Members of the public celebrate in the Mall, London
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Census figures 'really significant'

The population of England and Wales increased by 7% since the last census, the largest growth in numbers seen in any period since records began.

Back in 1801 the reason for gathering the information was to discover how many men could serve in the army.

Now the information is invaluable for planning public services and much more.

Glen Watson, director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), says the figures are "really significant".

Speaking on the World At One, he explained that the increase has been across the age spectrum and that migration was a "significant factor", with the biggest growth in London and the South East.

  • 16 Jul 2012
  • From the section UK