Age groups

The main facts and figures show that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, the median age for the population of England and Wales was 39 years
  • among the broad ethnic groups, the White group had the highest median age, at 41 years, and the Mixed group had the lowest, at 18 years
  • 21% of the overall population of England and Wales was aged under 18 years, 29% was aged 18 to 39 years, 27% was aged 40 to 59 years, and 22% was aged 60 years and over
  • almost one third (31.3%) of people with Mixed ethnicity were aged under 10 years, the highest percentage in this age range out of all ethnic groups
  • 25% of people from White ethnic groups (including White ethnic minorities) were aged 60 years and over, the highest percentage in this age range out of all ethnic groups
  • 43% of people from Asian ethnic groups and 45% of people from the Other ethnic group were aged 20 to 39 years old; these were the highest percentages in this age range out of all ethnic groups
Things you need to know

The Census is planned and carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) every 10 years in England and Wales. The last Census was held in March 2011.

The Census is the only survey to give a detailed picture of the whole population of England and Wales. It makes it possible to compare different parts of the country as all households are asked the same questions within the same time period.

For the 2011 Census, around 25 million pre-addressed questionnaires were posted out to all households using a specially developed national address register. Households could return their questionnaire by post or complete it online. Census employees delivered questionnaires by hand to people living in residential care homes, hospitals, hostels, boarding schools, university halls of residence, mobile home parks, military bases and other communal establishments.

94% of households completed the 2011 Census. Of those, 97% answered the question about ethnicity.

Age can affect a number of outcomes. Younger people are more likely to be in rented accommodation, for example, whereas older people are more likely to be in poor health.

Age can also have an influence on, among other things, whether or not they are employed and which socio-economic group they are in.

All percentages have been calculated using unrounded data. As a result, the figures quoted in the commentary may not match those shown in the tables.

What the data measures

This data shows the age profiles for different ethnic groups in England and Wales. It shows the median age for each broad ethnic group, and the percentage of the population in each age group (for example, 0 to 4 years old, 5 to 9 years, 10 to 14 years, and so on) for specific ethnic groups.

The Census is held in England and Wales every 10 years to collect data on every person living in the country on a specific date.

The Census provides the only source of directly comparable statistics for both small areas and minority population groups across England and Wales.

The information the Census provides allows central and local government, health authorities and many other organisations to plan housing, education, health and transport services for years to come.

The ethnic categories used in this data

The Census uses a standard set of ethnic groups to collect and classify ethnicity data.

The 2011 Census used 18 standardised ethnic categories:

Asian / Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background

Black / African / Caribbean / Black British:

  • African
  • Caribbean
  • Any other Black / African / Caribbean background

Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups:

  • Mixed White and Black Caribbean
  • Mixed White and Black African
  • Mixed White and Asian
  • Any other Mixed / Multiple ethnic background, please describe

White:

  • English / Welsh / Scottish / Northern Irish / British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy or Irish Traveller
  • Any other White background, please describe

Other ethnic group:

  • Arab
  • Any other ethnic group

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Average age by ethnicity

Average (median) age by ethnicity

Ethnicity Age
All 39
Asian 29
Black 30
Mixed 18
White 41
Other 30

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data uses the ‘median’ for working out the average age for each ethnic group. The median is the middle point of a range of numbers that are arranged in order of size from lowest to highest.

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, the median age of the population of England and Wales was 39 years
  • the White ethnic group had the highest median age (at 41 years), and the Mixed group had the lowest (at 18 years)
  • the Asian, Black and Other ethnic groups had similar median ages at 30, 30, and 29 years respectively

Age profile by ethnicity

Percentage and number of people within each broad ethnic group that falls into each age group

All Asian Black Mixed White Other
Age % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number
Age 0 to 4 6.2 3,496,750 8.7 365,207 9.5 176,849 18.0 219,796 5.6 2,684,720 8.9 50,178
Age 5 to 9 5.6 3,135,711 7.7 323,251 8.4 156,365 13.3 162,596 5.1 2,451,735 7.4 41,764
Age 10 to 14 5.8 3,258,677 6.9 290,690 7.8 145,649 11.5 141,390 5.5 2,645,470 6.3 35,478
Age 15 to 17 3.7 2,079,229 4.2 176,135 4.7 88,220 6.5 79,614 3.6 1,713,250 3.9 22,010
Age 18 to 24 9.4 5,267,401 12.9 543,338 10.6 197,321 13.6 167,126 8.9 4,291,624 12.1 67,992
Age 25 to 29 6.8 3,836,609 10.7 450,383 7.9 146,941 8.1 98,861 6.4 3,076,127 11.4 64,297
Age 30 to 34 6.6 3,683,915 10.7 449,113 8.5 158,230 6.5 79,486 6.1 2,931,879 11.6 65,207
Age 35 to 39 6.7 3,732,161 9.0 378,009 8.2 153,117 5.2 63,413 6.4 3,083,346 9.6 54,276
Age 40 to 44 7.3 4,099,089 7.1 297,699 9.1 170,155 4.8 59,251 7.3 3,529,082 7.6 42,902
Age 45 to 49 7.3 4,100,526 5.2 220,332 8.5 159,252 4.1 50,245 7.5 3,637,280 5.9 33,417
Age 50 to 54 6.4 3,601,694 4.7 197,126 5.6 104,540 2.6 32,391 6.7 3,241,624 4.6 26,013
Age 55 to 59 5.7 3,183,915 4.0 166,627 3.1 57,825 1.6 19,970 6.1 2,919,608 3.5 19,885
Age 60 to 64 6.0 3,377,162 2.8 116,348 1.9 34,876 1.2 14,886 6.6 3,196,687 2.5 14,365
Age 65 to 69 4.8 2,674,161 1.8 77,482 1.7 32,032 0.9 11,574 5.3 2,543,742 1.7 9,331
Age 70 to 74 3.9 2,178,672 1.7 71,627 1.9 35,590 0.7 8,782 4.3 2,055,873 1.2 6,800
Age 75 to 79 3.2 1,777,547 1.2 49,198 1.4 26,074 0.6 6,816 3.5 1,690,772 0.8 4,687
Age 80 to 84 2.4 1,338,005 0.6 26,010 0.8 14,236 0.4 4,578 2.7 1,290,136 0.5 3,045
Age 85 and over 2.2 1,254,688 0.4 14,956 0.4 7,618 0.3 3,625 2.5 1,226,440 0.4 2,049

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Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, 21.3% of the overall population of England and Wales was aged under 18 years, 29.5% was aged 18 to 39 years, 26.7% was aged 40 to 59 years, and 22.5% was aged 60 years and over
  • 43.2% of people from Asian ethnic groups and 44.7% of people from the Other ethnic group were aged 20 to 39 years – these were the highest percentages in this age range out of all ethnic groups
  • 31.3% of people with Mixed ethnicity were aged under 10 (the highest percentage in this age range out of all the ethnic groups), compared with 10.7% of White people (the lowest percentage)
  • 25% of people from White ethnic groups were aged 60 years and over (the highest percentage in this age range out of all ethnic groups), compared with 4.1% of people with Mixed ethnicity (the lowest percentage)
  • over half (52.8%) of people from Black ethnic groups were aged between 18 and 49 years, and just under one-third (30.4%) were aged under 18 years

Asian ethnic groups: age profile

Percentage of people within each Asian ethnic group that falls into each age group

Age group Asian Bangladeshi Chinese Indian Pakistani Asian other
% % % % % %
Asian
Age 0 to 4 8.7 11.4 4.7 7.0 11.5 8.0
Age 5 to 9 7.7 11.4 3.3 5.8 10.7 6.9
Age 10 to 14 6.9 10.1 3.8 5.3 9.0 6.5
Age 15 to 17 4.2 5.4 3.9 3.3 5.0 4.0
Age 18 to 24 12.9 13.1 25.2 11.0 12.0 11.4
Age 25 to 29 10.7 10.5 12.2 11.2 10.3 9.7
Age 30 to 34 10.7 10.1 9.8 11.2 10.2 11.0
Age 35 to 39 9.0 8.6 7.7 8.9 7.8 11.5
Age 40 to 44 7.1 5.8 6.3 7.2 6.4 8.7
Age 45 to 49 5.2 3.6 5.8 6.1 3.9 6.2
Age 50 to 54 4.7 2.9 5.1 5.9 3.7 4.8
Age 55 to 59 4.0 2.3 4.2 5.2 3.1 3.7
Age 60 to 64 2.8 1.2 3.0 3.8 1.8 2.9
Age 65 to 69 1.8 1.0 1.6 2.6 1.3 1.8
Age 70 to 74 1.7 1.4 1.4 2.4 1.4 1.3
Age 75 to 79 1.2 0.8 1.0 1.7 1.0 0.8
Age 80 to 84 0.6 0.4 0.6 0.9 0.5 0.4
Age 85 and over 0.4 0.1 0.4 0.6 0.2 0.3

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Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, 27.4% of the population of England and Wales identifying as Asian were aged under 18 years, 43.2% were aged 18 to 39 years, 20.9% were aged 40 to 59 years, and 8.4% were aged 60 years and over
  • the Bangladeshi ethnic group had the highest percentage of people under 18 years (at 38.3%), followed by Pakistani (at 36.2%); the Chinese ethnic group had the lowest (at 15.7%)
  • over one-third of people (37.4%) from the Chinese ethnic group (37.4%) were aged 18 to 29 years, the highest percentage out of all Asian ethnic groups – this could mean that a higher percentage of people in this ethnic group were students or recent graduates
  • the Indian ethnic group had the highest percentage of people aged 65 years and over (at 8.2%), and the Bangladeshi group had the lowest (at 3.7%)

Black ethnic groups: age profile

Percentage of people within each Black ethnic group that falls into each age group

Age group Black Black African Black Caribbean Black other
% % % %
Black
Age 0 to 4 9.5 11.0 5.0 13.8
Age 5 to 9 8.4 9.2 5.2 12.1
Age 10 to 14 7.8 8.2 5.9 10.3
Age 15 to 17 4.7 5.0 4.0 5.5
Age 18 to 24 10.6 11.4 9.4 10.1
Age 25 to 29 7.9 8.8 6.5 7.6
Age 30 to 34 8.5 10.4 6.1 6.9
Age 35 to 39 8.2 9.7 6.5 6.4
Age 40 to 44 9.1 9.1 9.6 8.4
Age 45 to 49 8.5 6.7 11.6 8.5
Age 50 to 54 5.6 4.3 8.3 4.3
Age 55 to 59 3.1 2.3 4.9 1.9
Age 60 to 64 1.9 1.4 3.0 1.1
Age 65 to 69 1.7 0.9 3.4 1.0
Age 70 to 74 1.9 0.8 4.2 0.9
Age 75 to 79 1.4 0.4 3.4 0.7
Age 80 to 84 0.8 0.2 1.9 0.3
Age 85 and over 0.4 0.1 1.0 0.2

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Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, 30.4% of the population of England and Wales identifying as Black were aged under 18 years, 35.2% were aged 18 to 39 years, 26.4% were aged 40 to 59 years, and 8.1% were aged 60 years and over
  • the Black African group had a younger age profile than the Black Caribbean group, partly due to different immigration patterns – the first large wave of immigrants from the Caribbean was in the 1950s and 1960s, and most of their children were aged 40 to 55 years at the 2011 Census (accounting for nearly 30% of this ethnic group); the more recent immigration of Black Africans explains why 29% of people in this ethnic group were aged 25 to 39 years at the Census
  • out of all Black ethnic groups, the Other Black group had the highest percentage of people under 18 years (at 41.7%), and the Black Caribbean group had the lowest (at 20.1%)
  • the Black Caribbean ethnic group had the highest percentage of people aged 65 years and over (at 13.9%), and the Black African group had the lowest (at 2.4%)
  • 26% of people from the Other Black group were under 10 years old, compared with 20% of the Black African group and 10% of the Black Caribbean group

Mixed ethnic groups: age profile

Percentage of people within each Mixed ethnic group that fall into each age group

Age group Mixed Mixed White/Asian Mixed White/Black African Mixed White/Black Caribbean Mixed other
% % % % %
Mixed
Age 0 to 4 18.0 19.6 21.9 15.6 17.3
Age 5 to 9 13.3 14.2 14.4 12.9 12.1
Age 10 to 14 11.5 11.4 10.9 13.0 10.0
Age 15 to 17 6.5 6.2 5.4 7.8 5.5
Age 18 to 24 13.6 13.3 10.9 15.9 12.3
Age 25 to 29 8.1 7.7 7.3 7.8 9.4
Age 30 to 34 6.5 6.2 6.9 5.5 8.2
Age 35 to 39 5.2 4.9 5.7 4.6 6.1
Age 40 to 44 4.8 4.7 4.9 4.7 5.2
Age 45 to 49 4.1 3.9 4.0 4.3 4.2
Age 50 to 54 2.6 2.4 2.9 2.5 2.9
Age 55 to 59 1.6 1.6 1.9 1.3 2.0
Age 60 to 64 1.2 1.3 1.0 1.0 1.6
Age 65 to 69 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.8 1.2
Age 70 to 74 0.7 0.7 0.5 0.8 0.8
Age 75 to 79 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.6 0.6
Age 80 to 84 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.5 0.4
Age 85 and over 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.3

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Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, 49.3% of the population of England and Wales identifying as having Mixed ethnicity were aged under 18 years, 33.4% were aged 18 to 39 years, 13.2% were aged 40 to 59 years, and 4.1% were aged 60 years and over
  • 52.6% of Mixed White and Black African people were aged under 18 years (the highest percentage out of all Mixed ethnicity groups), followed by 51.4% of Mixed White and Asian people
  • nearly 1 in 5 (18.0%) of people with Mixed ethnicity were under 5 years old, with the figure reaching 21.9% in the Mixed White and Black African group
  • these figures may reflect how Mixed ethnicity relationships have become more common in recent years, with the children of these relationships forming the majority of this ethnic group
  • the percentage of the population aged 65 and over was small among Mixed ethnic groups, accounting for 1.9% of Mixed White and Black African people

White ethnic groups: age profile

Percentage of people within each White ethnic group that fall into each age group

Age group White White British White Irish White Gypsy/Traveller White other
% % % % %
White
Age 0 to 4 5.6 5.6 1.7 10.5 6.6
Age 5 to 9 5.1 5.2 1.7 9.5 4.3
Age 10 to 14 5.5 5.6 1.9 9.9 3.8
Age 15 to 17 3.6 3.7 1.2 5.9 2.2
Age 18 to 24 8.9 8.9 5.4 11.4 10.5
Age 25 to 29 6.4 5.8 5.7 7.6 16.2
Age 30 to 34 6.1 5.6 5.9 7.0 15.7
Age 35 to 39 6.4 6.2 6.1 6.8 10.8
Age 40 to 44 7.3 7.3 7.4 7.0 7.6
Age 45 to 49 7.5 7.6 8.0 6.5 5.7
Age 50 to 54 6.7 6.8 7.4 5.1 4.5
Age 55 to 59 6.1 6.2 7.9 3.8 3.3
Age 60 to 64 6.6 6.8 8.9 3.2 2.7
Age 65 to 69 5.3 5.4 8.8 2.2 1.8
Age 70 to 74 4.3 4.4 8.0 1.7 1.5
Age 75 to 79 3.5 3.6 6.4 1.1 1.1
Age 80 to 84 2.7 2.8 4.3 0.6 0.9
Age 85 and over 2.5 2.6 3.2 0.4 0.9

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Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, 19.7% of the population of England and Wales identifying as White were aged under 18 years, 27.8% were aged 18 to 39 years, 27.6% were aged 40 to 59 years, and 24.9% were aged 60 years and over
  • 6.5% of the Irish population were aged under 18 years, the lowest percentage out of all White ethnic groups; the highest percentage was in the Gypsy and Irish Traveller group, where 35.8% of people were aged under 18 years
  • out of all White ethnic groups, the Irish group had the largest percentage of people aged 65 years and over (at 30.7%); the Gypsy and Irish Traveller had the lowest (at 6.0%)
  • 42.4% of people from the Other White group were aged between 18 and 34 years, over twice the percentage of White British people in the same age group (20.3%) – this is likely to reflect recent patterns of migration from Europe

Other ethnic groups: age profile

Percentage of people within each Other ethnic group that fall into each age group

Age group Other Arab Any other
% % %
Other
Age 0 to 4 8.9 11.2 7.3
Age 5 to 9 7.4 9.2 6.1
Age 10 to 14 6.3 6.9 5.9
Age 15 to 17 3.9 3.8 3.9
Age 18 to 24 12.1 13.2 11.3
Age 25 to 29 11.4 11.4 11.4
Age 30 to 34 11.6 10.7 12.2
Age 35 to 39 9.6 9.0 10.0
Age 40 to 44 7.6 7.2 7.9
Age 45 to 49 5.9 5.3 6.4
Age 50 to 54 4.6 3.9 5.1
Age 55 to 59 3.5 2.8 4.1
Age 60 to 64 2.5 2.0 2.9
Age 65 to 69 1.7 1.3 1.9
Age 70 to 74 1.2 0.9 1.4
Age 75 to 79 0.8 0.6 1.0
Age 80 to 84 0.5 0.4 0.7
Age 85 and over 0.4 0.2 0.5

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Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, 26.5% of the population of England and Wales identifying with an ethnic group under ‘Other’ were aged under 18 years, 44.7% were aged 18 to 39 years, 21.7% were aged 40 to 59 years, and 7.1% were aged 60 years and over
  • people from the Arab ethnic group had a younger age profile than those with Any Other ethnicity, with people aged under 30 years accounting for 55.7% and 45.9% of their respective populations
  • the older age profile of people with Any Other ethnicity is reflected in the higher percentage of their population aged 60 years and over (8.4%), compared with the Arab ethnic group (5.4%)

Methodology

Methodology

All households in England and Wales received a census questionnaire through the post. The questionnaire was accompanied by an information leaflet and a pre-paid envelope for return by post.

Households in Wales received both English language and Welsh language questionnaires, and information leaflets.

Householders could complete their questionnaire and return it by post or they could complete the census questionnaire online. Each paper questionnaire had an internet access code which was unique to that household which enabled the householder to complete their questionnaire online.

Questionnaires returned via the post, or through the internet, were receipted daily and this information uploaded onto the questionnaire tracking (QT) system. This enabled the identification of households for follow-up where a questionnaire had not been returned or completed online.

Communal establishments, for example, managed accommodation (such as care homes) and special groups (such as travellers) had their census questionnaires hand delivered.

In communal establishments, questionnaires were collected by the special enumerators and transferred to the census processing site via the census coordinators. Individuals within communal establishments also had the option of completing their questionnaire online following the same process as that used by households.

2011 Census questions There were 56 questions on the 2011 Census questionnaire: 14 about the household and its accommodation and 42 for each member of the household. For those living in Wales, there was a Welsh and English version of the questionnaire, and an extra question about the Welsh language.

Questions included those about work, health, national identity, passports held, ethnic background, education, second homes, language, religion and marital status.

Previous Census questionnaires can be seen in the 200 years of the Census section.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

The ONS uses a number of ways to protect the confidentiality of individuals and households, including:

  • record swapping, where small numbers of records are swapped between geographical areas
  • restricting the amount of detail shown in published data, particularly at low level geographies like local authorities

Rounding

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Census user guide.

2011 UK Censuses.

Data sources

Source

Census 2011

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Purpose of data source

The government uses Census data to develop policies, plan and run public services, and allocate funding. The Census also helps illustrate differences between various groups of the population.

Download the data