Country Digest

Population of Somerset (2016)

The population of Somerset is 940,208. Located in the South West of England, Somerset is the 22nd most populous ceremonial county in England.

The county of Somerset is divided into three main parts. Somerset County Council administers the non-metropolitan county of Somerset, which has a population of 545,390. In addition, there are two unitary authorities – Bath & North East Somerset (pop: 184,874) and North Somerset (pop: 209,944). See the tables below for more information.

Bath is the largest city in Somerset. It has a population of 88,859 people (2015 data). More detail can be found below, in the section on cities and towns in Somerset.

Although Bristol has, at times, been considered a part of Somerset (and of Gloucestershire) it is today a unitary authority. You can read more about the city in our article on the population of Bristol.

Somerset population by area

The historic county of Somerset is made up of three main administrative areas – Somerset (the non-metropolitan county, administered by Somerset County Council), Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset.

somerset-population-map-of-districts

This table lists the population of each area in the county:

Total (ceremonial county) 940,208
Area Population (2015)
Somerset (metropolitan county) 545,390
North Somerset (unitary authority) 209,944
Bath & North East Somerset (unitary authority) 184,874

In addition, the non-unitary county of Somerset is divided into five smaller district councils – they are Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset, West Somerset and Taunton Deane.

This table lists the population of each district in the metropolitan county of Somerset:

District Population (2015)
South Somerset 164,982
Sedgemoor 120,260
Taunton Deane 114,021
Mendip 111,724
West Somerset 34,403

Largest towns and cities in Somerset

Somerset is mainly a rural county, but it is home to a few mid-sized cities and towns.

Bath is the largest of Somerset’s two cities. In 2011, it was home to 88,859 people. Other major towns in Somerset include Weston-super Mare (population: 76,143), Taunton (population 64,621), Yeovil (population 45,784) and Bridgwater (population 35,886).

Somerset is also home to the second smallest city in England – Wells (population 10,536).

(Because cities in the UK are places which have been officially granted city status, and are not necessarily large urban areas) there are some very small cities in the country. The only city smaller than Wells in England is the city of London. There are also two even smaller cities in Wales – St David’s and St Asaph.)

Here is a list of the largest towns and cities in Somerset.

Town/City Population (2011)
Bath 88,859
Weston-super-Mare 76,143
Taunton 64,621
Yeovil 45,784
Bridgwater 35,886
Frome 26,203
Portishead 23,699
Clevedon 21,281
Nailsea 15,630
Wellington 14,549

Somerset Population Growth

The population of Somerset has grown steadily over the last century or more. The table below lists the total Somerset population (that is, for the entire ceremonial county) at the time of each census since 1901.

Year Population
1901 445,266
1911 462,357
1921 471,038
1931 479,758
1941 520,396
1951 563,970
1961 619,751
1971 682,043
1981 731,886
1991 812,997
2001 855,694
2011 908,553
2015 (est.) 940,208

Further reading

Data in this article comes from the Office of National Statistics.

Somerset Intelligence has detailed data about population in the areas administered by Somerset County Council, including maps, information on population density, population projections and a detailed population pyramid.

Detailed information about the population of North Somerset can be found at the North Somerset Council website and information about the population of Bath and North East Somerset (including a population pyramid) can be found at the Bath & North East Somerset Council website.

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