Birmingham Population 2022: Demographics, History, Key Stats

Birmingham is the largest city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, United Kingdom. The city’s expected to reach a peak population of around 1.420 million in 2022. 

Birmingham is also well-known for being the youngest major city in Europe, with the under 25 age group making up almost 40% of the city’s population!

In this Birmingham population guide, we’ll cover the city’s rich history, population growth, demographics, and more. 

Read more:
Travelling from London to Birmingham? Here’s a detailed London to Birmingham Guide for your journey.

Find out all you need to know about the exciting 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. 

This Article Contains:

A Brief Introduction to Birmingham’s History

The city’s name comes from the Old English Beormingahām and is named after the Beormingas, a tribe of Anglo-Saxon Britain. 

It’s important to know Birmingham’s history to better understand the population growth here:

  • Pre-history and mediaeval: Research has shown that humans first settled and cultivated the land during the Bronze Age. There was an increase in population between 1700 BC and 1000 BC, followed by a steep population decline. In 1166, Birmingham’s first market charter was granted, which led to its emergence as a major urban and commercial centre.
  • Modern: Between 1536-1547, mediaeval Birmingham’s governing bodies collapsed, leaving the town with immense social and economic freedom. By 1700, The citys population was 15 times larger and would reach a peak population of 70,000 a century later, making it the 5th largest city in England and Wales.
  • Industrial Revolution: The city led the Industrial Revolution in Britain by the late 18 century. The most significant event of the Industrial Revolution was the creation of the industrial steam engine by James Watt and Matthew Boulton. 
  • Victorian: In 1889, Birmingham was granted city status by Queen Victoria and by 1900, the city established its own university. The Birmingham population grew to over 500,000, and its world-renowned extensive canal system was also built during this era.
  • Contemporary: Birmingham experienced major transformations during this era – from the redevelopment of the Bullring Shopping Centre, and the construction of the Birmingham Library, to the redevelopment of previously industrial areas like The Mailbox and BrindleyPlace. Today, this sizable metropolitan borough is home to a booming service industry and is set to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

Discover more about Birmingham’s history at the exquisite Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Birmingham City Size and Population Density 

According to the 2011 Census data, the city covers 103.39 mi² (267.8 km²) and has a population density of approximately 10,620 people per square mile

Population Growth in Birmingham (2012 to 2021)

Here’s a table summarising the population growth in Birmingham from 2012 to 2021:

Note: The below statistics are based on data from the 2011 Census. This survey includes every housing unit or resident in the UK and is carried out every 10 years. The Census is managed by the Office National Statistics ONS.

YearPopulation (million)Growth Rate

Source: Population Census, 2011

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Birmingham Demographics, Languages, and Ethnicity

According to the 2011 Census carried out by the Office for National Statistics ONS, 51% of Birmingham’s population is female, while 49% is male. 

What are Birmingham’s main languages? 

Here’s a table summarising it:

Language% of Population
Pakistani Pahari1.1
Pashto 0.6

Source: Population Census, 2011

What are the main ethnic groups in Birmingham?

According to the 2011 Census data, Birmingham is home to diverse ethnic minority groups, with black residents making up 9% of the population. Interestingly, 57% of primary pupils and 52% of secondary pupils are from non-White British families.

Here’s a table summarising Birmingham’s ethnic groups:

Ethnicity% of Population
Asian 26.6

Source: Population Census, 2011

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Religion in Birmingham

Below is a summary of the different religious groups in Birmingham city:

Religion% of Population

Source: Population Census, 2011

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Birmingham: Geography, Climate and Environment

Here’s everything you need to know about Birmingham’s geography, weather, and environment:

  • Geography: Birmingham is situated in the middle of the West Midlands region of England on the Birmingham Plateau (500-1,000 feet above sea level). The Plateau  lies between the rivers Avon, Severn and Trent.
  • Climate: The city is characterised by a temperate maritime climate. The summers are comfortable, short, and often feature partly cloudy weather conditions. The winters are incredibly long and feature cold, windy days.
  • Environment: Birmingham city is home to over 590 parks and open spaces, with Cannon Hill Park being the most popular for housing the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park. The city also boasts beautiful nature reserves, the spectacular Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and wildlife centres.

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Birmingham: Sport, Culture and Education

Here’s a breakdown of Birmingham’s sport, culture, and education:

  • Sport: The city is home to many professional football, rugby, and American football teams. The city also features notable sporting venues like The Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr and two championship golf courses. Most importantly, the city will be hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games from 28 July to 8 August 2022
  • Culture: Birmingham is home to many city-centre live music venues, theatres, festivals, museums, art galleries, and more. Some notable venues include the Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Symphony Hall, O2 Academy, and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. The city also boasts fantastic nightlife, with Broad Street being the central nightlife district. 
  • Education: Birmingham has five prestigious universities, namely Aston University, University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, University College Birmingham and Newman University.

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Birmingham Population FAQs

Here are the answers to some more questions you may have about the Birmingham population:

1. What percentage of Birmingham’s population is kids?

Compared to other major cities in the United Kingdom, Birmingham has the most significant proportion of children (22.5%).

2. What percentage of Birmingham’s population is pensioners?

According to national statistics, 13.1% of the citys population is pensioners, which is around 5% lower than the region and England’s average. 

3. What percentage of Birmingham’s population is of working age?

64.4% of Birminghams population is of working age (the 16-64 age group).

4. What’s the population of Birmingham in 2020?

According to 2020 national statistics, approximately 1,140 million people lived in Birmingham in 2020.

5. What’s the population of Birmingham in 2021?

There were approximately 1.378 million Birmingham residents in 2021.

6. What is the UKs second city?

Birmingham has been known as the UKs second city since the first world war. The term is given to the city considered to be the second-most important, based on criteria like population size and social sciences.

But over the last 50 years, Manchester has established itself as a serious contender for the title!

7. Which governing body manages Birmingham?

Birmingham’s governing body is The Birmingham City Council. 

Interestingly, the Birmingham City Council is one of the largest local authorities in Europe.

8. Does Birmingham have a lot of migrants?

According to the 2011 Census migration data, 77.8% of Birmingham residents were born in the UK, meaning Birmingham has around 238,313 foreign born residents. Approximately 44% (103,682) of these migrants have been resident in the UK for less than 10 years.

Most of the new foreign born residents reside in Ladywood (26.7%), Nechells (23%) and Soho (19.9%).

On the other hand, established or settled migrants are more likely to live in Lozells and East Handsworth, Sparkbrook and Handsworth Wood, and Sutton Coldfield.

9. Why is Birmingham UK called the Black Country?

Birmingham was known as the Black Country during the 19th century due to the smoke and soot from the ironworking foundries and forges.

Note: There’s another city called Birmingham in Alabama, United States. Birmingham in the United States was historically referred to as the Magic City, and according to the Census Bureau, the city is currently home to around 206,151 people.