Population

In 2018, the resident population of Bolton is approximately 285,372. Mid 2018 population estimates (Figure 1) illustrates that Bolton has a higher proportion of older people (65 years plus) than what is observed at Greater Manchester. Bolton has a lower proportion of working age population (16-64), than what is seen nationally.

2018 population

  Total Males Females 0 to 15 16 to 64 65 and over
England 55,977,178 27,667,942 28,309,236 10,748,458 35,049,467 10,179,253
Greater Manchester 2,812,569 1,397,201 1,415,368 576,791 1,790,440 445,338
Bolton 285,372 141,579 143,793 60,911 175,341 49,120

Figure 2 gives Bolton’s population estimates by males and females and by 5-year age group. Around half of Bolton’s residents are aged under 40 and a fifth of the population fall within the age bracket of 0 to 14.

2018 mid-year population estimates

Bolton - mid 2018 - 5-year age groups
Age Males Females All Percent of population
0 to 4 9,782 9,512 19,294 6.76%
5 to 9 10,142 9,834 19,976 7.00%
10 to 14 9,558 8,791 18,349 6.43%
15 to 19 8,764 7,850 16,614 5.82%
20 to 24 8,654 7,747 16,401 5.75%
25 to 29 9,350 9,284 18,634 6.53%
30 to 34 9,543 9,909 19,452 6.82%
35 to 39 8,840 9,065 17,905 6.27%
40 to 44 8,463 8,544 17,007 5.96%
45 to 49 9,873 10,014 19,887 6.97%
50 to 54 9,802 10,184 19,986 7.00%
55 to 59 8,741 9,035 17,776 6.23%
60 to 64 7,334 7,637 14,971 5.25%
65 to 69 6,939 7,143 14,082 4.93%
70 to 74 6,540 7,098 13,638 4.78%
75 to 79 4,348 5,021 9,369 3.28%
80 to 84 2,820 3,505 6,325 2.22%
85 to 89 1,388 2,327 3,715 1.30%
90 and over 698 1,293 1,991 0.70%

In line with developments across the country, Bolton has an ageing population. Bolton’s older population, ages 70 - 90+, do however make up a lower proportion of the local population than the England average. This population group is projected to increase rapidly by over 5,000 people over the next 10 years.

Population Changes: Projections

Bolton’s population is expected to reach 300,000 for the first time in 2039. Over the next twenty years, Bolton’s population is expected to increase by 4.5%. This is a slower pace of growth than projected for England (8.4%) and Greater Manchester (7.1%).

There are no official projections by age group available. Estimates can be made, but these do not take into account any population movement. According to estimates, between 2019 and 2025 the number of young adults is expected to reduce by 2,641 people. The number of individuals in secondary school and older teenagers are projected to increase in number. The largest population increase is expected in the over 75 group (Older Retirement). Looking further ahead to 2041, estimated projections show that the over 65 population will show a considerable increase in Bolton, rising by over 17,000, within the Post-Retirement (65-74) and Older Retirement (75+) age brackets.

The over 65 population is projected to rise by 35% from 49,700 in 2019 to 67,000 in 2041 and will then make up over a fifth (22%) of Bolton’s total population.

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