Southampton's population has grown by almost eight per cent in ten years, census data has revealed.

The new figures, published by the Titchfield-based Office of National Statistics, show that Southampton is a young city, with the number of people in their 20s reaching 51,200, compared to 30,800 people aged 65 and over.

The city’s population grew by 7.9 per cent, to 219,500, between 2001 and 2011, just above the national average of seven per cent.

In our region, it is Winchester that has seen the biggest increase in population at 8.7 per cent, with Fareham seeing the smallest increase of just 3.1 per cent.

The latest census took place on March 27 last year and involved about 25 million households in England and Wales.

It asked about work, health, national identity, citizenship, ethnic background, education, second homes, language, religion, marital status and so on, to build a picture of today’s society.

Southampton City Council relies on census population statistics to identify local needs for public services.

Councillor Richard Williams, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “The increase in population will have a significant impact on service issues like education and social services, especially for children.

“Funds are already tight and this level of increase will add further pressure.

Hopefully Government will listen and help with this massive challenge.”

The number of households in Southampton with at least one resident is 98,300 compared with 91,217 in 2001, an increase of 7.8 per cent.

The response rate for Southampton was 93 per cent compared to 89 per cent in 2001 and 94 per cent in England and Wales.

Professor Jane Falkingham, from the University of Southampton’s Centre for Population Change, said: “The information from the census is very important, especially in terms of planning and because it is used to determine where public funding goes, and the money given to Southampton is directly determined by the results of this census.

“I had expected the results to show that Southampton had grown a lot more than it had but what the information does tell us is that Southampton is a young city.

“I think the figures also reflect that people in their 20s and 30s are starting to have families because there is a high proportion of children in the city too.”

District 2011 2001 increase
Southampton 236,900 219,500 7.9
New Forest 176,500 169,500 4.1
Winchester 116,600 107,300 8.7
Test Valley 116,400 110,000 5.8
Eastleigh 125,200 116,300 7.7
Fareham 111,600 108,200 3.1
Gosport 82,600 76,700 7.7
Isle of Wight 138,300 132,900 4.1