Reading has an ageing population, new Census figures outline, as the proportion of over-65s calling the area home rose in the last decade.

The Census takes place every 10 years, with the latest snapshot captured on March 21 2021.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there were 20,900 people aged 65 and over living in Reading on census day last year – up from 17,832 in 2011, when the Census was last carried out.

It means the proportion of over-65s living in the area rose over the last decade – from 11.5 per cent to 12 per cent.

However, Reading has a large proportion of young people – there were 71,200 people aged 29 and under living in Reading on March 21 last year, who accounted for 40.9 per cent of the population – up from 67,957 (43.6 per cent) in 2011.

Of them, 20,700 under-10s called Reading home.

This trend is reflected across England and Wales as a whole, where the population is ageing.

Across England and Wales, the local authorities with the highest percentages of the population aged 65 years and over were North Norfolk (33.4%) and Rother (32.4%). East Devon had the highest percentage of the population aged 90 years and over (1.9%), followed by Rother (1.8%).

There were 11.1 million over-65s in 2021 – 18.6 per cent of the population – up from 9.2 million in 2011 (16.4 per cent) and 7.3 million (15.0%) 40 years ago.

Data from the 2021 census for England and Wales will be published in stages over the next two years, the ONS said.

Future releases will include figures on ethnicity, religion, the labour market, education and housing plus – for the first time – information on UK armed forces veterans, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The census was taken at a time when coronavirus restrictions were still in place across the UK, with people only allowed to leave their homes in England for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household, and the rule-of-six on outside gatherings not coming into place until the end of March.

The Census, which is used to understand how the UK's population changes over time, shows the balance of men and women across the country.

In Reading, 49.8 per cent of the population was male and 50.2 per cent was female last year – respectively, this compares to 50.1 per cent and 49.9 per cent 10 years ago. The City of London (55.8 per cent) had the highest male-to-female ratio, while Kensington and Chelsea (46.7 per cent) had the lowest.