Liverpool population fall bucks North West trend

The North West's population grew by 13,400 to 6.85m over the year to mid-2006 but there was a fall in the number of people living in Liverpool, according to official figures.

The latest trends published by the Office for National Statistics show Liverpool's population fell by 1,000 to 436,100, a drop of 0.2%, with the overall Merseyside figure down also, by 3,800 to 1,353,600.

The only one of the five Merseyside boroughs to record a rise was Knowsley, up very slightly by 100 to 151,300 people.

In contrast to Liverpool, Manchester's population grew by 1.7%, or 7,400, to 452,000. This reflected the trend for Greater Manchester, consisting of ten boroughs, which was up 10,500 to a population of 2,553,800.

A spokesman for Liverpool City Council said the figure was surprising and the council had contacted the ONS to express concerns about new methodology used to produce the data. The ONS was yet to respond, the spokesman said.

In recent years, Liverpool's political and regeneration leaders have celebrated the end of the so-called 'leaving of Liverpool' depopulation phenomenon which halved the city's number in the decades after the Second World War. They will be hoping this recent fall is a temporary blip or, indeed, a reflection of ONS changes to methodology.

The ONS report said: "The estimated resident population of an area includes all people who usually live there, whatever their nationality.

"The methodology used to update mid-year estimates includes an estimate of the population change due to flows of international migrants."

Elsewhere in the North West, Cheshire's population rose 1,900 to 686,300; Cumbria's was up marginally by 500 to 496,200 and Lancashire reported a 3,500 rise to 1,165,700 people.

Area

Population growth

Population total

North West

13,400

6,853,200

Blackburn with Darwen*

0

141,200

Blackpool*

-400

142,700

Halton*

300

119,500

Warrington*

700

194,000

Cheshire

1,900

686,300

Chester

600

119,700

Cumbria

500

496,200

Greater Manchester

10,500

2,553,800

Manchester

7,400

452,000

Lancashire

3,500

1,165,700

Preston

700

132,000

Merseyside

-3,800

1,353,600

Liverpool

-1,000

436,100

*Unitary Authority

The figures are contained in Mid-2005 to Mid-2006 Population Estimates: Components of Population Change for Local Authorities in the United Kingdom.

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