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Cambridge City Council

New Census figures show Cambridge population has grown by 21,800 since 2011

28 June 2022

FIGURES published today from last year’s Census show that the population of Cambridge and the surrounding areas has grown significantly in the previous decade.

The Census has revealed that the official population of Cambridge has increased from around 123,900 to 145,700 (an increase of 17.6%) since the previous UK Census in 2011.

Figures for the surrounding South Cambridgeshire District Council area show that its population has also increased in the last 10 years, by 8.9%, from around 148,800 to 162,000.

The new figures show that Greater Cambridge’s strong economy and its employment, educational and cultural offering continues to make it a popular place for people to live, work and study.

However, that popularity and growth has added to the pressure on housing, transport and council services, particularly given the reduction in government funding in recent years, and the serious impact on finances caused by the pandemic. Those pressures help explain why the city council has embarked on a transformation programme, working with residents and partners to change the way it operates, including by investing in ICT and digital technology to modernise services.

Last year’s Census took place in March 2021, amid ongoing coronavirus restrictions, which may have affected the number of people living in Cambridge at the time and the outreach activities undertaken by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Both Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council have worked hard to meet the housing needs of a growing population over the last ten years. To continue to meet needs it is vital for more good-quality, sustainable housing to be built in the area, which is why this continues to be a priority for both councils as they prepare their next joint Local Plan.

Cambridge City Council remains on track with its programme to build a range of new homes, including new council homes and affordable homes, suitable for households on a variety of different income levels.

Cllr Anna Smith, Leader of the Council, said: “The new figures show that Cambridge and the surrounding areas continue to be an attractive place to live. We are proud that so many people consider it a welcoming and safe place to make their home.

“We now need to ensure that all residents can benefit from the city’s growth and success over the last 10 years even as we emerge from some difficult times.  We need to continue to worktogether to tackle serious challenges like the cost of living crisis and the climate and biodiversity emergencies. Our aim is to ensure that the city remains ‘One Cambridge – Fair For All’”