Wrexham’s population set to shrink by -1.5% by 2028 say new projections
Wrexham is one of four local authority areas in Wales that is set to shrink in population size by 2028 according to statistics released today.
All other areas of Wales are set to grow by between 0.3% (Powys) and 7.2% (Newport) according to Statistics for Wales.
The newly released data is a revision to figures published back in February and provides estimates of the size of the future population and are based on assumptions about births, deaths, and migration.
Statistics for Wales note the projections “are not forecasts” and that “they do not attempt to predict the impact of government policies, changing economic circumstances or other factors (like the coronavirus pandemic) on future household population.”
Wrexham, as defined by the council area, is set for a population of 134,100 people by 2028 – the 2011 census had a total of 134,844 ‘usual resident population’ recorded.
The 134,100 figure is also set against a low and high prediction, with the lowest predicted population being 132,400 and the highest 135,300 both lower than the 136,100 current population figure based off 2018 data.
During the period 2018 to 2028, for children and young people aged 0 to 15 years old it is projected that all local authorities, other than Newport, the Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Merthyr Tydfil, will see a decrease in the number of children and young people aged 0 to 15 years old with the greatest percentage decreases in 0 to 15 year olds are projected to be seen in Wrexham (down 8.6%).
Migration is projected to add to the population of all local authorities in Wales except for in Wrexham in the same period. Wrexham is the only local authority that is projected to see both negative natural change and negative net migration between 2018 and 2028 – so people moving out of the area, as well as more deaths than births.
Cardiff is projected to continue to have the largest population of all the local authorities in Wales by 2028, at over 375,700 people. This is over 121,000 more people than the second largest local authority, Swansea, and is projected to account for almost 12% of the population in Wales.
The majority of local authorities in Wales are projected to have a population of between 100,000 and 200,000 by 2028.
Population projections are important as they provide an input to planning for the area, for example a Welsh Government projection based off the 2011 census included in a Local Development Plan (LDP) document from 2014 had Wrexham with a population of 153,400 by 2026 and 158,600 by 2031 – and by 2028 155,506.
The LDP document from 2014 noted: “The projections forecast an increase in population of over 20% on the 2011 baseline, the second highest figure in Wales and significantly higher than the Welsh average.
“Wrexham together with Cardiff, Swansea and Newport are projected to be the population growth centre’s in Wales.”
More recent LDP evidence base documents refer to a range of projections, that could indicate a 152k to 158k total population range. That recent document also states: “Even taking into account there are more births than deaths, migration is the main driver of population growth in Wrexham County Borough”, a view today’s stats release disagrees with.
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