The Population at a Glance

The latest published figures on our Population show that there are 180,097 residents in Bath and North East Somerset. 

As an area Bath and North East Somerset was formed in 1996 and covers approximately 135.2 square miles.

  • Bath is the largest urban settlement in the area and forms the main urban conurbation, acting as the commercial and recreational centre of the district. It is home to approximately 50% of the population and is one of the few cities in the world to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Keynsham lies to the west of Bath. A traditional market town with a population of almost 9% of the total population of Bath and North East Somerset. Midsomer Norton and Radstock are small historic market towns, located in the south of the district with approximately 12% of the total population split between them. They both have a strong heritage of mining and industry stemming from the North Somerset Coalfield. 
  • The rest of the district consists of 69 diverse rural communities of varying sizes and characteristics, including a line of villages along the foothills of the Mendips, the Chew Valley and Cotswolds villages around Bath. 


Bath and North East Somerset is less ethnically diverse than the UK as a whole, 90% of local residents define their ethnicity as White British. This is followed by 3.8% defining as White Other and 1.1% defining as Chinese. The local population’s age structure is similar to the UK’s population as a whole, however there is higher number of people aged between 20-24 highlighting the student population.

In the 2011 Census, 16% of B&NES residents reported that their day to day activities were limited through a long term illness or disability and 10% of the population stated that they spent a substantial portion of their time caring for a friend or relative.

The Office for National Statistics project that the Bath and North East Somerset population will increase by to 199,100 by 2037, an increase of 12% from 2012. The most significant increases expected are in older people, in particular the 85+ population (A 124% increase from 5,000 to 11,200).

A recent study suggested that nearly 85% of the population is satisfied with their local area as a place to live, significantly higher than the national figures.

Despite being an area with generally good health and low crime, there is significant variation within Bath and North East Somerset. Compared to the most affluent communities in the area, the most deprived communities:

  • have 45% higher cancer rates,
  • are three times as likely to smoke,
  • are 22% more likely to think that anti-social behaviour is a problem in their area, and
  • 16-17 year olds are nearly 4 times as likely to be not in education, training or employment.

The Local Economy

The local workforce is highly skilled, with 41.8% educated to NVQ4 level or above, compared to 34% regionally and 35% nationally.

House prices are very high; in September 2013 the average house price was £226,465 making the average price of a home over 8 times average earnings of the area.

B&NES has a lower percentage of the working age population claiming key [[out of work benefits]] than the South West Region and nationally. In August 2013 there were 10,060 key benefits claimants, making up about 8.8% of the working age population, compared to 13.6% nationally. 

Employment is based in the public sector (around 34% in total – The Council is one of the area’s biggest employers); followed by construction and banking, and finance and insurance.

Bath has World Heritage Status and international reputation as a tourist destination, attracting about 7 million day visits every year. Hence, tourism plays a key role in Bath and North East Somerset’s economy, employing an estimated 11,800 people.

As a result wage levels are lower than the national average, however, in some technology based industries wages have increased. Related industries also attract higher wage levels. Alongside neighbouring authorities of North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and the City of Bristol, the area is part of the West of England ‘Local Economic Partnership’ which forms a focus for business growth and government support.

For further information

For other useful information and further facts and figures about the local population or the local area please go either to the councillors dashboard on the intranet - http://intranet/service/dash-councillors (for use by councillors and employees of the council only), the Research & Intelligence section on the council’s website -, or contact the Research & Intelligence team on or 01225 477230.