As of the population estimates taken in 2016, the population of the city is 264,200. In terms of population, it is the second largest in the South West area and is the 30th most populous in the United Kingdom.
City Size and Population Density
The city of Plymouth covers a total surface area of 30.82 sq mi (79.83 km2). The population density comes to approximately 8,500/sq mi (3,300/km2).
Plymouth Population Demographics
The city of Plymouth has an estimated population of around 264,000 residents. The population recorded during the last official census in 2011 was 256,384.
All demographics are based upon statistics taken from the 2011 Census - the next official census for England and Wales is planned for 2021. As of 2011, the majority of the population is White, at 96.2% of the population. 92.9% are White British. The largest ethnic group in Plymouth is Chinese, which only accounts for 0.5% of the population.
Plymouth has higher levels of deprivation and poverty than the national average. The life expectancy of males is 78.3. For females, it is 82.1. This is the lowest life expectancy in the area.
Industries in Plymouth
The city’s economy is reliant on the maritime industry. There are also tens of thousands of residents employed by the defense sector, while 7,500 are members of the armed forces.
Artifacts and signs of early human life dating back to the Bronze Age have been discovered in Plymouth. The village of Sutton was what is now Plymouth, and the name was changed to Plymouth, which means mouth of the River Plym, in 1440. Throughout the 1400s, there were multiple attempts of attacks and the town was even burned down in 1439. The late 15th century saw the construction of the Plymouth Castle which was used to protect Sutton Pool. In 1512, fortifications were built to protect the town.
Moving into the 16th century, the town’s major export was wool. It was also a home port for many maritime traders. During the English Civil War, the town was attacked many times and a monarchy was restored. The 17th century saw troubled times for the town, which was no longer a popular trading port. Going into the later years of the 18th century, the nearby town of Plymouth Dock, now known as Devonport, was a major employer to residents of Plymouth. Plymouth and surrounding towns were prosperous during the 18th and 19th centuries.
During World War I, Plymouth served as a port of entry and was used to develop munitions. The town also played a role in World War II as the headquarters of Western Approaches Command. Plymouth was bombed during a series of raids called the Plymouth Blitz. Many of the homes and most of the city center were destroyed, and over 1000 people were killed. Redevelopment of the city was planned in 1943. During the 1950s, thousands of homes were built and by 1964, over 20,000 homes had been built.
Today, Plymouth is still a center for the maritime industry. The city has built shopping centers, has historic landmarks to visit, and has plans for further expansion.
Plymouth Population Growth
Plymouth has shown growth in recent years, with the 2011 Census reflecting an additional 15,664 people since the last census was taken in 2001. The population is only expected to grow larger, particularly under the Vision for Plymouth initiative. This initiative aims to expand the city by adding a cruise terminal, shopping centers, and 33,000 dwellings. The population under the initiative is expected to rise to 300,000 by the year 2020.