Belfast Population 2022

638,717
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Belfast is the administrative capital of Northern Island and the largest city. The majority of Belfast is located in County Antrim, but some of South and East Belfast are located on County Down. Belfast is the 15th largest city in the United Kingdom and the second-largest on the island of Ireland with an estimated 2014 population of 295,000.

Population Density

While the population of the city proper is 295,000, the Belfast Metropolitan Area is home to 585,000 people. This makes it the 15th largest city in the U.K. and the 11th largest conurbation. Belfast is much more densely populated than Northern Ireland as a whole with a population density nearing 6,500 people per square mile (2,500 per square kilometer). The area that Belfast covers is approximately 115 square kilometers.

Belfast Demographics

There have been many minority communities in Belfast for about 80 years. The largest ethnic minority groups in Belfast are Chinese and Irish Travellers. There have been many Eastern European immigrants moving to the city in recent years with the expansion of the European Union, however. More than 2% of the population belongs to an ethnic minority, with more than 50% living in south Belfast.

In April 2014, it was reported that Catholics now outnumber Protestants in Belfast. The Catholic population tends to be younger and has grown to 49% of the population while the Protestant population tends to be older, dropping to 42% this year.

The inner city population is a mix of single young people, students, and elderly citizens, with most families living in the suburbs. While there has been peace for some time, most of Belfast still shows signs of the division in Northern Ireland, with many areas very segregated by religion, politics, and ethnicity. Areas are often divided as Catholic or Republic, or Protestant or Loyalist.

Belfast Population Growth

Belfast experienced significant growth in the late 1880s through the beginning of the 20th century, doubling between 1831 and 1851. Most of this early growth was due to migration as more people were attracted by industrialization and jobs in mills, shipyards, and engineering.

Belfast has grown steadily in recent years, rising from 276,000 people in 2001 to 295,000 in 2014. The city grew fastest during the first half of the 20th century, peaking in 1971 at almost 600,000 people in the urban area. Over the past 40 years, the inner city numbers have dropped as more people move to the Greater Belfast suburbs. In 1926, 90% of Belfast residents lived in the Core City, a share that was cut in half by 1991.

In 2012, Northern Ireland reached a population of almost 1.83 million. It has been said that Belfast must double its population at least to be able to take advantage of opportunities for growth in tourism, technology, and energy, as it is one of the few cities on the island of Ireland that has a lower population today than it did 170 years ago.

Year Population
1950445,879
1951443,013
1952440,162
1953437,337
1954434,526
1955431,733
1956428,955
1957426,201
1958423,462
1959420,740
1960418,032
1961415,872
1962415,954
1963416,036
1964416,118
1965416,200
1966416,283
1967416,365
1968416,447
1969416,529
1970416,612
1971417,305
1972420,734
1973424,183
1974427,664
1975431,174
1976434,718
1977438,281
1978441,878
1979445,505
1980449,166
1981452,847
1982456,564
1983460,311
1984464,094
1985467,898
1986471,738
1987475,610
1988479,519
1989483,449
1990487,417
1991492,398
1992500,618
1993508,953
1994517,438
1995526,065
1996534,848
1997543,753
1998552,818
1999562,035
2000571,418
2001579,582
2002581,360
2003583,143
2004584,935
2005586,726
2006588,526
2007590,332
2008592,145
2009593,959
2010595,781
2011598,045
2012601,555
2013605,075
2014608,621
2015612,187
2016615,780
2017619,394
2018623,029
2019626,760
2020630,632
2021634,594
2022638,717
2023643,005
2024647,438
2025651,982
2026656,593
2027661,230
2028665,855
2029670,441
2030674,970
2031679,428
2032683,807
2033688,111
2034692,351
2035696,537

Belfast Population 2022

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
1950445,8790.00%
1951443,013-0.64%-2,866
1952440,162-0.64%-2,851
1953437,337-0.64%-2,825
1954434,526-0.64%-2,811
1955431,733-0.64%-2,793
1956428,955-0.64%-2,778
1957426,201-0.64%-2,754
1958423,462-0.64%-2,739
1959420,740-0.64%-2,722
1960418,032-0.64%-2,708
1961415,872-0.52%-2,160
1962415,9540.02%82
1963416,0360.02%82
1964416,1180.02%82
1965416,2000.02%82
1966416,2830.02%83
1967416,3650.02%82
1968416,4470.02%82
1969416,5290.02%82
1970416,6120.02%83
1971417,3050.17%693
1972420,7340.82%3,429
1973424,1830.82%3,449
1974427,6640.82%3,481
1975431,1740.82%3,510
1976434,7180.82%3,544
1977438,2810.82%3,563
1978441,8780.82%3,597
1979445,5050.82%3,627
1980449,1660.82%3,661
1981452,8470.82%3,681
1982456,5640.82%3,717
1983460,3110.82%3,747
1984464,0940.82%3,783
1985467,8980.82%3,804
1986471,7380.82%3,840
1987475,6100.82%3,872
1988479,5190.82%3,909
1989483,4490.82%3,930
1990487,4170.82%3,968
1991492,3981.02%4,981
1992500,6181.67%8,220
1993508,9531.66%8,335
1994517,4381.67%8,485
1995526,0651.67%8,627
1996534,8481.67%8,783
1997543,7531.66%8,905
1998552,8181.67%9,065
1999562,0351.67%9,217
2000571,4181.67%9,383
2001579,5821.43%8,164
2002581,3600.31%1,778
2003583,1430.31%1,783
2004584,9350.31%1,792
2005586,7260.31%1,791
2006588,5260.31%1,800
2007590,3320.31%1,806
2008592,1450.31%1,813
2009593,9590.31%1,814
2010595,7810.31%1,822
2011598,0450.38%2,264
2012601,5550.59%3,510
2013605,0750.59%3,520
2014608,6210.59%3,546
2015612,1870.59%3,566
2016615,7800.59%3,593
2017619,3940.59%3,614
2018623,0290.59%3,635
2019626,7600.60%3,731
2020630,6320.62%3,872
2021634,5940.63%3,962
2022638,7170.65%4,123
2023643,0050.67%4,288
2024647,4380.69%4,433
2025651,9820.70%4,544
2026656,5930.71%4,611
2027661,2300.71%4,637
2028665,8550.70%4,625
2029670,4410.69%4,586
2030674,9700.68%4,529
2031679,4280.66%4,458
2032683,8070.64%4,379
2033688,1110.63%4,304
2034692,3510.62%4,240
2035696,5370.60%4,186

Belfast Population Data (Urban Area)

Name 2022 Population 2022 Growth
London9,540,5761.22%
Manchester2,770,4340.74%
Birmingham2,645,5980.73%
West Yorkshire1,915,1340.69%
Glasgow1,688,9070.49%
Southampton943,7450.84%
Liverpool911,5460.56%
Newcastle Upon Tyne818,4520.57%
Nottingham800,3940.80%
Sheffield740,5320.71%
Bristol700,6301.02%
Belfast638,7170.65%
Brighton617,3530.85%
Leicester561,6350.84%
Edinburgh548,2061.03%
Bournemouth514,3130.84%
Cardiff484,5910.73%
Coventry438,7321.47%
Middlesbrough390,7720.46%
Stoke On Trent389,7540.51%

Other Cities in United Kingdom

  1. Belfast City Council - Belfast key facts and figures
  2. Northern Ireland Assembly - New and Shifting Populations in Belfast: Analysis and Impact
  3. Belfast City Council - Population - Population - Local Development Plan 2020-2035

Sources