The population of Liverpool is 486,100.
Liverpool is a city on the North East coast of England, located on the Mersey estuary. It is also one of England’s metropolitan boroughs. Liverpool is approximately 30 miles to the west of Manchester, 70 miles north of Wales, and 150 miles south of Scotland.
Liverpool is the eighth largest city in the UK by population and the sixth largest city in England. It was granted city status in 1880.
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Liverpool population growth
As you can see from the chart above and the table below, the population of Liverpool grew rapidly during the 19th and early 20th centuries. (Note: at the time of writing, data was unavailable for the population of Liverpool in 1871.)
Liverpool’s population increased from a base of just 85,627 in 1801 at the time of the first census, to a peak of 846,302 in 1931. That’s an increase of almost 1,000% over 130 years.
A major port city, Liverpool grew rapidly through the Industrial Revolution, and was one of the most common ports used by people emigrating to the USA and Canada, as well as elsewhere in the British Empire.
In common with other cities across the UK, including nearby Manchester and the capital city of London, Liverpool’s population declined massively in the second half of the 20th century. In fact, Liverpool’s population fell by 48% in just 70 years, dropping to just 439,428 people in 2001.
Partly this was due to Liverpool’s changing economy – it was less and less important as an industrial and port city. But there were other factors at play too, factors which were replicated across the entire UK.
Liverpool’s population decline was largely due to the movement of people away from city centres into the more spacious suburbs. People moved out of Liverpool and into homes in nearby towns like Wirral, St Helens, Warrington. Some even moved as far as Wales.
As the 21st century began, metropolitan Liverpool’s population began to rise again, up to 466,415 in 2011 and 486,100 in 2021. This population movement is driven by the regeneration of Liverpool city centre, and by the increasing attractiveness of the city of Liverpool as a centre of urban living.
Liverpool’s population is forecast to grow to 531,000 by 2030.
What county is Liverpool in?
Liverpool was historically part of the county of Lancashire.
Today, Liverpool is a part of the ceremonial county of Merseyside, which has a population of 1.4 million people. Merseyside is made up of parts of Lancashire and Cheshire, including Liverpool, St Helens, Wirral, Sefton and Knowsley.
Liverpool Ethnicity Demographics
Liverpool is less diverse than England as a whole.
The majority of people living in Liverpool are White British. This group makes up almost 85% of all people living in Liverpool, and is higher than the national average of 80.5%.
Liverpool also has lower proportion of residents who are Asian or from an Asian background, and a lower number of Black, African, Caribbean and Black British residents than the rest of the country.
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Perhaps reflecting its closeness to Wales, the most common surname in Liverpool is Jones. In 2014, there were 23,012 people named Jones in the city.
Smith, an English surname, comes second with 16,276 people.
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth most popular surnames were again all Welsh in origin – Williams, Davies, Hughes and Roberts.
The city’s close connections with Wales led to it being known at one point as the capital of North Wales.
Religion in Liverpool
Christianity remains the largest religion in Liverpool. In the 2021 census, 57.3% of people reported that they were Christian.
This is a significant decrease since the last census in 2011, but the number of Christians in Liverpool remains higher than the national average of 46.3%. (You can read more about this in our article about religion in the United Kingdom.)
In the same time period, the number of people reporting that they have no religion has increased from 17.7% to 29.4%.
The number of people who reported Islam as their religion has also increased, from 3.3% in 2011 to 5.9% in 2021, slightly below the national average .
Liverpool has two cathedrals – the Anglican Cathedral Church of Christ, and the Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King.
The city was also home to one of the first mosques built in Britain in 1887. The Princes Road Synagogue was built around the same time.