England is the largest of the four countries that comprise the United Kingdom. England is bordered by Scotland to the north, Wales to the west, the Celtic Sea to the southwest, and the Irish Sea to the northwest. It's separated from continental Europe by the English Channel and the North Sea. England has an estimated population of 57.5 million.
The most recent estimate for the population of England comes from the UK’s Office of National Statistics. Their data, which was published in December 2012, showed that, on 27 March 2011, there were 56,100,000 people living in England.
If England's population is measured separately from the United Kingdom's, it would be the 25th largest country in the world by population, the fifth largest in Europe, and the fourth largest in the European Union. As it stands, England's population accounts for 84% of the United Kingdom.
Largest Cities in England
London is the largest city in England. In mid-2010, the number of residents of London was calculated to be 7,825,200. This makes it by some distance the largest city in England and in the UK as a whole, the 3rd largest city in Europe (the largest in the EU) and the 22nd largest city in the world.
London is considerably more diverse than the rest of the UK, as it attracts immigrants from around the world. You can read more about the United Kingdom's capital city in our detailed article about the of London.
Birmingham is England's second most populous city. In 2010 its population was estimated to have just passed one million - 1,036,900 to be exact. You can read more in our article about the population of Birmingham.
Following Birmingham is a clutch of other English cities with similarly sized population. They are (based on 2001 census data): Liverpool (pop: 469,017), Leeds (pop: 443,247), Sheffield (pop: 420,556) and Manchester (pop: 394,269).
For a number of reasons, including its position at the heart of the former British Empire and its membership of the European Union, England is a relatively ethnically diverse country.
The 2001 census recorded that 90.92% of England's population was White, 4.58% Asian, 2.30% Black, 1.31% Mixed, 0.45% Chinese and 0.44% of another ethnic group.
Immigration into the UK continues and estimates released in 2009 appeared to demonstrate that the population of England is becoming even more diverse. The 2009 estimates claimed that 87.5% of the population of England is White, 6.0% Asian, 2.9% Black, 1.9% Mixed, 0.8% Chinese and 0.8% other. It remains to be seen whether these estimates will be reflected by the data collected by the 2011 census.
The 2001 census also recorded the place of birth of everyone living in England. It showed that 87.9% of people in England were born in England itself, 2.8% were born elsewhere in the United Kingdom, 2.3% in the European Union and 7% outside of the EU.
Respondents to the census were also asked questions about their religion. As expected, Christianity remains the predominant religion in England – 71.75% of respondents were Christian. 14.81% claimed no religion, and a further 15.0% did not answer the question at all. Of other religions, 2.97% of people in England are Muslim, 1.06% Hindu, 0.63% Sikh, 0.50% Jewish, 0.28% Buddhist, and 0.29% from another unspecified religion.
The primary language of England is, of course, English which, as well as being widely used at home, is also the world’s most popular language. Despite being a relatively compact country, there are many distinct dialects in use across the country, and vocabulary varies slightly across the country.
Cornish, a Celtic language which is spoken by approximately 3,500 people in south-western county of Cornwall, has protected language status and is undergoing a small revival.
As a result of immigration into England, a wide variety of other languages are also spoken in England, but none is given any official status. It is estimated that English is a second language for one in every eight school children in England.
England Population Growth
The population of the United Kingdom as a whole is projected to grow by 4.9 million to 67.2 million by 2020. England's population is projected to hit 58.6 million by 2025.