Population and census

Facts and figures about Kent's population.

If you need help with any of the documents on this page or require any further information, please call 03000 41 74 44 or email research@kent.gov.uk.

There are currently estimated to be 1,593,200 people living within the Kent County Council area.

The estimated resident population of an area includes all people who usually live there, whatever their nationality. Members of UK and non-UK armed forces stationed in the UK are included and UK forces stationed outside the UK are excluded. Students are taken to be resident at their term time address.

The national census provides a population count of the whole of the UK every ten years. For the years in between, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) provides an annual population estimate for England and Wales down to local authority level. These estimates are known as the Mid-Year Population Estimates (MYPE) and are released during the summer each year.

The 2021 and 2022 ward level estimates are due for release in Spring 2024. Mid year population estimates (MYPE) are not available for Parishes.

All population estimates are based on the previous census with the total number of births and inward migrants added in and the numbers of deaths and outward migrants taken away. Due to the lengthy process of calculating these estimates they are always a year behind so this year's figures will not be available until next year.

The MYPE only provide us with estimates of the total population by age and sex. They will not update any information on the characteristics of the population such as nationality, occupation or religion. Area profiles shows the socio-economic information that is available.

County and district level population counts

Of the 12 local authority districts within the Kent County Council area, Maidstone Borough is the most populated with 180,400 people. Gravesham Borough is the least populated with 107,000 people.

The total population of Kent and local authority districts in Kent, along with national and regional comparisons is summarised in the Mid Year Population Estimates: Total population of Kent bulletin (PDF, 441.3 KB).

Population estimates by five-year age and gender for each local authority district in Kent are summarised in the Mid Year Population Estimates: Age and Sex profile bulletin (PDF, 579.6 KB) .

A time series of total population estimates between 2002 and 2022 for each local authority district in Kent are summarised in the Time series of mid-year population estimates 2021 to 2022 bulletin (PDF, 319.1 KB).

A time series of population estimates by age and sex between 1992 and 2022 can be accessed in the interactive population estimates toolkit (XLSM, 2.7 MB). This toolkit is best viewed on desktop computer. If prompted to enable or disable macros, choose to enable.

Ward population counts

There are currently 265 electoral wards in the Kent County Council area and a further 24 in the Medway Unitary Authority area.

Create your own ward profile using Census 2021 data.

Parish population counts

There are 309 parishes within the Kent County Council area.

The only source of published parish population information is the national census.

Create your own parish profile using Census 2021 Data

Build a custom area profile on the Office for National Statistics website.

Population change is due to two reasons. These are births and deaths (known as natural change), and migration.

Year on year, Kent has seen more births than deaths and more people moving in to Kent than leaving. The result has been steady population growth in the county. The overall effects are presented in 'What's causing Kent's population growth?' (PDF, 365.8 KB) .

More information on natural change can be found in the births and deaths bulletin (PDF, 1.4 MB).

More information on migration can be found in the migration in Kent bulletin (PDF, 938.6 KB).

The NINOs in Kent bulletin (PDF, 589.5 KB) looks at the number of new National Insurance Numbers issued to overseas nationals. It shows the latest numbers and a time series of NINOs in Kent, including details of the countries they have come from.

The EU Settlement Status in Kent bulletin (PDF, 214.7 KB) shows the number of people from Europe who have applied to remain in the UK after its withdrawal from the EU.

Life expectancy in Kent for males and females at birth and at age 65 is available in our life expectancy bulletin (PDF, 601.0 KB) .

Each year the Office for National Statistics (ONS) produces mid-year population estimates. These are calculated using the population count from the last available census as a base then adding the number of births and inward migrants and taking away the number of deaths and outward migrants.

The interactive population estimates toolkit (XLSM, 2.7 MB) provides access to population estimates by gender and single year of age for all 12 Kent local authority districts and Kent County as a whole back to 1992. This toolkit allows users to access population estimates for any chosen age group and compare up to three separate areas in Kent at the same time.

Further information about population change is available on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website, including a quiz on levels of migration in your area and a map showing migration levels across the country.

Kent County Council Housing Led Forecasts

It is important to consider how the Kent population is going to change in the future in order to plan services. These forecasts take account of the distribution of future housing across the county rather than being a projection based on past trends. Here are the results of a housing-led forecast based on the assumption that 222,757 dwellings will be built between 2020 and 2040 in the county (Kent County Council area plus Medway Unitary Authority).

The following toolkit enable you to extract forecasts for Kent as a whole or for individual Kent districts for any time between 2011 and 2040.

Population forecasts for any age group can be accessed via the interactive population forecast toolkit (XLSM, 4.2 MB).

How to use the toolkit

Central Government population projections

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) produces population projections for all regions in England. Because these projections don't take future house building programs into account, KCC prefer to use their own in-house forecasts.

However, Sub National Population Projections (PDF, 385.8 KB) are the only source of national information. We therefore use them when we want to compare Kent's future population growth alongside the national average, or other areas within England.

If you need help with any of the documents on this page or require any further information, please call 03000 41 74 44 or email research@kent.gov.uk.

A census is a count of all people and households in the country. Taken once every 10 years by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the last census for England and Wales took place on 21 March 2021 and involved every household.

The results from each census provide population statistics from a national to neighbourhood level for use by government, local authorities and business and communities. Kent County Council uses the data collected to plan the local services needed like schools, transport, housing, and health.

It is the only survey to provide a detailed picture of the entire population and is unique because it covers everyone at the same time and asks the same core questions everywhere. This makes it easy to compare different parts of the country.

The data from the 2021 Census will be released in phases during 2022 to 2023. The first results were published in the summer of 2022. We will be presenting the 2021 Census results for Kent as soon as they are available.

Further information is available on the ONS website.

2021 census data

The first results were released on 28 June 2022 and are presented in the following bulletins and tables:

Interactive content from Census 2021 first results from the Office for National Statistics