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Changing population

Drivers of population change

The chart below shows the factors affecting population change in Herefordshire since the turn of the century.

Figure 1:  Factors affecting population change in Herefordshire, 2001-02 to 2015-16.

Chart showing annual overall and compoents of population change in Herefordshire 2001-2 to 2015-16.

Since the expansion of the EU in 2004, the majority (around 75%) of annual net migration has been from outside the UK. However, 2016/17 saw a return to pre-recession levels of net internal (within-UK) migration.

There have been relatively high numbers of deaths in the last three years, compared with previous years, at around 2,100 per year. A national increase in deaths during 2016/17 was partly attributed to the most dominant type of ‘flu over the winter.[1]


People of ‘white: other’ origin (i.e. not British; Irish; Gypsy or Irish Traveller) made up the largest single minority group in the county; 3.9% of the population, of which over half are Polish.

In 2011, 6% of the county’s total population in 2011 was of BAME origin, of which people of ‘white: other’ origin (i.e. not British; Irish; Gypsy or Irish Traveller) made up the largest single minority group: 3.9% of the population, and this group grew the most rapidly over the decade due to the eastward expansion of the European Union (EU) in 2004. This proportion was among the highest third across all authorities in the country. 

The proportion of people of BAME origin, varies by age-group; from 12% of 16 to 29 year-olds and 11% of 30 to 44 year-olds to just 2% of those aged 65+.

Of the 12,250 county residents who were born outside the UK, 53% arrived after the expansion of the EU in 2004 compared with 40% nationally.

Note that these estimates are based on the resident population, meaning that people who come to Herefordshire from outside the UK for less than a year will not be included in the figures - including the several thousand seasonal workers from overseas that come to work on Herefordshire farms over the spring and summer. 

[1]  Office for National Statistics. Population estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: mid- 2017