Historic County Statistics

The Historic Counties Trust is undertaking a project to produce and analyse detailed statistics relating to the historic counties of the United Kingdom.

The need for statistics based on the historic counties is important for two reasons:

The results of the first stage of this project have been completed and can be found in:

The Demography of the History Counties

GIS data from the project can also be downloaded:

GIS Data from Demography of the Historic Counties Project

Some key results from this publication are featured below.


Table 1. Population of Historic Counties from 2011 Census

CountyArea PopulationDensity
 (sq miles)2011(persons/sq mile)
Aberdeenshire1,950380,495195
Anglesey27769,751252
Angus899264,044294
Antrim 1,175 615,701 524
Argyllshire 3,110 64,819 21
Armagh 512 178,598 349
Ayrshire 1,129 367,676 326
Banffshire 641 46,537 73
Bedfordshire 468 602,847 1,288
Berkshire 722 842,804 1,167
Berwickshire 457 26,458 58
Brecknockshire 742 67,598 91
Buckinghamshire 746 916,903 1,229
Buteshire 225 12,534 56
Caernarfonshire 563 139,065 247
Caithness 618 26,486 43
Cambridgeshire 858 460,448 537
Cardiganshire 693 75,784 109
Carmarthenshire 937 184,232 197
Cheshire 1,035 1,668,894 1,613
Clackmannanshire 48 50,957 1,061
Cornwall 1,365 533,594 391
Cromartyshire 370 7,074 19
Cumberland 1,525 306,241 201
Denbighshire 668 277,680 341
Derbyshire 1,017 1,148,373 1,129
Devon 2,621 1,133,463 433
Dorset 1,005 543,296 541
Down 950 528,983 557
Dumfriesshire 1,063 77,160 73
Dunbartonshire 241 262,419 1,089
Durham 1,022 1,467,037 1,436
East Lothian 267 74,882 281
Essex 1,591 2,999,248 1,885
Fermanagh 715 61,170 86
Fife 504 365,493 725
Flintshire 260 215,390 828
Glamorgan 827 1,321,460 1,598
Gloucestershire 1,293 1,147,106 887
Hampshire 1,656 2,099,640 1,268
Herefordshire 837 183,631 219
Hertfordshire 633 1,157,166 1,828
Huntingdonshire 366 211,776 579
Inverness-shire 4,211 118,077 28
Kent 1,611 2,747,715 1,706
Kincardineshire 380 77,670 204
Kinross-shire 73 11,223 154
Kirkcudbrightshire 899 47,546 53
Lanarkshire 879 1,008,014 1,147
Lancashire 1,909 4,942,364 2,589
Leicestershire 836 975,403 1,167
Lincolnshire 2,687 1,038,510 387
Londonderry 816 247,971 304
Merionethshire 676 37,874 56
Middlesex 285 4,000,927 14,038
Midlothian 362 621,610 1,717
Monmouthshire 542 514,723 950
Montgomeryshire 796 61,956 78
Morayshire 476 67,654 142
Nairnshire 200 13,894 70
Norfolk 2,057 807,721 393
Northamptonshire 998 838,786 841
Northumberland 2,019 797,006 395
Nottinghamshire 843 1,096,617 1,301
Orkney 376 21,349 57
Oxfordshire 754512,345 680
Peeblesshire 548 19,074 35
Pembrokeshire 625122,122 195
Perthshire 2,493 156,371 63
Radnorshire 470 25,821 55
Renfrewshire 245 508,064 2,074
Ross-shire 3,089 69,503 23
Roxburghshire 666 50,800 76
Rutland 152 37,677 248
Selkirkshire 267 16,010 60
Shetland 551 23,167 42
Shropshire 1,342 472,027 352
Somerset 1,633 1,053,504 645
Staffordshire 1,176 2,159,392 1,836
Stirlingshire 447 244,092 546
Suffolk 1,505 775,099 515
Surrey 759 2,975,836 3,921
Sussex 1,466 1,612,454 1,100
Sutherland 2,028 12,803 6
Tyrone 1,260 178,440 142
Warwickshire 918 1,632,885 1,779
West Lothian 120 154,830 1,290
Westmorland 785 87,466 111
Wigtownshire 487 26,618 55
Wiltshire 1,374 682,380 497
Worcestershire 709 1,125,037 1,587
Yorkshire 6,081 5,218,838 858

This table presents the areas, populations and population densities of the historic counties as defined by Defintion A of the Historic Counties Standard (HCS). These have been derived from data from the Office for National Statistics UK 2011 Census, utilising county border data from the Historic County Borders Project.


Map 1. Population Density of Historic Counties from 2011 Census

This map presents the population densities (person/sq mile) of the historic counties, calculated from the 2011 Census and presented in Table 1.


Table 2. Welsh Speakers in Historic Counties of Wales from 2011 Census

CountyTotal WelshPercentage Welsh
 SpeakersSpeakers
Anglesey38,56857%
Brecknockshire10,27216%
Caernarfonshire71,52453%
Cardiganshire34,92647%
Carmarthenshire78,26544%
Denbighshire44,70420%
Flintshire28,65414%
Glamorgan148,93112%
Meirionethshire21,55059%
Monmouthshire46,6839%
Montgomeryshire12,69721%
Pembrokeshire22,60719%
Radnorshire2,63511%


This table presents the total number of residents in each historic county who answered "Yes" to the question "Can Speak Welsh?" in the 2011 Census. The percentage column expresses this total as a percentage of the population total for "All usual residents aged 3 or over". These have been derived from data from the Office for National Statistics UK 2011 Census, utilising county border data from the Historic County Borders Project. The historic counties are as defined by Defintion A of the Historic Counties Standard (HCS).


Map 2. Percentage of Welsh Speakers in Historic Counties from 2011 Census

This map presents the percentage of Welsh Speakers in each historic county. The statstics are presented at the level of 2011 Census Output Areas.