Male and female populations

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • according to the 2011 Census, women and girls made up 51% of the population of England and Wales, and men and boys made up 49%
  • most ethnic groups had roughly the same male and female populations
  • there was a larger female than male population in the Chinese, Black Caribbean and Other White ethnic groups, where women and girls made up 53% of the respective populations
  • there was a larger male than female population in the Arab ethnic group, where men and boys made up 58% of the population, and among people who identified as Any other ethnicity (54% men and boys)
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.

What the data measures

This data breaks down the population of England and Wales by ethnicity and sex. The split between women/girls and men/boys is shown for each ethnic group.

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

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of male and female population in each ethnic group
Ethnicity Male Female
% %
All 49 51
Asian 50 50
Bangladeshi 52 48
Chinese 47 53
Indian 51 49
Pakistani 51 49
Asian other 49 51
Black 48 52
Black African 48 52
Black Caribbean 47 53
Black other 50 50
Mixed 50 50
Mixed White/Asian 51 49
Mixed White/Black African 50 50
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 50 50
Mixed other 49 51
White 49 51
White British 49 51
White Irish 48 52
White Gypsy/Traveller 50 50
White other 47 53
Other 55 45
Arab 58 42
Any other 54 46

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • according to the 2011 Census, women and girls made up 51% of the population of England and Wales, and men and boys made up 49%
  • most ethnic groups had roughly the same male and female populations
  • there was a larger female than male population in the Chinese, Black Caribbean and Other White ethnic groups, where women and girls made up 53% of the respective populations
  • there was a larger male than female population in the Arab ethnic group, where men and boys made up 58% of the population, and among people who identified as Any other ethnicity (54%)

3. Methodology

All households in England and Wales received a Census questionnaire through the post from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), along with 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 either:

  • on paper, and return it by post
  • online – each paper questionnaire had a unique internet access code

Responses were uploaded every day onto the questionnaire tracking system throughout the duration of the Census. This meant that households could be contacted if their questionnaire had not been submitted.

Communal establishments like care homes, and special groups (such as travellers), had their questionnaires hand delivered, collected and uploaded by Census employees. Individuals within communal establishments could also complete their questionnaire online.

There were 56 questions in the 2011 Census questionnaire:

  • 14 questions were about the household and its accommodation
  • 42 questions were for each member of the household

Topics included work, health, national identity, passports, ethnicity, education, second homes, language, religion and marital status.

There was an extra question about the Welsh language for households in Wales.

A census is designed to cover the whole population, but some people or households are inevitably left out by accident. A good census design will recognise this and take account of the error with quality controls.

ONS developed a ‘coverage assessment and adjustment methodology’ which estimates and adjusts Census data for the number of people and households not counted or counted incorrectly.

All the 2011 Census population estimates have been subject to quality assurance using demographic analysis, survey data, qualitative information and administrative data. This ensures that the figures are plausible and that users of Census data can have confidence in the quality and accuracy of the information.

Relative confidence intervals for the population by ethnicity down to local authority level can be found in the ONS archive.

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 whole numbers.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Census user guide.

2011 UK Censuses.

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Every 10 years

Purpose of data source

The Census is carried out every 10 years. It provides information that government needs to plan and run public services and is used as a benchmark for other statistical estimates. It also helps illustrate differences between various groups in the population.

5. Download the data

Ethnic groups in England and Wales by sex - Spreadsheet (csv) 4 KB

This file contains: measure, time, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, gender, gender_type, value, value_note, source