2011 Census 




On this page is information from the 2011 Census, relating to the Borough of Colchester. The information will, of course, be increasingly outdated, but we trust it will provide a useful guide as we seek to serve the community.

The area encompassing the Borough of Colchester is far greater than the area covered by the Deanery, which covers around 56 square miles; the Borough covers 125 square miles. Therefore, care should be taken when using the these figures.

However, as most of the area beyond deanery boundaries is rural in nature, most of the population lives within the Deanery. The population of the Borough at the time of the Census was 173,074; that of the Deanery was 126,179 (73%). It may be possible to make the broad assumption for Mission purposes that results for the entire Borough also reflect the nature of the Deanery.


Population figures for each Parish in the Deanery can be viewed here.


There are 74,608 dwellings within the Borough. Of these, 45,598 (61%) are either detached or semi-detached properties; 13,917 (19%) are terraced, and 15,093 (20%) are flats.

At the time of the Census, 3,097 dwellings were empty.

Of the occupied dwellings, 47,832 (67%) were owner-occupied; of these, 22,840 were owned outright, and 24,667 had a mortgage. 325 were in shared ownership. There were 23,059 rented properties - 32% of the total. In 743 properties, the occupants lived rent-free.

Of the rented properties, 5,894 (26%) were rented from the Borough; 3,775 (16%) through Housing Associations, and 13,390 (58%) were through Letting Agencies or private arrangements.

The average number of people in a household was 2.3.

There were 4,883 lone parents, all except 460 of whom were female.

It was reported that there were 90,741 private cars (or vans) owned by residents - 1.3 per household, despite 21% having no car at the address. 44% of households had one car; 27% had two; and 8% had three or more cars.



Of the 173,074 people in the Borough, 87,731 (50.5%) were female, and 85,343 male. The analysis by age was as follows:

Age range Population Broad grouping Population %
0-4 10,647  Pre-school age 10,647 6%
5-7 5,841      
8-9 3,562      
10-14 9,606      
15 1,991  School age 21,000 12%
16-17 4,134      
18-19 5,586      
20-24 13,886      
25-29 11,947      
30-44 35,620      
45-59 32,104      
60-64 10,842  Adult, working age 114,119 66%
65-74 14,443      
75-84 9,147      
85-89 2,398      
90 and over 1,320  65 and over 27,308 16%





Excluding the 31,647 young people under the age of 16,  47% of the population (66,380)  were married and still living together.

A further 3,283 (2%) were separated, and 13,784 (10%) were divorced. 8,747 (6%) were widows or widowers. 48,955 (35%) were single - i.e. never married, nor in a same-sex partnership. Of these, 16,877 were co-habiting.

The number of people in a same-sex registered Civil Partnership was 278.



Of the 133,009 people in this category, 69% (91,385) were considered "economically active" - i.e. in employment, self-employed, part-time or a working student. 28% (37,177) were "economically inactive", such as the 16,901 retired people, 8950 students, 5,226 looking after home or family, and 4,135 on long-term sick leave or disabled.

4,444 stated that they were unemployed; a further 4,456 stated that they were "economically active" whilst unemployed (included above). The total number of unemployed people was therefore 8,900, which was 8% of the potential workforce. Of these, 1,748 were long-term unemployed, and 577 said that they had never worked.

Of the full-time employees, 31,336 (62%) were men and 19,253 (38%) were women.

Of the part-time employees, 15,041 (81%) were women and 3,430 (19%) were men.



Of the total population, 99,879 (58%) stated that they were Christian. Figures for all other faiths were relatively small, including 2,762 Muslim, 1,274 Hindu, 982 Buddhist and 264 Jewish.

Others quoted around 100 other religions and responses. The largest amongst these, "Jedi Knight" was quoted by 723 people. Next highest was "Pagan" at 204. 114 stated "Agnostic" and 96  "Atheist".

54,354 declared that they had "No Religion" and a further 12,588 left the question unanswered.



84% of the population declared themselves to be in good health; 7% said that their day-to-day activities were limited "a lot", and 9% were limited "a little".

Almost 11% described themselves as Carers, 11,121 providing care for up to 19 hours per week. A further 2,036 were carers for 20-49 hours per week, and 3,413 for 50 or more hours per week.





Of the 173,074 residents, 148,814 (86%) were English; 89% were British. 4% were from other EU countries, and 7% from the rest of the world, with almost every country represented.

Of the 11% born outside of the UK:


2,850 had arrived by 1970,

1,468 in the decade to 1980;

3,826 in the decade to 1990;

8,426 by 1999; and

2,809 in the last two years.





All information on this page was summarised from the statistics published by the Office for National Statistics on their website. Every effort has been made to ensure that the facts, figures and summarisation are accurately and appropriately represented, but we apologise if any errors have been inadvertently made. We trust that the information will be found helpful for Parishes in their ministry to the people of Colchester.




The Church of England Deanery of Colchester is part of the Colchester Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Chelmsford.

The Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance is a registered Charity, no. 249505

We are committed to Safeguarding children and young people and vulnerable adults. As a Diocese, we have adopted the Church of Englandís policies and best practice on safeguarding which may be found on the Church of Englandís website: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding. Diocesan guidance is available at https://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/safeguarding