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Population Overview

The information here pertains to total population figures for Somerset, including its historic and projected growth.

The chart above shows the growth of Somerset's total population between 1991 and 2041. The vertical line represents the point at which the figures stop being 'actual' (as reported in successive Annual Population Surveys) and become projected.

About the data

In 2019, Somerset’s total population was 562,225, an increase of 2,826 (0.5%) on the previous year. This compares with growth rates of 0.5% for the UK and 0.4% for the South West over the same period.

By 2026, Somerset’s total population is projected to grow by a further 4.9% to 590,040. Between 2019 and 2036, Somerset’s population is expected to increase by 9.9% to a total of 618,105. Between 2019 and 2036, England’s population is expected to increase by 7.3%, from its current level of 56,286,961 to a total of 60,377,877.

Between 2018 and 2019 population of England grew by 309,783, of which 114,135 was the result of natural change (births minus deaths). The remainder is accounted for by internal migration. Net migration has been the main driver of UK population growth since 1998, unlike for the majority of the 20th century during which natural change was the main driver.

During the same period natural change in Somerset accounted for a net decrease of 1,049 people, despite the total population having grown by 2,826. This means that growth in Somerset’s population was entirely accounted for by internal migration from elsewhere in the UK as well as abroad. Projections suggest that over the next 20+ years, the rate of decline through natural change is set to accelerate with deaths further outstripping births, and yet, as we have seen, the total population is set to steadily increase, all due to inward migration.

The majority of inward migration is accounted for by people moving to Somerset from elsewhere in the UK as opposed to long-term international migration. Between 2014 and 2019 there was a net increase of 4,681 people due to international migration, compared to a net increase of 18,041 people from elsewhere in the UK. Projections show this trend is set to continue.

In 2019, 17.6% of Somerset’s population were under 16 years of age, 57.5% were between 16 and 64 and 24.9% were aged 65 and over.

Source: ONS, Population projections, based on assumed levels of future fertility, mortality and migration.