How Warwickshire’s population changes in a workday

3rd March 2014

The population of an area changes as people move in and out to go to2011 census work. Data from the 2011 Census shows the difference between resident and work day populations for areas in England and Wales.

The work day population is calculated by re-distributing the usually resident population to their recorded places of work, while those not in work are recorded at their usual residence.
Differences between the usually resident and workday populations can illustrate which areas experience net outflows of people during the work day and conversely where people travel into during the work day. ONS have published an interactive mapping tool to check out local areas and see how they change during the work day.

The table below illustrates the change between usually resident and workday populations in districts/boroughs within Warwickshire.


Across England and Wales, the majority (63%) of local authorities had less than ten per cent difference between their usually resident and workday populations. Warwickshire has two authorities, North Warwickshire and Nuneaton and Bedworth, where differences between usually resident and workday populations exceed ten per cent.

The largest proportional change from usually resident to workday population is in North Warwickshire which sees an eighteen per cent rise in its work day population. An additional 8,300 people are in North Warwickshire on a work day.  North Warwickshire appears in the top twenty local authorities with the greatest percentage gains between the usually resident and workday populations aged 16-74.

In the 2001 Census North Warwickshire had a work day population three per cent smaller than its usually resident population indicating that this change in North Warwickshire’s work day population has emerged in the last ten years. The most likely explanation for this is the expanding automotive manufacturing industry in this area.

Warwick District and Stratford-on-Avon District also experience positive increases in their workday populations albeit proportionally smaller, indicating that lower numbers of residents are travelling out of these authorities for work purposes than the number who travel in. That said, it is important to note that even smaller differences in usually resident and workday population might still involve considerable movement of people but that in and out flows are more balanced; the characteristics of those populations might be quite different even if the volumes are not markedly so.

Two authorities in Warwickshire experience smaller work day populations than their usual number of residents. In particular, Nuneaton and Bedworth experiences a 16.2 % reduction in its usually resident population translating into, at the very least, almost 15,000 people typically travelling outside of the borough for work purposes. These figures are likely to be a reflection of fewer employment opportunities for residents within the borough itself although it does not mean people do not travel into the borough for employment.

As noted above, the characteristics of the usually resident and workday populations may be quite different. For example, the sex ratios of the workday population can vary greatly compared with the resident population. In North Warwickshire, the data indicates that the workday population has a sex ratio of 133 males per 100 females compared to 99 males per hundred females in the usually resident population (ONS, 2013). This feature of the workday population is evident in the population pyramid below; the male side (blue) side of the pyramid shows a marked difference in the workday number of males (light blue) compared with the number of usual resident males (dark blue).This is likely to reflect the largely male dominated automotive  industry in the area.

north warks pyramid


Conversely, the population pyramid for Nuneaton and Bedworth shows that the  male and female workday populations are smaller than the usually resident population although it is more marked for men than women.

When it comes to age structures the profile of those areas experiencing workday population gains is typically younger than those experiencing workday population losses. The population pyramid for North Warwickshire shows some gains particularly in those aged below 34 in the workday population.  Nuneaton and Bedworth has a slightly older population during the workday.

ONS has published a number of datasets using the workday population base, These are available on the Nomis website and can be used to identify further differences between the usually resident and workday populations.

Further publications by ONS of population ‘flow’ data later this year will illustrate actual movements of populations between destinations giving a much clearer picture of travel to work patterns.

For further information or comments about the Observatory’s analysis of 2011 Census data please contact us on