Census data

2021 Census: results

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Have you ever wondered how the population of Adur and Worthing has changed over the years? Who lives here now? What sort of households do they live in? How healthy are they, and what about their working lives?

With the results of the 2021 Census now beginning to be released, local authorities such as Adur and Worthing, other organisations providing services to people, and anyone who wishes to understand our local communities better will soon be able to access a wealth of information in relation to their local areas.

The 2021 Census took place on Sunday 21st March 2021.

What is the census?

Held every ten years in the UK, the census aims to capture and summarise key demographic and other information in relation to every single person and household, giving a complete picture of the country and of the local areas that sit within this, and how key factors have changed over time.

Why does it matter?

By providing key information about the population as a whole, the census aims to inform key decisions, for example in relation to spending and planning of services. In addition, because the same questions are asked of everyone, the census is an invaluable tool to compare not only how things may have changed over time, but also different geographical areas, including different small areas within Adur and Worthing. This is particularly important in local authorities such as ours where there are big differences in levels of deprivation within our areas.

When will the data be released?

Analysing data for every household in the country is a huge task and takes time. Preliminary results in relation to population and age were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 28th June 2022 and summary statistics are included below. As different aspects of the data continue to be released over the coming year, we will include the main headlines for Adur and Worthing here and would encourage you to check back on a regular basis.

These reports will be updated with the data from the 2021 census as soon as it becomes available.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has a new interactive Census 2021 map to explore data as it become available that may be helpful:

Key facts about the population of Adur and Worthing from the 2021 census

Key fact 1: The populations of Adur and Worthing have grown in size since the last census

Between 2011 and 2021, the population of Adur increased by more than 5% to 64,500. In Worthing, the population increased by 6.5% to 111,400, giving us a total of nearly 176,000 residents across Adur and Worthing.

Census population figures
Area / Year2001 Census2011 Census2021 Census
Adur 59,600 61,300 64,500
Worthing 97,600 104,600 111,400
Total 157,200 165,900 175,900

These population increases, particularly in Worthing, are similar to the increases we have seen in England and Wales as a whole in the last ten years, at 6.3%, and slightly lower than the South East, which has grown by 7.5% in the last decade. In other parts of West Sussex such as Horsham and Arun, the population has increased by more than 10%.

Why does this matter?

There are advantages and disadvantages of a growing population. More people in an area bring life, boost the local economy, and can bring new skills and expertise. The fact that more people are moving to our area is also a sign of their popularity and appeal. However, an increased population brings increased demands on resources such as housing, health and the environment as a whole.

Key fact 2: Both Adur and Worthing have seen substantial increases in the amount of older people

In England as a whole, there has been a 20.1% increase in the proportion of over 65s since the last census. The country has more older people than ever before, with more than one in six residents now aged over 65. Although lower than the England rates overall, there have also been substantial increases in the proportion of older people in Adur and Worthing, at 13.1% in Adur and 15.4% in Worthing.

Details of changes in population by age category in Adur and Worthing
Area / Census2021 censusChange since 2011
Adur - Over 65s 15,200 13.1% increase
Worthing - Over 65s 24,900 15.4% increase

Why does this matter?

There are opportunities and challenges presented by an ageing population. Older people have a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer their communities, which many do in the form of volunteering. Older people also make a huge contribution to their local areas as largely unpaid carers. However, age is the biggest predictor of ill health. As we age, we are more likely to have disabilities and health issues, and this is particularly the case the more deprived we are. This has a number of implications, including for the funding of health and social care services.

Key fact 3: There has been a big increase in children resident in Adur

The proportion of under 15s has increased in both Adur and Worthing, since the last census. This increase is particularly noticeable in Adur (11.0% increase, compared to 1.8% increase in Worthing.)

Why does this matter?

Again, families moving into Adur in particular is a sign that our areas are appealing and can bring life and vibrancy to an area. More young people means more people entering the labour market in the coming years, but places immediate pressures on education and could bring more demands on children's services.

Key fact 4: There have been increases in the working age population in both Adur and Worthing

There have been increases in working age residents in both areas since 2011. The national average increase is 3.6%. In Worthing it is higher, at 4.3%, but in Adur it is lower, at 1.8%.

Why does this matter?

A relatively low increase in working age adults combined with large increases in older people and children (as in Adur in particular) means there are growing proportions of those that are more dependent on the provision of services such as education and social care, which can be a challenge in terms of funding.

What if I need to know more?

An interactive visualisation of the results for Adur or Worthing is available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) see:

For reports from West Sussex County Council (WSCC) see:

What next? Future data releases

Small area data (ie smaller than Adur or Worthing) should be available from approximately October 2022.

The ONS will be producing topic summaries between October and December 2022 on the following:

  • Demography and migration
  • Ethnicity, national identity, language and religion
  • Veterans
  • Housing
  • Labour market
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Education
  • Health, disability and caring

These pages will be updated as and when the data is available.

For more information about the 2021 census see:

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Previous Census data:

For older data and research tools see:

Adur and Worthing Census Summary Data

Population estimates

Population data showing age groups down to local authority level has been released by the Office of National Statistics for the 2011 Census. This data can be compared to that gathered in the 2001 Census. The report below shows local data for both the Adur District and the Worthing Borough regarding population data:

LSOA (lower super output area, approximately 1,500 population) level data Usual resident population by resident type, sex and 5 year age groups at 2001 & 2011 National Census:

Further data is due to be released during 2013. This webpage will be updated as the information becomes available.

The XLS files above, and other documents, can also be found on West Sussex JSNA website. You can filter the data available on that site by locality (eg select 'Adur' and/or 'Worthing').

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Ethnic Groups

Local data from the National Census on Ethnic Groups are shown in the reports below for both 2001 and 2011.

Comparisons between the two years are made in the key facts document:

Raw data is shown in the Excel spreadsheets below:

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Qualifications and Work

Local data from the National Census on Qualifications and Work are shown in the report below for both 2001 and 2011.

Comparisons between the two years are made in the key facts document:

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Housing Data

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National Census Data

The National Census is carried out every 10 years in England and Wales. The most recent was carried out in 2011.

The statistics collected provide a rich source of information about the number, distribution and characteristics of the population of England and Wales.

This information underpins the allocation of billions of pounds of public money nationally for services such as education, transport and health. It will also be useful on a local level to direct priorities, policy and action.

You can find information about the Censuses on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website:

See also:

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Page last updated: 08 February 2023

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