Population Estimates 2017

Population Change

The latest population estimate for Sandwell is 325,460, this is the 2017 mid-year estimate produced by the Office for National Statistics.

When Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council was formed in 1974, the area was experiencing a steady decline in population numbers, which reached a low in 2001. Over the sixteen year period between 2001 and 2017 there has been an estimated increase of 40,866 in Sandwell's population, an increase of 14%.

This percentage increase is higher than both the estimates for England & Wales and West Midlands Metropolitan County area. Being higher than all the other Black Country Boroughs; Walsall +11%, Wolverhampton +9% and Dudley +5%. Sandwell's increase is only lower than Coventry +19% and Birmingham +15% in the Metropolitan county.

Sandwell's Population Profile

Sandwell has a relatively young age profile compared with the population of England & Wales as a whole. There are particularly high proportions of young people and lower proportions of older people.  Younger people in Sandwell, 0 to 14 year olds, accounted for 21.3% of the Sandwell's total population and 15.1% were aged 65 plus. This compares to 18.0% for 0 to 14 year olds and 18.2% for the 65 plus age group for England and Wales.

This population pyramid shows the percentages in each group rather than actual numbers and compares Sandwell's age profile with England & Wales as a whole (the black lines represent percentages for England & Wales). It illustrates the higher proportions of children in Sandwell and the lower proportions of people aged 50 and over compared with the national average.

Drivers of Population Change

The Office for National Statistics produce data estimating the components of population change.  These figures for Sandwell indicate that Sandwell's population growth is being driven by natural change (births minus deaths) and International net migration. While Sandwell loses population through internal net migration.  Internal migration is defined as residential moves between different Local Authorities in the UK.

However, the volume of population turnover produced though international migration in Sandwell is far smaller than that generated through internal migration.  Figures for the change between 2016 and 2017 highlight this:

Internal migration; Inflow 15,452, Outflow 16,579, Net  -1,127

International migration; Inflow 2,798, Outflow 584, Net 2,214

Population Estimates - Explained

The population of the UK is only counted once every ten years at the time of the Census, the latest Census being in 2011. In the years between, the Office for National Statistics produce 'estimates' of the population at a variety of geographical levels and by age and gender. The latest estimates are for mid-year 2017. They are the building blocks for a wide range of National Statistics. They are used directly as a base for other secondary population statistics, such as population projections and population estimates for small geographical areas. They are used for weighting survey estimates such as the Labour Force Survey and other social surveys to ensure that they are representative of the total population, and they are used as denominators for rates or ratios, for example in health and economic indicators. Population estimates are produced from administrative records on births and deaths and from estimates of Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) in addition to other adjustments and use the most recent Census as their base. Data on births and deaths is considered very reliable but migration data is not and this is where much of the uncertainty lies in producing estimates. The 2017 Mid-Year Population Estimates were released on the 28th June 2018.