About the data
In 2021, Somerset’s total population was 573,119, an increase of 9,268 (1.6%) on the previous year. This compares with rates of 0.1% fall for the UK and 0.9% growth for the South West over the same period.
By 2026, Somerset’s total population is projected to grow by a further 3.5% to 593,272. Between 2021 and 2036, Somerset’s population is expected to increase by 8.3% to a total of 47,516. Between 2021 and 2036, England’s population is expected to increase by 7.1%, from its current level of 56,536,419 to a total of 60,571,671.
Between 2019 and 2020 population of England grew by 263,177, of which 15,495 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 1,738 people. 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 2015 and 2020 there was a net increase of 4,230 people due to international migration, compared to a net increase of 16,930 people from elsewhere in the UK. Projections show this trend is set to continue.
In 2021, 16.8% of Somerset’s population were under 16 years of age, 58.2% 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.