THE Braintree district has an ageing population, new Census figures outline, as the proportion of over-65s calling the area home rose in the last decade.

The Census takes place every 10 years, with the latest snapshot captured on March 21 2021.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there were 31,700 people aged 65 and over living in Braintree on census day last year – up from 24,413 in 2011, when the Census was last carried out.

It means the proportion of over-65s living in the area rose over the last decade – from 16.6 per cent to 20.4 per cent.

There were 51,800 people aged 29 and under living in the district on March 21 last year, who accounted for 33.4 per cent of the population – down from 52,138 (35.4 per cent) in 2011.

Of them, 17,500 under-10s called Braintree home.

This trend is reflected across England and Wales as a whole, where the population is ageing.

There were 11.1 million over-65s in 2021 – 18.6 per cent of the population – up from 9.2 million in 2011 (16.4 per cent) and 7.3 million (15 per cent) 40 years ago.

The census was taken at a time when coronavirus restrictions were still in place across the UK, with people only allowed to leave their homes in England for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household, and the rule-of-six on outside gatherings not coming into place until the end of March.

The Census, which is used to understand how the UK's population changes over time, shows the balance of men and women across the country.

In Braintree, 49 per cent of the population was male and 51 oer cent was female last year – around the same proportion as 10 years ago.