Older people make up a bigger share of Herefordshire’s population than ever before, newly published figures from last year’s national census show.

The number of people aged 65 and over in the county jumped from 39,016 in 2011, to 48,400 in 2021 – a rise of over 24 per cent. This contrasted with a decline of over 4 per cent in those under 65.

Over-65s now make up nearly 26 per cent, or more than one in four, of the county’s 187,000 total population. This figure has increased by around 2 per cent from the 2011 figure for the county of 183,477.

The county's population “pyramid” - a term coined when a triangular profile was the norm - now shows Herefordshire has a bulge between the ages of 50 and 74, suggesting the share of over-65s will continue to rise:


The trend to an older population is reflected nationally, with 18.6 per cent of people aged 65 years and over in 2021 across England and Wales, up from 16.4 per cent a decade earlier.

The English authority with the highest percentage of over-65s is North Norfolk, where they now account for one in three of the population.


The figures also show that Herefordshire remains relatively sparsely populated by national standards, with 86 people per square kilometre, placing it 19th out of 331 local authority areas.

Neighbouring Powys has just 26 people per square km, placing it joint lowest with Eden in Cumbria in regions with the lowest density nationally.

England now has a population of just under 56.5 million, up 6.6 per cent from the figure of 53 million a decade ago. Wales, with smaller growth, now has 3.1 million people.