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Örjan Martinsson

Population of the British Isles

The first census in England and Scotland took place 1801, and 1841 in Ireland. The estimations of population size before those years are based on information on the number of baptise, weddings and burials that occurred every year. A census was arranged every tenth year with exception of 1941 when its was cancelled because of the Second World War.

The kingdom of Great Britain was created 1707 when England and Scotland were united. The British monarchy also included Ireland, which 1801 joined Great Britain to create the United Kingdom (UK). Most of Ireland became independent 1922 and only the Northern part remained in the union with Great Britain. The combined population of the three self-governing islands Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey are recorded here as "the Isles".

British Isles Great Britain Scotland
0
1500

1570

1600

1.0
4.0
4.2
6.0

1600
1630
1670
1700
1750
4.8
5.6
5.8
6.0
6.5
1755 1.3


England & Wales
 

850 0.8 post-Black Death 2,5 - 3,0 1751 5,8
1200
1300
1328
1340
1350
1.5 - 2.2
3.0 - 3.8
3.5
3.8 - 4.5
4.0
1400
1500
1541

1550

1600
2.0 - 2.2
2.0
2.8
3.2
4.4
1761
1771
1781
1791
6.2
6.5
7.0
7.7
pre-Black Death 4.5 - 6.0 1700 5.0

United Kingdom
England Scotland Ireland* The Isles**

1801
1811
1821
1831

16.3
18.5
21.0
24.1

8.9
10.2
12.0
13.9

1.6
1.8
2.1
2.4
5.2
6.0
6.8
7.8
 

1841
1851
1861
1871

26.9
27.5
29.1
31.6

15.9
17.9
20.1
22.7

2.6
2.9
3.1
3.4
8.2
6.9
5.8
5.4


 
1881
1891
1901
1911
35.0
37.9
41.6
45.4
26.0
29.0
32.5
36.1
3.7
4.0
4.5
4.8
5.2
4.7
4.5
4.4
0.141
0.148
0.150
0.149

1921
1931
1951
1961

42.8
44.8
50.2
52.7

37.9
40.0
43.8
46.1

4.9
4.8
5.1
5.2
4.4
1.2
1.4
1.4
0.151
0.142
0.156
0.150

1971
1981
1991
2001
2011

55.5
56.3
57.8
58.8
63,2

48.8
49.6
51.1
52.1
53.1

5.2
5.1
5.1
5.1
5,3
1.5
1.5
1.6
1.7
1,8
0.180
0.195
0.213
0.223
 

* = From 1922 only Northern Ireland.
** = Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

The population of Ireland increased rapidly during the first half of the 19th century and numbered 8,3 million inhabitants 1846. But the Irish were completely dependent on potatoes as food and when the harvest failed in the late 1840:s a million Irishmen died of starvation. The reduction of the population continued during next hundred years because of emigration to America.

Ireland

1500
1600
1672
1700
1754
1767
1772
1781
1791
1801
1811
1821
1831
1841
1846
1851
1861
1871
1881
1891
1901
1911
1921

1.0
1.0
1.1
2.8
3.2
3.5
3.6
4.0
4.8
5.2
6.0
6.8
7.8
8.2
8.3
6.9
5.8
5.4
5.2
4.7
4.5
4.4
4.4


Republic of Ireland

1922
1931
1941
1951
1961
1971
1981
1991
2001
2011

3.0
2.9
3.0
3.0
2.8
3.0
3.4
3.5
3.8
4,6