DUDLEY’S population has swelled in the last decade, according to the 2021 census, and one in five people are now over 65.

Every UK household is required to take part in the census, which takes place every 10 years, with the latest snapshot of England and Wales captured on March 21, 2021.

Now the first results have been released – and there’s been a rise in the number of people living in Dudley.

On census day, 323,500 people were living in the area – up three per cent from 312,925 in 2011, when the last census was carried out.

The population density has grown to 3,302 usual residents per square kilometre, up from 3,194 in 2011.

In the last 40 years, Dudley’s population has increased by 8.4 per cent since 1981 when the borough’s population was 298,524.

Vital for statisticians to understand how the population is changing, the census plays a vital role in shaping how public services and government operate.

Locally results show the balance of men and women in Dudley has changed, with 49.1 per cent listed as male and 50.9 per cent female, compared to 2011 when 49.2 per cent of Dudley people were male and 50.8 per cent were female.

The area is also aging – a decade ago the population comprised 11.8 per cent under-10s and 18.6 per cent over-65s, but this had changed to 11.7 per cent and 20.4 per cent respectively by 2021.

Across England and Wales, the population grew 6.3 per cent over the past decade, from 56,075,912 in 2011 to 59,597,300 last year.

The West Midlands has seen a 6.2 per cent increase, with the population rising to 5,950,800 from 5,601,847 in 2011.

There were 24.8 million households in England and Wales on census day 2021, up from 23.4 million in 2011, with an average of 2.4 people in each household – the same as in 2011.