Northern Ireland has one of the fastest growing populations in the UK. Since 1980, it has grown by 9.3% and is projected to rise to 1.72 million by 2011. The proportion of the population under 15 is also the highest in the UK and is currently 23.4%, compared to the UK average of 19.3%. The population of the Derry City Council area has grown to 106,635 (+10.9%) of which the rural population accounts for just over 29,000. The growth in the rural population of over 13% is higher than the urban average; this has been affected by some changes in electoral ward boundaries and the growth of some sub-urban area into traditionally rural areas.


The latest population estimates for the Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) area gave a population total of 150,680. These estimates also indicated that the region had a younger profile than that for Northern Ireland (NI) as a whole. It was estimated that DCSDC had 33.5% of its population aged 24 and younger (31.9% in NI) whilst 14.9% of the population in DCSDC were aged 65 and over (16.4% in NI).

The overall population of DCSDC is projected to decrease slightly to 150,496 in 2022 before dropping back to 145,852 by 2041. It is projected that the number of those aged under 16 will fall to 28,040 (19.2%) in 2041, down from 32,806 (21.8%) in 2016. By 2041, the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to increase to 35,150 resulting in this age category making up nearly a quarter (24.1%) of the DCSDC population.



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