Leeds Population 2023

The population of Leeds is 812,000.

The population has increased by 8.1% since the 2011 census, which is significantly higher growth than for the rest of the Yorkshire and the Humber region, which was 3.7% for the same ten year period.

Leeds is a city in the North of England, and one of the largest cities in the United Kingdom. A small market town for much of its history, it boomed during the Industrial Revolution and had one of the largest mill industries in the world.

Leeds Population Growth

The population has grown at every UK census other than in 1981 where it saw a slight decrease.

Bar chart showing Leeds Population at each census since 1801

The industrial revolution led to unprecedented growth in Leeds as it transformed itself from a relatively small market town to an industrial powerhouse built on the foundation of its mills. Between 1801 and 1901 the city grew by over 500%, from 94,421 in 1801 to 552,479 people in 1901.

Growth slowed during the 20th century, but never slowed – for much of the period it still grew faster than other major cities in the UK.

The only slight dip in growth was recorded in the 1981 census, part of a general trend in England and the rest of the UK which saw people less likely to move to large cities, instead preferring suburban living.

Since then, Leeds has continued to thrive, attracting economic investment and growth in public sector employment, and is now seen as one of the most desirable cities to live in. Between the 2011 and 2021 censuses the number of people living in Leeds increased by more than 8% to reach an all time high population of 812,000.

YearPopulation% change

According to the latest projections from Leeds observatory, the population of Leeds in 2030 is likely to be around 838,027 and in 2040 is likely to be around 864,196 people.

Leeds demographics

The male population of Leeds is 396,300 (49%) and the female population is 415,600 (51%). The people of Leeds are spread across 341,500 households in 2022.

More than two-thirds of people in Leeds (67%) are aged from 15-64. A further 18% are aged 0-14 and 16% are aged 65+.

Leeds has a population density of 1,472 per km2.

Leeds ethnicity demographics

Data from the 2011 census shows that the ethnic demographics of Leeds is very close to the same demographics for England as a whole.

The Asian population of both Leeds and England are 7.8%, and the black population of Leeds at 3.4% is only marginally larger than across England, where it is 3.5%.

Leeds is more diverse than the rest of the Yorkshire and Humber region, though. 7.3% of people across Yorkshire and the Humber are Asian, which is relatively close, but the percentage of black people across the whole of the Yorkshire and Humber region is significantly lower at 1.5% in 2011.

Ethnic group%
Mixed / multiple2.6%

Leeds religion

Leeds is has a marginally higher rate of non-religious people than either Yorkshire and the Humber or England. In 2011, 28.2% of people in Leeds reported that they had no religion, compared to 25.9% across Yorkshire and the Humber and 24.7% across England.

The majority of people in Leeds (55.9%) are Christian. Muslim is the next most popular religious identity with 5.4%.

ReligionLeedsYorkshire % The HumberEngland
Other religion0.3%0.3%0.4%
No religion28.2%25.9%24.7%%

You can read more in our article about religion across the UK.

What county is Leeds in?

Leeds is the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire, and in the administrative borough of City of Leeds. Leeds is also a part of the historic county of Yorkshire.

Together with Bradford, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Halifax and a number of other local towns, Leeds is a major part of the West Yorkshire Built Up Area. With a population of 1.7 million, it is the fourth largest urban area in the UK after Greater London, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.


Unless otherwise stated, demographic statistics and data in this article comes from Leeds Observatory or the Office of National Statistics.

Similar Posts