Exeter is a city located in Devon, England in the United Kingdom. The city is located along the River Exe and is southwest of Bristol and northeast of Plymouth. Estimates recorded in mid-2016 put the population at 129,800 residents. This cathedral city has a history rooted deep in religion and was also known for its role as a hub for wool trade. Though the years that followed brought about some dark times, the city has been rebuilt to accommodate modern businesses and become a wonderful place for tourists and residents alike.
Of the estimated 129,800 residents, over 93% are white. The largest ethnic group in the city is Chinese, with 1.7% of the population identifying as this ethnicity per the 2011 UK Census. Surprisingly, the period between the 2001 and 2011 censuses show that White British and White Irish populations were declining, while the Chinese population grew by an astounding 429%. Other Asian ethnic groups also saw an increase in their population by over 400%.
Exeter is home to residents from all around the world. In addition to having over 1,600 Chinese immigrants, the 2011 Census recorded that there were residents from Poland, Germany, India, Ireland, and the USA – to name a few – living within this city.
The median age of the Exeter population is 35 years of age.
Over 93% of residents speak the English language regularly, and small percentages of individuals speak Chinese, Polish, Arabic, French, Spanish, or other languages.
In terms of religions among the population, approximately 54% are affiliated with the Christian faith, 34% claim no religion, 1.6% report as Muslim, Buddhism, and Hinduism come in with under .6% respectively along with other religions.
Before the 16th century, the Romans ruled Exeter. The city was designated as a county corporate in 1537 and just 12 years later endured a siege by the Prayer Book rebels. In the latter half of the 1500s, the city became known for contributing ships that were used to defeat the Spanish Armada.
During the 1600s at the time of the English Civil War, the city strengthened its defenses but was still captured by the Cornish Royalist Army. The city remained under the control of the king until the end of the war before finally being surrounded in 1646. The city at this time had begun to grow its economy through the wool trade.
More development occurred during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, although growth slowed upon the adoption of steam power, as the city didn’t have sources of coal or iron. Unlike many other cities in Europe, Exeter did not experience rapid growth in many ways. However, canals that were redeveloped during this time did offer up new opportunities for trading.
In the early 1800s, an outbreak of cholera had devastating effects. However, the city moved past this to continue its development, including its first railway in 1844. More changes in transportation continued through the 20th century, including the introduction of horse-drawn trams, followed by double-decker buses. Like other European cities, Exeter was affected by bombing that occurred during World War II, which severely damaged the city center. Hundreds were killed and many historic buildings, including its cathedral, were destroyed.
The city began to rebuild through the 1950s, with many damaged buildings being demolished and rebuilt instead of repaired and restored. This gave the city a different, more modern look. The years following saw additional hardships, including floods and fires that destroyed other historic buildings.
Today, the city has rebuilt into a modern area that is appealing to both residents and travelers. Tens of thousands of people commute to the city each day for employment, while the city also boasts attractions including shopping complexes and historical monuments.
Exeter Population Growth
The city’s population at the time of the 2011 Census was recorded as 117,773, showing growth of almost 7,000 people since the previous census taken in 2001. Current estimates put the population at over 129,000 – an increase of over 12,000 people since the poll was taken. This indicates that the city is continuing to see a pattern of steady growth. Job opportunities within the city are one reason that the population is increasing. Going by these numbers, it’s safe to determine that Exeter will continue to see its population climb as the years pass.