Population of Manchester

With a population of 569,000, Manchester is the largest city in North West England.

The city can trace its roots to the Roman fort of Mamucium, established in 79 AD near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell.

Outside the fortress, a vicus, or civilian settlement, was built. The vicus housed the soldiers’ families and the merchants who provided services to the military force. By 200 AD, the vicus is believed to have housed approximately 2,000 persons.

Manchester remained a small town throughout the Middle Ages. Rapid growth began in the late 18th century with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. An unplanned population explosion was sparked by a boom in textile manufacturing in the area.

People moved from other areas of the UK to work in the city’s cotton mills. Large numbers came from Ireland in the 1840s as a result of the Irish Potato Famine.

The development of trade and a growing population necessitated enhanced transportation and distribution systems.

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway was the world’s first intercity railway. Liverpool Road Station, the Manchester terminus, is now part of the Science and Industry Museum.

The Manchester Ship Canal, completed in 1893, connected the Port of Manchester to the Irish Sea.

The population peaked in the 1930s. The 1931 Census recorded a population of 766,311. The Great Depression and increased overseas competition sent the city’s textile industry into decline.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the slums that used to house the workers were demolished. The population declined as families were relocated to new housing in the suburbs. Overspill estates included Hattersley in Tameside, and Darnhill and Langley in Rochdale.

By 1991 the population had fallen to 404,861.

in 1996 the IRA detonated a bomb on Corporation Street. Nobody was killed but the explosion devasted the city centre.

Manchester had already won the bid to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Plans to regenerate the city centre were already in place. The Manchester Metrolink began operations in 1992 and the Bridgewater Hall and Manchester Arena were complete.

The blast increased the scope of efforts to revitalise the city centre substantially. A renovated Manchester Arndale became the UK’s biggest city centre shopping mall. New shopping and entertainment options included The Printworks and The Triangle.

Many former mills were converted into apartments and new ones built. Over the last few decades, the population of Manchester has been increasing.

Manchester is a major cultural centre and has a rich history of music, art, and sport. It is home to two major football clubs: Manchester City and Manchester United.

The city has a diverse population. The percentage of ethnic minorities here is well above the national average.

79,496 (15.80%) of Manchester’s population identifies as Muslim. The Curry Mile in Rusholme is reputed to have the greatest number of South Asian restaurants outside of the Indian subcontinent.

Persons with Irish heritage form a sizeable and integral part of the local population. The city hosts one of the UK’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades.

Manchester’s Chinatown is the second-largest in the UK. Located in the city centre, it is home to a great selection of Chinese restaurants and shops. The Chinese New Year celebrations and parade are one of the highlights of the city’s events calendar.

There is a sizeable black community in areas such as Moss Side, Longsight, and Cheetham Hill.

Significant Jewish populations can be found in neighbouring areas of Bury and Salford.

Manchester boasts one of the largest student populations in Europe. Tens of thousands of students attend the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Current Population Statistics

According to data from the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS), the current population of Manchester is 569,000.

As of , the latest ONS statistics are for 2022.

Population statistics for Manchester between 2013 and 2022, split by age group, are shown in the table below.

YearTotal Population
of Manchester
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 Manchester increased from 510,800 in 2013 to 569,000 in 2022.

This represents a population growth rate of 11.39%.

Demographics of Manchester - Age Groups

In 2013, 102,500 children lived in Manchester; 20.07% of the total population.

In 2022, 114,600 children lived there, which was 20.14% of the total population. The percentage of children living in Manchester in recent years has been rising.

In 2013, 359,300 adults lived in Manchester, representing 70.34% of the total population.

In 2022, 400,900 adults lived there, representing 70.46% of the total population. The percentage of adults living in Manchester in recent years has been increasing.

In 2013, 49,000 elderly people lived in Manchester, 9.59% of the total population.

In 2022, 53,500 elderly people lived there, or 9.40% of the total population. The percentage of elderly people living in Manchester in recent years has been declining.

Demographics of Manchester - Gender

There are currently more females than males in Manchester.

282,900 males were living there in 2022 (49.72% of the total).

286,100 females were living there in 2022 (50.28% of the total).

Population statistics by gender for Manchester between 2013 and 2022 are shown in the table below.


2021 Census - Manchester

The census provides a snapshot of the UK providing detailed information about population numbers and social trends.

A census has been held in the United Kingdom every 10 years (with a few exceptions), every year since 1801.

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).

The census data provides a detailed view of the UK. Data from the census is used by government in planning and delivering public services, developing laws, and allocating resources.

The most recent UK census took place in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland on March 21, 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 census prior to this was carried out in 2011. Demographics for Manchester are listed below.

2011 Census Data - Resident Population of Manchester

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 Manchester was 503,127.

The number of males living in Manchester was 252,623 (50.21% of the total resident population). The number of females was 250,504 (49.79% of the total resident population).

Population Density

Manchester covers an area of 11,564 hectares. The population density was 43.51 persons per hectare.

2011 Census Data - Religion in Manchester

Christians were the largest religious group in Manchester. 245,247 (48.74%) of the total population of 503,127 identified as Christian.

Manchester has a lower percentage Christian population than the average for England (59.38%).

Muslims were the second-largest religious group in Manchester. 79,496 (15.80%) of the population identified as Muslim.

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

No Religion127,48525.34
Religion Not Stated34,7746.91

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

376,066 (74.75%) of the 503,127 residents of Manchester were born in the UK; 360,441 in England, 6,545 in Scotland, 4,521 in Wales, and 4,451 in Northern Ireland.

8,737 (1.74%) were born in the Republic of Ireland, 22,942 (4.56%) in other EU countries, and 95,382 (18.96%) in other countries.

Country of BirthNumber%
Northern Ireland4,4510.88
Republic of Ireland8,7371.74
Other EU22,9424.56
Other Countries95,38218.96


Manchester is located in North West England, within the Greater Manchester metropolitan county.

It is bounded by Salford and Trafford to the west, Bury and Rochdale to the north, and Oldham, Tameside, and Stockport to the east. Cheshire lies to its south.

Manchester City Council is the local authority in charge of the city’s administration.