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Local population diversity

Middlesbrough's population was estimated to be 143,900 in 2021 by the Office of National Statistics (Census 2021).

With a total area of 5,387 hectares, Middlesbrough is the smallest and most densely-populated local authority area in the North East.

There have been significant changes in the population demographics of Middlesbrough since the 2011 census. These highlight an increasingly diverse and younger population in the town.

Demographics

Age

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Middlesbrough has a younger population than both the national and regional averages. However there has been no significant change in the ageing population since Census 2011.

20.8% of Middlesbrough's resident population are children and young people aged 0 to 15 years. This is higher than the England rate of 18.6% and the North East rate of 17.7%.

62.4% are 'working age', between 16 and 64 years. This is higher than both the England rate of 63.0% and the North East rate of 61.9%.

16.8% are 'older people' aged over 65 years. This is lower than both the England rate of 18.4% and the North East rate of 20.4%.

Ethnic diversity

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Middlesbrough is the most ethnically diverse local authority area in the Tees Valley, with a British Minority Ethnic population of 17.6% identified at Census 2021. This is an increase of 51% since 2011, and is projected to grow further.

82.36% of Middlesbrough's resident population was classed as White (with various sub-groups). This was lower than the North East rate of 90.04% but higher than the England rate of 81.05%. Middlesbrough is the second most ethnically diverse local authority in the North East, behind Newcastle upon Tyne (with 79.97% classed as White).

10.49% were classed as Asian / Asian British (with sub-groups). This is higher than the North East rate of 3.70% and the England rate of 9.61%. Again, Middlesbrough is behind Newcastle upon Tyne on this measure (with 11.37%). However Middlesbrough has the highest percentage in the Tees Valley.

2.09% of the population was identified as Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups (with sub-groups). This was higher than the North East rate of 1.26%, but less than than the national rate of 2.96%. Again, Middlesbrough is behind Newcastle upon Tyne (at 2.31%). However Middlesbrough does have the highest percentage in the Tees Valley.

2.65% of the population was identified as Black / Africa / Caribbean / Black British. This was higher than the North East rate of 1.01%, but lower than the England rate of 4.22%. Middlesbrough is behind Newcastle upon Tyne on this measure (at 3.31%). However Middlesbrough has the highest percentage in the Tees Valley.

2.41% of the population was identified as 'Other Ethnic Group'. This was higher than both the England rate of 2.18% and the North East rate of 1.00%. Middlesbrough is behind Newcastle upon Tyne (at 3.05%). However Middlesbrough has the highest percentage in the Tees Valley.

12.29% of Middlesbrough's total population was born outside of the UK (Census 2021). This was lower than the England rate of 17.35%, but almost double the North East rate of 6.77%. Middlesbrough has the highest percentage of residents born outside of the UK in the Tees Valley. However it is second behind Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East.

9.85% of asylum seekers in the North East were reported to be living in Middlesbrough as of the end of June 2023 (asylum statistics - House of Commons Library). Newcastle upon Tyne has the highest rate with 22.75%, followed by Gateshead with 12.83%, and Stockton-on-Tees with 12.18%. This places Middlesbrough fourth in the North East and second in the Tees Valley. The North East has 6.10% of asylum seekers in the UK.

ONS reports a rise in the number of non-British nationals per 1,000 of the resident population, with 51.1 in 2011 and 78.95 in 2021. This is higher than the North East (27.7 rising to 40.53) and lower than England (83.5 rising to 99.66).

Gender

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50.75% of Middlesbrough's population was estimated to be female. This is in line with both the England rate of 51.04% and the North East rate of 51.14%.

49.25% of Middlesbrough's population was estimated to be male. This is in line with the England rate of 48.96% and the North East rate of 48.86%.

Women in Middlesbrough live longer than men, with 16.94% of women aged over 65 years. This is lower than both the England rate of 18.54% and the North East rate of 20.37%.

The gender breakdown of council employment figures is 69.3% women and 30.7% men (April 2023). This is not reflective of the wider labour market figures of 47.5% and 52.5% respectively (NOMIS labour market statistics), but it is broadly comparable with the employment levels in other councils.

Gender identity

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0.82% of Middlesbrough's total population has a different gender identity from their sex registered at birth.

This is higher than the England rate of 0.55% and the North East rate of 0.46%.

Middlesbrough has the highest percentage of residents with a different gender identity to their sex registered at birth in the Tees Valley. In the North East, it is second behind Newcastle upon Tyne.

Religion and belief

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58.24% of Middlesbrough's resident population was identified as having a religion in the 2021 census. This is higher than both England at 57.31% and the North East at 54.99%.

36.42% of the population was identified as having no religion. This was lower than both England at 36.67% and the North East at 39.97%. This is significantly higher across all areas than the recorded response in Census 2011. Middlesbrough has the lowest percentage of residents with no religion in the North East.

5.34% of the population did not state their religion. This was lower than England at 6.02%, but higher than the North East at 5.04%.

45.96% of the population was identified as Christian. This was lower than both England at 46.32% and the North East at 50.77%. This is significantly lower across all areas than the recorded response in Census 2011.

10.22% of the population was identified as Muslim. This was higher than both England at 6.73% and the North East at 2.72%. Middlesbrough has the highest Muslim population in the North East and the Tees Valley.

The remaining proportion of the population was identified as Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, and 'other religion'. Each of these accounted for less than 1% of the population. This trend is seen in the England and North East averages.

Sexual orientation

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89.55% of Middlesbrough's population identifies as heterosexual or straight. This is similar to England at 89.37%, and lower than the North East at 91.03%.

1.57% of the population identifies as gay or lesbian. This is similar to England at 1.54% and the North East at 1.56%.

1.22% of the population identifies as bisexual. This is similar to England at 1.29% and the North East at 1.19%.

7.28% of Middlesbrough's population did not answer. This is similar to England at 7.45% and more than the North East at 5.95%.