Salford Population

Salford is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester. The metropolitan borough includes the city of Salford, plus towns such as Eccles, Pendlebury, Swinton, Walkden, and Worsley.

The current population of Salford (metropolitan borough) is 262,700.

The population of Salford grew rapidly during the Industrial Revolution, rising from around 29,000 in 1801 to approximately 89,000 in 1841. People moved here from other areas of the UK to seek work in the textile industry.

Population growth continued throughout the latter half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. In 1894, the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal and Manchester Docks (Salford Docks and Pomona Docks) brought further employment to the area. By 1931 the population of Salford had peaked at around 334,000.

For the rest of the 20th century, the population of Salford declined. By 1991 it had fallen to 220,000.

Increased competition from overseas in the first half of the 20th century devastated the area’s textile industry. During the 1970s the Manchester Docks declined as the Manchester Ship Canal could no longer accommodate the larger container ships which were becoming dominant in international trade. The docks closed in 1982, and the area was left derelict.

The population of Salford has increased in recent years, partly due to redevelopment.

In 1983 Salford City Council purchased the Salford Docks part of the Manchester Docks. The area was rebranded as Salford Quays and redeveloped. It now includes numerous housing developments, hotels, The Lowry, the Imperial War Museum North, and a shopping mall. MediaCityUK is home to the BCC and other broadcasters.

More than 20,000 students are enrolled at the University of Salford. Salford Museum and Art Gallery is adjacent to its main campus. 

Current Population Statistics

According to data from the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS), the current population of Salford is 262,700.

As of , the latest ONS statistics are for 2020.

Population statistics for Salford between 2011 and 2020, split by age group, are shown in the table below.

YearTotal Population
of Salford
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 Salford increased from 234,500 in 2011 to 262,700 in 2020.

This represents a population growth rate of 12.03%.

Demographics of Salford - Age Groups

In 2011, 45,200 children lived in Salford; 19.28% of the total population.

In 2020, 53,200 children lived there, which was 20.25% of the total population. The percentage of children living in Salford in recent years has been rising.

In 2011, 156,000 adults lived in Salford, representing 66.52% of the total population.

In 2020, 172,900 adults lived there, representing 65.82% of the total population. The percentage of adults living in Salford in recent years has been declining.

In 2011, 33,300 elderly people lived in Salford, 14.20% of the total population.

In 2020, 36,600 elderly people lived there, or 13.93% of the total population. The percentage of elderly people living in Salford in recent years has been declining.

Demographics of Salford - Gender

There are currently more males than females in Salford.

132,900 males were living there in 2020 (50.59% of the total).

129,800 females were living there in 2020 (49.41% of the total).

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


2021 Census - Salford

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

Censuses have taken place in the UK every 10 years 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).

Census statistics help paint a picture of the United Kingdom. Data from the census is used to help run public services, develop policies, and earmark funding.

The 2021 Census took place on 21 March 2021. It was the first census to be carried out primarily online.

The data from the 2021 Census for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will be published in summer 2022.

The previous census was in 2011. Demographic information for Salford is shown below.

2011 Census Data - Resident Population of Salford

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 Salford was 233,933.

The number of males living in Salford was 116,782 (49.92% of the total resident population). The number of females was 117,151 (50.08% of the total resident population).

Population Density

Salford covers an area of 9,719 hectares. The population density was 24.07 persons per hectare.

2011 Census Data - Ethnic Groups in Salford

Whites were the largest ethnic group in Salford. 210,862 (90.14%) of the total population of 233,933 identified as white.

Salford has a higher percentage white population than the average for England (85.42%).

Asians were the second-largest ethnic group in Salford. 9,429 (4.03%) of the population identified as Asian.

Salford has a lower percentage Asian population than the average for England (7.82%).


2011 Census Data - Religion in Salford

Christians were the largest religious group in Salford. 150,111 (64.17%) of the total population of 233,933 identified as Christian.

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

No Religion52,10522.27
Religion Not Stated14,4416.17

The Broughton area of Salford is home to a large Jewish community.

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

206,471 (88.26%) of the 233,933 residents of Salford were born in the UK; 200,812 in England, 2,769 in Scotland, 1,577 in Wales, and 1,280 in Northern Ireland.

2,485 (1.06%) were born in the Republic of Ireland, 8,853 (3.78%) in other EU countries, and 16,124 (6.89%) in other countries.

Country of BirthNumber%
Northern Ireland1,2800.55
Republic of Ireland2,4851.06
Other EU8,8533.78
Other Countries16,1246.89

Location and Transport

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

It is bounded by Wigan to the west, Bury and Bolton to the north, and Trafford to the south.

Manchester lies directly to the east, across the River Irwell.

The borough is governed by Salford City Council, headquartered in Swinton.

Train stations in Salford include Salford Central, Salford Crescent, and Eccles.

Metrolink stops in Salford include Exchange Quay, Salford Quays, MediaCityUK, Ladywell, and Eccles.

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