Census data release from the Office of National Statistics (ONS)

Hackney Town Hall

New estimates of Hackney’s population have been released today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The census is a count of an area’s population, carried out by the ONS every ten years.

Information on Hackney’s population, broken down by age and sex along with information on occupied households, is also provided. More data on local areas and equality factors such as ethnicity and religion will be published this Autumn.

The ONS estimates there were 259,200 people living in Hackney in March 2021. Although this is 5.3% higher than the 2011 Census estimate of 246,300, it is significantly lower than the 2020 mid-year estimate of 280,900, published last year. The mid-year estimates approximate how many people are typically living in the area over the calendar year. It is also lower than the GP registration data which provides another indicator of those living in the borough at any given time.

 Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

A significant amount of work was put in by our officers to encourage as many Hackney residents as possible to complete the census and I am proud we had more than 90 percent of the forms returned. Officers worked hard to break down any digital barriers our residents faced in completing the forms.  

Despite the impressive census return rate in Hackney, our population estimate, like other authorities in London; may not be a true reflection of the number of people currently living in Hackney.  

When the census was carried out in March 2021 some of our residents, particularly those working in the cultural and creative industries and those living in the private rented sector, may have temporarily moved elsewhere as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that the figures released today may not truly reflect our current population.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney
Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Human Resources and Equalities

Our biggest concern is that the Government may use the March 2021 estimate to calculate how much funding Hackney receives for vital public services like education, and healthcare. This will have a detrimental impact on the vital services that we provide to Hackney residents at a time when they’re already facing increased living costs.  

The return of people to the capital following the easing of the pandemic restriction is shown by the increased demand on our private rental sector.

This is not just a Hackney issue and we  urge the ONS to work with us and our partners across the capital to sense-check this data and adjust for these temporary migrations  when it publishes its mid-year estimates for 2022

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Human Resources and Equalities

For further information on the census, please visit: 


New census 2021 data from the ONS shows Hackney’s population is estimated to be 259,200  compared with 246,300 in 2011, which is down from last mid-year estimate for 2020 (released in 2021) of 280,900.

The female population is an estimated 135,300 compared with the male population of 123,900. 

Hackney had a population density of 13,611 residents per sq km and it remains the 3rd most densely populated local authority after Tower Hamlets and Islington. Hackney has 106,100 households compared with 101,690 in 2011.

For further information on future census data release dates, please visit: https://www.ons.gov.uk/census/censustransformationprogramme/census2021outputs/releaseplans

This comparison tool helps us see changes between two census points: https://www.ons.gov.uk/visualisations/censuspopulationchange/E09000012/