English Counties by Population and Area 2021

This article ranks the 48 English ceremonial counties by population and size. 

A ceremonial county is a geographical area that a Lord Lieutenant has been appointed to. Because of the changes in local government boundaries in England over many years, ceremonial counties are the closest approximation we have today to the old geographical counties of England. As a result, they do not necessarily match the boundaries of today’s metropolitan counties and non-metropolitan counties.

Where a county’s name is hyperlinked, you can click to read a more detailed article about that county. Population data is from the Office of National Statistics.

Ceremonial CountyPopulationRank
Greater London88993751st
West Midlands29164582nd
Greater Manchester28125693rd
West Yorkshire23202144th
Kent18464785th
Hampshire18442456th
Essex18327527th
Lancashire14983008th
Merseyside14230659th
South Yorkshire140291810th
Devon119416611th
Surrey118993412th
Hertfordshire118436513th
North Yorkshire115881614th
Nottinghamshire115419515th
Tyne and Wear113637116th
Staffordshire113105217th
Lincolnshire108765918th
Cheshire105927119th
Leicestershire105348620th
Derbyshire105331621st
Somerset96542422nd
Gloucestershire91620223rd
Berkshire91140324th
Norfolk90368025th
Durham86684626th
West Sussex85885227th
Cambridgeshire85252328th
East Sussex84498529th
Buckinghamshire80866630th
Dorset77226831st
Suffolk75855632nd
Northamptonshire74762233rd
Wiltshire72006034th
Oxfordshire68752435th
Bedfordshire66933836th
East Riding of Yorkshire60025937th
Worcestershire59205738th
Warwickshire57101039th
Cornwall56821040th
Cumbria49888841st
Shropshire49807342nd
Bristol46340543rd
Northumberland32027444th
Herefordshire19210745th
Isle of Wight14153846th
Rutland3969747th
City of London870648th

Further reading: Check out our articles on the UK population and the population of England. Also our article about the population of the ceremonial county of Yorkshire.