North East & Yorkshire and the Humber: Demographics, Density & Migration Patterns

North East & Yorkshire and the Humber


Our Regional Market Report series examines the trends of each local planning authority (LPA) in the North East & Yorkshire and the Humber. 

In this report, we look at the demographic changes of each LPA, and the forecast ahead. 


North East & Yorkshire and the Humber Region Population Change & Population Density

Over a decade (2011 to 2021), the North East grew by 1.9% from a population of 2,596,441 to 2,646,260. Yorkshire and the Humber grew by a stronger 3.6% from 5,288,212 to 5,480,640.

However, both of these are less than England's population growth in the same time period – 6.37% (from 53,107,169 to 56,490,645). 

Over the next decade (2021 to 2031), the ONS forecasts the North East's growth to accelerate to 3.2% rising from 2,646,260 to 2,731,853. Yorkshire and the Humber is forecasted to also accelerate to 4.4% (5,480,640 to 5,721,284).

However, even with these gains in growth, both the North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber, will still lag behind England as a whole. England's forecasted to grow 5.13% (56,490,645 to 59,389,102).

The North East has a population density of 308 people per sq km, and Yorkshire and the Humber has a population density of 356 people per sq km. These areas are less dense than England's overall 434 people per sq km.

Below you can view the data for each LPA in both column chart format and in choropleth maps (heatmaps). If you're viewing this on the web, you can hover each bar in the chart to get more data for the LPA, and filter by county. 

In the North East, Newcastle upon Tyne in Tyne & Wear stands out with the strongest population growth at 7.5%. In contrast, Gateshead in Tyne & Wear saw the biggest population decline at -2.1%. 

South Tyneside in Tyne & Wear is forecast to grow the most in the North East, with projected population growth of 5.6%. Middlesbrough in Teeside is forecast to decline by -3.2%.

Moving to Yorkshire and the Humber, Selby in North Yorkshire outpaced all other LPAs with a population growth of 10.0%. Richmondshire in North Yorkshire, on the other hand, saw the biggest decline at -5.7%.

Sheffield in South Yorkshire is predicted to grow the most over the next ten years at 11.6% – ten times its previous growth. Kingston upon Hull in East Riding of Yorkshire is forecasted to see the biggest decline at -2.1%.


In the North East, Middlesbrough in Teeside holds the highest population density at 2,668 people per sq km. Newcastle upon Tyne and North Tyneside (both in Tyne & Wear) are the second and third most dense at 2,629 and 2,541 people per sq km, respectively.

Northumberland (in the county of the same name) takes the rural prize at having the least population density of 64 people per sq km. Less than 3% of Middlesbrough's density. 

In Yorkshire and the Humber, Kingston upon Hull in East Riding of Yorkshire has the highest population density at 3,722 people per sq km. Sheffield in South Yorkshire, while the second most dense LPA, has less than half Hull's density – 1,507 people per sq km. Bradford, in West Yorkshire, holds the third spot – 1,492 people per sq km. 

Ryedale in North Yorkshire is the least dense LPA in Yorkshire and the Humber – 36 people per sq km.

North East & Yorkshire and the Humber Migration Patterns & Population Change Components

Please note: The Census took place on 21st March 2021, and the latest data for population change estimates from the ONS is 30th June 2021. In the Census year, the ONS estimate population change not on a year on year basis, but between the mid year estimate of that year and the Census date. This means that the following figures are for the roughly three month span between 21st March 2021 and the 30th June 2021. More on this from the ONS here

England saw a net population increase of 45,774 people in that time span. If we were to extrapolate this to a 12 month period – we would get a 165,421 increase. However, this is a crude extrapolation and doesn't take into account variables such as seasonality.  

The North East, made up 1.12% of this change, with a net population increase of 512 people (extrapolated, this would be 1,850 people in a year). Most of this change was driven by internal, or domestic, migration. Of the 512 net increase, there was a net internal migration of 673 people (births minus deaths of -124, and international migration of -37 people). 

Overall the net increase made up 0.02% of the North East's population. 

Yorkshire and the Humber, made up 1.73% of England's population increase, with a net population increase of 791 people (extrapolated, this would be 2,859 people in a year). Most of this change was driven by births minus deaths. There were 2,059 more people born than died, a net internal migration of -1,232 people, and international migration of -36 people. 

Overall the net increase made up 0.01% of Yorkshire and the Humber's population. 

Net population change takes into account net internal migration, net international migration, and births minus deaths. The next chart shows the overall net change, and the chart after that shows the components of this change. 

In the North East, Northumberland saw the largest increase in population with a net change of 998 people (extrapolated to a year this would be 3,607 people). This was mostly driven by internal, or domestic migration, with 1,218 people moving into Northumberland. There was no international migration. Without migration, Northumberland would have seen its population decline by -220 people, owing to births minus deaths. 

Newcastle upon Tyne saw the largest net decrease in population in the region. It's population had a net change of -1,811 people (extrapolated, it would be -6,545 in a year). This is driven by domestic migration, with -1,983 people leaving more than entering the LPA from other UK LPAs. 

In Yorkshire and the Humber, Harrogate saw the largest net increase in population – 1,025 people (extrapolated to a year this would be 3,704 people). This was mostly driven by internal, or domestic migration, with a net increase of 1,079 people. 

Leeds saw the largest net decline in population at -2,794 people (extrapolated to -10,097 people in a year). This was made up mostly of its internal migration. It saw a net internal migration change of -3,428 people. 


North East & Yorkshire and the Humber Age Demographics

The North East's median age of 42.53 years is not too different from England's overall median age of 40.49 years. Yorkshire and the Humber also has a close median age of 40.74 years. 

While England's median age has gone up by 1.1 years between 2011 and 2021, the North East's has gone up by 1.31 years, and Yorkshire and the Humber's by 1.04 years. 

In the North East, Northumberland is the oldest LPA with a median age of 48.93 years. Newcastle upon Tyne is the youngest at 34.53 years. 

Northumberland has also seen the biggest change in age between 2011 and 2021, with its median age going up by 3.65 years from 45.29 to 48.93. 

Middlesbrough's age has been stable, increasing by a modest 0.28 years between 2011 and 2021 (37.06 to 37.34 years).

In Yorkshire and the Humber, Craven holds the spot for oldest LPA with a median age of 51.06. Bradford on the other hand, is the youngest with a median age of 36.72. 

Richmondshire saw the biggest change in median age between 2011 and 2021. Its median age increased by 5.97 years from 39.76 to 45.73. Wakefield on the other had only had a modest increase of 0.05 years, with its median age changing from 41.39 to 41.44 years. 

North East & Yorkshire and the Humber Income Profile

The North East's median income of £29,764 is a bit lower than England's overall median wage of £33,208. Yorkshire and the Humber's median wage of £30,501 is also a bit less than England's median. 

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In the North East, in terms of wage growth, North Tyneside saw the biggest jump between 2012 and 2022 – a 33.4% increase from £23,887 to median earnings of £31,869. Gateshead, while having the least growth in the region, still has an impressive 20.9% – with wages going from £24,458 to £29,561.

North Tyneside also has the highest earnings in the region, with its median earnings of £31,869 – a 7% premium compared to the rest of the region. 

In Yorkshire and the Humber, Ryedale saw the biggest jump in earnings. Between 2012 and 2022, wages grew by 35.1% from £19,933 to £26,923. Scarborough grew the least, with a still impressive 17.2%. Median earnings grew from £24,040 to £28,182.

Harrogate has the highest wages in the region, with its median income of £33,153 – an 8.7% premium compared to the rest of the region.  


Related Resources

If you've enjoyed the data insights about demographics in the North East & Yorkshire and the Humber, check out our other reports for the region below: