Bristol Population 2021

693,552
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Bristol's 2021 population is now estimated at 693,552. In 1950, the population of Bristol was 548,530. Bristol has grown by 7,342 since 2015, which represents a 1.07% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Bristol, which typically includes Bristol's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Bristol is a city, ceremonial county and unitary authority area of South West England. The city received its Royal charter in 1155 and, for nearly 500 years, ranked among the top three English cities. Bristol borders Gloucestershire and Somerset counties and is located close to the historic city of Bath, with a small coastline on the Severn Estuary. In 2014, the estimated population of Bristol was 440,000, which makes it the 47th largest ceremonial county in England, the 6th most populous city in England.

Bristol is the largest city in the South West and one of England's eight "core cities." With a population of 440,000 in 2014, Bristol has shown higher-than-average population growth over the past decade. The city has a population density of 10,080 people per square mile (3,892/sq km), which gives it the 7th highest population density of any English district.

City Area Size and Population Density

The city covers an area of 110 square kilometers with a population density of approximately 3,892 people living per square kilometer.

The urban area has a larger population estimated at 630,000, while the metro population is estimated at 1.02 million.

Historical populations of Bristol

  • 1377: 9,500
  • 1607: 10,500 -1700: 20,000
  • 1801: 69,000
  • 1901: 323,600
  • 2001: 380,600

Bristol Demographics

According to the 2011 census, the racial and ethnic composition of Bristol was:

  • White: 84.0% (77.9% White British, 0.9% White Irish, 0.1% Gypsy or Irish Travellers, 5.1% other white)
  • Black: 6.0% (2.8% African, 1.6% Caribbean, 1.6% other black)
  • Asian: 5.5% (1.5% Indian, 1.6% Pakistani, 0.5% Bangladeshi, 0.9% Chinese, 1.0% other Asian)
  • Mixed race: 3.6% (1.7% White and Black Caribbean, 0.4% White and Black African, 0.8% White and Asian, 0.7% other mixed race)
  • Arab: 0.3%
  • Other: 0.6%

Bristol is one of the only major British cities or towns with a black population larger than its Asian population. 16% of the population belongs to a minority ethnic group.

Bristol has more children under four than it did in 2001, and the number of young people in their 20s has grown. The city has the smallest percentage of residents over the age of 65 in the South West (13%), with a larger share of people between 15 and 49 years old compared to the national average.

Bristol History

The area of Bristol has evidence of human inhabitance going back 60,000 years old, with Iron Age hill forts nearby. There was a settlement near present-day Sea Mills during the Roman times called Abona. The town of Brycgstow was founded around c. 1000, and it had its mint. By 1067, the town had a fortified burh and one of the strongest castles in southern England under Norman rule.

The port began developing in the 11th century, and one hundred years later Bristol was an important port that handled a great deal of England's trade with Ireland. By the 14th century, Bristol was one of the 3 largest medieval towns in England after London. During the Black Death in the mid-14th century, the city lost 30-50% of its population, which slowed growth and caused the community to remain between 10,000 and 12,000 through the 16th century.

By the 15th century, Bristol was the second most important port in the country, with renewed growth in the 17th century during the rise of the American colonies and expansion of England's role in the slave trade to America. At the height of the slave trade (1700-1807), at least 500,000 African people were sent from Bristol to slavery in America.

The city struggled to keep pace with other manufacturing centers after the war with France and the abolition of slavery. Still, the city's population quintupled during the 19th century. By 1901, over 330,000 people called Bristol home, and it continued steady growth into the 20th century.

Bristol Population Growth

Over the past ten years, the population of Bristol has grown about 10%, climbing by 40,000 from 390,000 in 2001 to 428,000 in 2011. This is above the national average (7%) and one of the most significant population growth rates in the South West.

The population of Bristol is predicted to hit 473,000 by 2021.

Bristol Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
2035771,3190.60%4,637
2034766,6820.62%4,697
2033761,9850.63%4,775
2032757,2100.65%4,868
2031752,3420.67%4,980
2030747,3620.69%5,106
2029742,2560.71%5,251
2028737,0050.74%5,427
2027731,5780.78%5,639
2026725,9390.82%5,887
2025720,0520.86%6,168
2024713,8840.91%6,472
2023707,4120.97%6,782
2022700,6301.02%7,078
2021693,5521.07%7,342
2020686,2101.12%7,598
2019678,6121.14%7,678
2018670,9341.16%7,662
2017663,2721.16%7,574
2016655,6981.16%7,488
2015648,2101.15%7,392
2014640,8181.15%7,307
2013633,5111.15%7,214
2012626,2971.16%7,152
2011619,1451.15%7,052
2010612,0931.15%6,969
2009605,1241.15%6,880
2008598,2441.15%6,820
2007591,4241.15%6,734
2006584,6901.15%6,656
2005578,0341.15%6,572
2004571,4621.15%6,515
2003564,9471.15%6,432
2002558,5151.15%6,359
2001552,1560.61%3,328
2000548,8280.49%2,700
1999546,1280.49%2,683
1998543,4450.49%2,671
1997540,7740.49%2,653
1996538,1210.49%2,648
1995535,4730.49%2,631
1994532,8420.49%2,618
1993530,2240.49%2,602
1992527,6220.49%2,596
1991525,0260.12%619
1990524,4070.00%4
1989524,4030.00%4
1988524,3990.00%4
1987524,3950.00%4
1986524,3910.00%3
1985524,3880.00%4
1984524,3840.00%4
1983524,3800.00%4
1982524,3760.00%4
1981524,372-0.72%-3,822
1980528,194-0.95%-5,079
1979533,273-0.95%-5,120
1978538,393-0.95%-5,170
1977543,563-0.95%-5,211
1976548,774-0.95%-5,277
1975554,051-0.95%-5,320
1974559,371-0.95%-5,370
1973564,741-0.95%-5,415
1972570,156-0.95%-5,482
1971575,638-0.39%-2,251
1970577,889-0.26%-1,523
1969579,412-0.26%-1,524
1968580,936-0.26%-1,533
1967582,469-0.26%-1,534
1966584,003-0.26%-1,539
1965585,542-0.26%-1,540
1964587,082-0.26%-1,549
1963588,631-0.26%-1,551
1962590,182-0.26%-1,555
1961591,7370.52%3,080
1960588,6570.71%4,146
1959584,5110.71%4,112
1958580,3990.71%4,083
1957576,3160.71%4,048
1956572,2680.71%4,031
1955568,2370.71%3,998
1954564,2390.71%3,969
1953560,2700.71%3,935
1952556,3350.71%3,919
1951552,4160.71%3,886
1950548,5300.00%

Bristol Population Data (Urban Area)

Name 2021 Population 2021 Growth
London9,425,6221.31%
Manchester2,750,1200.73%
Birmingham2,626,3740.73%
West Yorkshire1,901,9470.68%
Glasgow1,680,6690.44%
Southampton935,8680.86%
Liverpool906,4430.53%
Newcastle Upon Tyne813,8070.53%
Nottingham794,0080.81%
Sheffield735,2920.70%
Bristol693,5521.07%
Belfast634,5940.63%
Brighton612,1590.87%
Leicester556,9300.86%
Edinburgh542,5991.08%
Bournemouth510,0210.86%
Cardiff481,0820.72%
Coventry432,3861.60%
Middlesbrough388,9690.41%
Stoke On Trent387,7850.46%

Other Cities in United Kingdom

  1. Bristol City Council - Population of Bristol overview
  2. Bristol City Council - Key population trends in the Bristol Local Authority area
  3. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations

Sources