Bolton Population

Bolton is a town and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, North West England.

The metropolitan borough includes Bolton, plus the surrounding towns of Blackrod, Farnworth, Horwich, Kearsley, and Westhoughton.

The current population of Bolton (metropolitan borough) is 288,200.

The current population of Greater Manchester is 2,848,300.

In 1779, Samuel Crompton of Bolton had developed the spinning mule, a machine to spin cotton. During the following century, the town’s population increased dramatically, largely due to the growth of its textile industry.

In 1801 the population of the areas that now comprise the borough was around 37,000. By 1901 the population of Bolton had topped 240,000. During the second half of the twentieth century, its population began to level off.

Residents of Bolton are known as Boltonians.

Current Population Statistics

According to data from the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS), the current population of Bolton is 288,200.

As of , the latest ONS statistics are for 2020.

The table below shows the population statistics for Bolton in recent years, split by age group.

YearTotal Population
of Bolton
Population Aged 0 to 15Population Aged 0 to 15 %Population Aged 16 to 64Population Aged 16 to 64 %Population Aged 65+Population Aged 65+ %

Population Growth

As can be seen from the data in the table above, the population of Bolton increased from 277,300 in 2011 to 288,200 in 2020.

This represents a population growth rate of 3.93%.

Demographics of Bolton - Age Groups

In 2011, 57,200 children lived in Bolton; 20.63% of the total population.

In 2020, 62,000 children lived there, which was 21.51% of the total population. The percentage of children living in Bolton in recent years has been rising.

In 2011, 177,300 adults lived in Bolton, representing 63.94% of the total population.

In 2020, 176,200 adults lived there, representing 61.14% of the total population. The percentage of adults living in Bolton in recent years has been declining.

In 2011, 42,800 elderly people lived in Bolton, 15.43% of the total population.

In 2020, 50,100 elderly people lived there, or 17.38% of the total population. The percentage of elderly people living in Bolton in recent years has been increasing.

Demographics of Bolton - Gender

There are currently more females than males in Bolton.

143,300 males were living there in 2020 (49.72% of the total).

144,900 females were living there in 2020 (50.28% of the total).

Population statistics by gender for Bolton between 2011 and 2020 are shown in the table below.


2021 Census - Bolton

The census is a snapshot of the nation that includes important data on population figures and social changes.

In the UK, there is a census every 10 years.

They are currently run in England and Wales by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in Northern Ireland by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NIRSA), and in Scotland by National Records of Scotland (NRS).

Census statistics help paint a picture of the nation. The census data is used by the government to plan and deliver public services, develop regulations, and allocate funds.

The most recent UK census took place in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland on 21 March 2021. Scotland delayed the census to 2022 due to the pandemic.

Statistics from the 2021 Census (for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland) will be published in summer 2022.

The 2011 census was prior to this. Population statistics for Bolton are detailed below.

2011 Census Data - Resident Population of Bolton

As of today, the most recent published UK Census data was for 2011. Results of the 2011 United Kingdom Census showed that the total population of Bolton was 276,786.

The number of males living in Bolton was 136,660 (49.37% of the total resident population). The number of females was 140,126 (50.63% of the total resident population).

Population Density

Bolton covers an area of 13,980 hectares. The population density was 19.80 persons per hectare.

2011 Census Data - Religion in Bolton

Christians were the largest religious group in Bolton. 173,608 (62.72%) of the total population of 276,786 identified as Christian.

Bolton has a higher percentage Christian population than the average for England (59.38%).

Muslims were the second-largest religious group in Bolton. 32,385 (11.70%) of the population identified as Muslim.

Bolton has a higher percentage Muslim population than the average for England (5.02%).

No Religion47,56717.19
Religion Not Stated15,6515.65

2011 Census Data - Resident Population of Bolton - Country of Birth

245,562 (88.72%) of the 276,786 residents of Bolton were born in the UK; 240,877 in England, 2,527 in Scotland, 1,266 in Wales, and 869 in Northern Ireland.

1,467 (0.53%) were born in the Republic of Ireland, 5,218 (1.89%) in other EU countries, and 24,539 (8.87%) in other countries.

Country of BirthNumber%
Northern Ireland8690.31
Republic of Ireland1,4670.53
Other EU5,2181.89
Other Countries24,5398.87

2011 Census Data - Ethnic Groups in Bolton

Whites were the largest ethnic group in Bolton. 226,645 (81.88%) of the total population of 276,786 identified as white.

Bolton has a lower percentage white population than the average for England (85.42%).

Asians were the second-largest ethnic group in Bolton. 38,749 (14.00%) of the population identified as Asian.

Bolton has a higher percentage Asian population than the average for England (7.82%).



Bolton lies in the foothills of the West Pennine Moors, 10 miles northwest of Manchester city centre.

It is bordered by Blackburn to the north, Bury to the east, Salford to the southeast, Wigan to the southwest, and Chorley to the northwest.

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