term sick/disabled' categories (economically inactive). 
  • The number of people aged 16-74 in employment in Swansea has increased from around 88,000 in 2001 to 102,793 in 2011.  The most significant single industry sector in Swansea remains wholesale/retail trade (17,486 people / 17% of all employment); with around 36,700 employed in the public administration, education and health/social care sectors (35.7%). The numbers employed in manufacturing have fallen from around 11,900 in 2001 to 7,389 in 2011.

This information has been used to compile a summary 2011 Census profile of the PDF Document City and County of Swansea (PDF, 107KB)Opens new window, and an equivalent for PDF Document Wales (PDF, 107KB)Opens new window

A selection of 'Key Statistics' tables containing 2011 Census data for Swansea, Wales and England & Wales are available to view or download from this page. The files include additional worksheets containing the definitions used by ONS in each case, together with the nearest equivalent summary table from the 2001 Census. 

As part of the second release phase, a series of 'Quick Statistics' tables were also published by ONS between January and March 2013. A selection of the Quick Statistics tables containing data for Swansea, Wales and England & Wales are also available to view or download from this page. These tables include 2011 Census statistics for a range of topics including:

  • Second addresses 
  • Household lifestage and composition 
  • Families with dependent children 
  • Households by deprivation dimensions 
  • Country of birth (detailed) 
  • Main language (detailed) 
  • Language proficiency 
  • Welsh language skills (detailed) 
  • Religion (detailed) 
  • Ethnic group (detailed) 
  • Household size 
  • Rooms/bedrooms and occupancy ratings 
  • Central heating 
  • Qualifications gained 
  • Full-time students 
  • Occupation (minor groups) 
  • Method of travel to work 
  • UK residence and year/age of arrival 
  • Non-UK born short-term residents 
  • Approximated social grade.

Key and Quick Statistics tables for small area geographies have also been released by ONS. If you require any further information or advice on the availability of local data for areas in Swansea from the 2011 Census, please contact us

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