Census 2021: First results show population of Milton Keynes has grown significantly

The first results of the 2021 census are in – and they show Milton Keynes has seen its population swell over the last decade.

By Sally Murrer
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 12:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 12:49 pm

The census takes place every 10 years, with every household in the UK required to take part.

The latest snapshot of England and Wales was captured on March 21 2021.

Now the first results have been released – and there’s been a large rise in the number of people living in Milton Keynes.


On census day, 287,100 people were living in the area – up 15% from 248,821 in 2011, when the last census was carried out.

This also means the population density has grown to 930 usual residents per square kilometre, up from 806 in 2011.

The census is crucial for the UK’s statisticians to understand how our population is changing, and plays a vital role in how our public services and government operate.

It shows the balance of men and women in the area has changed – Milton Keynes’s population is now 49.3% male and 50.7% female, meaning there is now a slightly higher proportion of women in the area than 10 years ago.

The results of the census show how MK has grown

In 2011, people living in Milton Keynes were 49.5% male and 50.5% female.

It also shows the area is aging – a decade ago the population was made up of 14.6% under-10s and 11.1% over-65s, but this had changed to 13.2% and 13.8% respectively by 2021.

Across England and Wales, the total population grew 6.3% over the past decade, from 56,075,912 in 2011 to 59,597,300 last year.

This included a 7.5% increase in the South East, where the population rose to 9,278,100 from 8,634,750 in 2011.

There were 24.8 million households in England and Wales on census day 2021, up from 23.4 million in 2011, with an average of 2.4 people in each household – the same as in 2011.

The populations figures for Milton Keynes since 1981 are:

1981: 123,296

1991: 176,330

2001: 207,047

2011: 248,821

2021: 287,100

The census also shows statistics for the South East region as a whole, where the population has increased from 7,029,809 in 1981 to 9,278,100 in 2021.