This page provides an overview of key data on demographics in Portsmouth. It includes information on:

If you’d like to see our full demography report, you can request it via email at jsna@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Population

View the population interactive data report.

The latest (ONS mid-2022) estimate of the population of Portsmouth is 208,400.

Portsmouth is a compact city covering 40 square kilometres. 75% of the population lives on Portsea Island. Portsmouth is the second most densely populated local authority outside London.

In 2022 (ONS mid-2022 estimate):

  • 135,100 people aged 18-64 years were estimated to be a resident in Portsmouth.
  • Around 31,300 of Portsmouth residents were aged 65 years and over.
  • 4,300 residents were aged 85 years and over.
  • Compared to the England average, Portsmouth has a high proportion of young people aged 20-24 years old, largely due to the city’s University and colleges (9.7% of Portsmouth’s total population compared with 6.0% nationally).

Ethnicity

View the ethnicity interactive data report.

At the time of the 2021 Census:

  • Portsmouth had a lower percentage of residents from ethnic minority groups (22.3%) compared to England (26.5%).
  • There were 46,337 Portsmouth residents from ethnic minorities
  • Portsmouth’s ethnic minorities increased from 16.0% in 2011 to 22.3% in 2021

Ethnic minority categories

Of the 18 ethnic minority categories:

  • the most common was ‘White: Other White’ with 6.8% (14,105 residents). This was also the largest ethnic minority group percentage point increase since 2011 (3.8% in 2011, 7,713 residents).
  • the second largest increase in was in the ‘Black, Black British, Black Welsh, Caribbean or African: African’ group where the number nearly doubled (5,369 residents in 2021 compared to 2,958 residents in 2011). As a percentage of the total population this went from 1.4% in 2011 to 2.6% in 2021.

Ethnicity and age groups

In 2021, over 93% of Portsmouth’s population aged 65 years and over identified as White: English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British.

  • 26.1% aged 0-17 years were from ethnic minorities
  • 30.0% of Portsmouth’s population aged 18-39 years were from ethnic minorities
  • 18.3% aged 40-64 years of Portsmouth’s population were from ethnic minorities
  • 6.8% aged 65 years and over were from ethnic minorities.

National identity

View the national identity interactive data report

UK identities in Portsmouth at the time of Census 2021:

  • the percentage of people who identified as British only increased from 17.53% in 2011 to 55.95% in 2021.
  • The opposite trend was seen for the “English” only identity – decreasing from 62.45% to 15.12%;
  • but the percentage of people who identified as “English and British only” increased from 9.50% to 15.13%.
  • Note: In Census 2021, “British” was moved to the top response option and this may have influenced how people described their national identity.

Non-UK identities in Portsmouth at the time of Census 2021:

  • the percentage of people who did not identify with at least one UK national identity increased from 7.45% in 2011 to 10.43% in 2021.
  • Of the Portsmouth population identifying as non-UK identities in 2021, Romanian was the most common (1.21%) – previously 0.17% in 2011. Polish was the second most common non-UK identity (1.12%).

Main language and English proficiency

View the main language and English proficiency interactive data report.

English as a main language

  • In 2021, 90.8% of Portsmouth residents (182,731 people) aged 3 years and over, had English as a main language.
  • 18,544 Portsmouth residents (9.2%) did not identify English as their main language. This percentage is the same as England.

Other main languages

The most common main languages, other than English, were:

  • Romanian (1.25%)
  • Polish (1.14%)
  • Bengali (0.81%)
  • Portuguese (0.48%)

Disability

View the disability interactive data report.

Disability and age are closely related, with older people being more likely to be disabled. At the time of the Census 2021:

  • the percentage of disabled residents in Portsmouth (19.2%) was higher than England (17.7%), and South East region (16.1%), but lower than Southampton (19.5%).
  • The percentage of residents identified as “disabled: day-to-day activities limited a lot” in Portsmouth (8.1%) was lower than Southampton (8.2%), but higher than England (7.5%) and South East region (6.2%).
  • The percentage of residents identified as “disabled: day-to-day activities limited a little” in Portsmouth (11.1%) was lower than Southampton (11.3%), but higher than England (10.2%) and South East region (9.9%).

This report uses age-standardised proportions (ASPs). These account for differences in the population size and age structure.

Religion

View the religion interactive data report.

Christianity

  • In 2021, less than half of the population described themselves as “Christian” in Portsmouth (39.4%, a 12.8% decrease from 52.2% in 2011).
  • “Christian” was the most common response to the religion question in 2011, but was the second most common response in 2021.

No religion

  • “No religion” was the most common response in Portsmouth in 2021, increasing to 47.1% in 2021 from 35.0% in 2011.

Other religions

There were increases in the number of people in Portsmouth who described themselves as:

  • “Muslim” (10,174 residents; 4.9% in 2021; up from 7,162 residents; 3.5% in 2011);
  • “Hindu” (1,596 residents; 0.8% in 2021; up from 1,282 residents; 0.6% in 2011);
  • and “Other religion” (1,259 residents; 0.6% in 2021; up from 1,050 residents; 0.5% in 2011).

The percentage who described themselves as “Jewish” and “Sikh” remained similar from 2011 to 2021 (0.1% and 0.2% respectively). The number of people who described themselves as “Buddhist” decreased (1,077 residents; 0.5% in 2021, down from 1,162 residents; 0.6% in 2011).

6.4% of Portsmouth’s population did not answer the religion question in 2021, which is similar to the England average (6.0%). The percentage not answering the question in Portsmouth in 2021 was lower than in 2011 (7.3% in 2011).

Unpaid carers

View the unpaid carers interactive data report.

In 2021, the percentage of residents aged 5 years and over who provided:

  • any amount of unpaid care in Portsmouth (8.4%) was lower than England (8.9%), South East region (8.5%), and Southampton (8.5%).
  • 19 hours or less unpaid care a week in Portsmouth (4.0%) was lower than England (4.4%) and South East region (4.5%), but higher than Southampton (3.9%).
  • 20 to 49 hours unpaid care a week in Portsmouth (1.7%) was lower than England (1.8%) and Southampton (1.8%), but higher than South East region (1.6%).
  • 50 or more hours unpaid care a week in Portsmouth (2.7%) was the same as England (2.7%) and lower than Southampton (2.8%); but higher than South East region (2.4%).

These percentage comparisons are age-standardised proportions (ASPs). These account for differences in the population size and age structure.

Gender identity

View the gender identity interactive data report.

At the time of the 2021 Census, Portsmouth had a lower percentage of residents, aged 16 years and over, whose gender identity matched the sex they were registered with at birth (Cis gender identity) when compared to England (93.08% compared to 93.47%). However, 6.25% of Portsmouth residents did not answer the question, which was higher than England (5.98%).

Portsmouth had a higher percentage of residents aged 16 years and over identifying as ‘Trans’ (gender identity was different from their sex registered at birth) than England (0.67% compared to 0.55%)

Sexual orientation

View the sexual orientation interactive data report.

At the time of the 2021 Census, of Portsmouth residents aged 16 or over:

  • 4.65% identified as LGB+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or other minority sexual orientations such as asexual) – higher than England (3.17%).
  • 7.68% did not answer the sexual orientation question – higher than England (7.46%).
  • 87.68% identified as straight or heterosexual – lower than England (89.37%).

Marriage and civil partnership

View the marriage and civil partnership interactive data report.

At the time of the 2021 Census, of Portsmouth residents aged 16 or over:

  • The highest percentage of the population (46.19%) were in the ‘Never Married/Never registered in a civil partnership’ category (this was also the highest percentage in 2011 – 43.54%)
  • The next highest percentage of the population (36.03%) were in the ‘Married’ category (36.90% in 2011)
  • The category with the lowest percentage (0.20%) was ‘Civil Partnership’ (0.26% in 2011)
  • The category with the next lowest percentage (2.42%) was ‘Separated, but still legally married/in a civil partnership (2.91% in 2021)
  • The proportion of the population that have never been married or registered in a civil partnership increased while the proportions within all other categories decreased between 2011 and 2021.

Portsmouth births and deaths

Births in Portsmouth

There were 2,254 live births for Portsmouth residents in 2020. The number of births has been decreasingly annually since 2012 (2,782 births in 2012) and the number of births (in 2020) is a 3% decrease from the 2019 number of births (2,316 births).

Portsmouth deaths

There were 1,754 Portsmouth resident deaths registered in 2020. The number of deaths in Portsmouth has been similar since 2013. In 2020, there was an increase in Portsmouth male resident deaths and a decrease in Portsmouth female resident deaths. The leading cause of death for Portsmouth residents in 2020 for people of all ages was Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (213 deaths; 12% of all deaths).

Future population of Portsmouth

Population projections are based on the 2018 subnational population projections, which may be an overestimate as the population of Portsmouth was lower in the 2021 Census.

Children and young persons

Between 2021 and 2043 the population aged 0-4 years is likely to remain relatively stable with an increase of 9%, which is roughly 1,000 infants.

The 5-11 years age group is projected to reduce by 2030, roughly by 2,100 fewer children compared to 2021, before increasing again by 2043 with an additional 600 children compared to 2030. The 12-17 years age group is predicted to remain relatively stable with a decrease of 8% by 2043, which is around 1,100 children.

The 18-24 years age group is expected to increase by 16% by 2030, which is around 5,100 more young persons compared to 2021, before going down again by 2043 which is almost 3,100 fewer compared to 2030.

Working age population

Between 2021 and 2030, the Portsmouth working age adult population aged 18-64 years is expected to go up by 1%, which is nearly 1,300 people; this increase is due to the younger age group, as there is an estimated decrease of 14% in the 50–59-year-old age group. By 2043, the working age adult population is expected to reduce back to a similar number seen in 2021.

Population aged 65 and over

Between 2021 and 2030, the population of Portsmouth aged 65+ years is expected to increase by 19% (projected population of 37,200 in 2030) and those aged 80+ years by 28% (projected population of 11,000 in 2030). In 2043, 19% (around 42,100 people) of Portsmouth’s population are expected to be aged 65 years and over, compared to 14% (around 32,000 people aged 65 and over) of Portsmouth’s population in 2020.

Detailed ward reports

Not sure what ward you live in?

If you don’t know what ward you live in, type in your postcode to into the MapIt website and look at what “Unitary Authority Ward” (UTW) your postcode falls under.

What information can I access for my ward?

There are two reports for each ward.

The first report (titled Local health: report part 1) shows information about:

  • Ethnicity & language
  • Deprivation
  • Housing and living environment
  • Employment
  • Long-term health conditions and morbidity
  • Children’s weight (NCMP)
  • Children’s health care activity
  • Child and maternal health
  • Behavioural risk factors

The second report (titled Local Health: report part 2) shows information about:

  • Hospital admissions – harm and injury
  • Cancer incidence
  • Life expectancy
  • Mortality and causes of death – premature mortality
  • Mortality and causes of death

Where can I access my ward reports?

If you’d like to see your ward reports, please look through the following list and select your ward.

When viewing your ward report, use the left-hand side menu to change which report you are viewing.