Census 2021: Greater Manchester Topic Briefings

Census 2021: Greater Manchester Topic Briefings


The 2021 census was held in England and Wales on 21 March 2021. The census has been taken every ten years since 1801 (except 1941).

Census data is being released throughout 2022 and 2023 for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It provides comprehensive and localised data on Greater Manchester’s population to support policy makers in finding reliable answers to some of the key questions facing the city region.

This was a ‘digital-first’ census with most people completing it online and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is making the latest census information as easy as possible to use online. There is a regular and increasingly rich flow of data arriving on a whole range of topics including residents’ background (such as ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation), housing, health, and work.

Topic Briefings for Greater Manchester

The GMCA’s Research Team are producing a series of topic briefings on Census 2021 so that a range of audiences can understand the high-level messages and findings from the data as it is released. Our fundamental questions for these summaries will be: what does the data tell us about Greater Manchester and the 10 districts within the city region, and what are the implications for future policy? We will also signpost access to the complete datasets and more information from ONS to enable further analysis.

The order in which topic briefings are produced and published will be informed by the ONS departmental plan (external website) for the release of Census 2021 data and analysis. National releases include first results, topic summaries, multivariate data and specialist data, so our local publication plan will be flexible and subject to a regular review and sense checking exercise.

Briefings within our first release can be accessed by using the links on this page.

Forward Look

Over the next month, we are likely to be working on briefings in relation to the following topics:

  • Children and young people
  • Social class (to be confirmed)

Anyone interested in discussing the briefings published on this page, or keen to make contact with the Research Team more generally, can reach the team on the following contact email:


Useful Wider Resources

Topic briefings are not designed to provide the full detail on any given topic, but the ONS and other bodies are producing some fantastic resources that interested audiences may wish to explore further. Some of the main things we’d recommend are as follows:

House of Commons Library data dashboards (parliament.uk) (opens in a new tab) ONS Interactive Data Maps (ons.gov.uk) (opens in a new tab) ONS Custom Area Profile Builder (ons.gov.uk) (opens in a new tab) ONS Create Population Group Profile (ons.gov.uk) (opens in a new tab) ONS Custom Dataset Builder (ons.gov.uk) (opens in a new tab) Download all underlying data from Nomis (nomisweb.co.uk) (opens in a new tab)


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