Leeds, United Kingdom Population

Population in Urban Area, now

1,907,681
  • World: 284th
  • Europe: 19th
  • United Kingdom: 4th

Population in City Area, 2021-07-25

455,123
  • World: 817th
  • Europe: 117th
  • United Kingdom: 9th

Leeds Urban Area Population Graph

Leeds Population Review

Located in Northern England, Leeds is the largest city in the county of West Yorkshire. It has one of the most diverse economies in the UK and is one of the largest legal and financial centres outside of London. Originally a small manorial borough, Leeds grew to become a major producer and trader in wool, and then went on to become a major mill town during the Industrial Revolution.

A diverse demographic

The minority population of Leeds represents almost 18% of the city’s entire population. There are more than 140 different ethnic groups that call the city home. The population is mostly white, with about 85% of the population identifying as either White British, White Irish, Irish Traveller, or other white. The second largest ethnic group in the city are Asians, with people of Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, and Bangladeshi descent being included in this category. There is also 3.5% of Leeds’ population that is Black, and 0.5% that is Arab.

When it comes to religion, most people in Leeds identify as Christian. The city has the third-largest Jewish population in the United Kingdom, behind Manchester and London, and 5.4% of the population identify as Muslim. One growing section of the population are those who identify as having no religion. As of 2001, 17% of the population had no religious affiliation. This number has since grown to almost 27%.

Cohabitation and couples in Leeds

Most of the population of Leeds are married, with 41% of people identifying as married. There is 12% of the population that cohabitates with someone of the opposite sex, and 0.89% that live with a member of the same sex. 29% of the population are single and have never married or been in a registered same sex partnership, while 8.6% are divorced. There are also around 37,000 people in Leeds who are widowed.

A varied economic footprint

Leeds has one of the most diverse economies in the United Kingdom and the fastest rate of private job sector growth in any city in the UK. Leeds has the third-highest employment rate by local authority with 480,000 people in employed and self-employed at the beginning of 2015. 27% of people were in education, health, or public administration and 23% were in banking, finance, or insurance, while 21% were employed in service sectors like distribution, hotels, or restaurants.

The financial industry in Leeds is a powerful one and is considered the fifth largest in the United Kingdom and industries like retail, call centres, and media have contributed much to the city’s high rate of economic growth. The entire Leeds City Region generates a £56 billion economy, with the city alone generating at £18.8 billion. The city is also a key section for equity, venture, and risk finance in the UK. The venture capital YFM Equity Partners—which was founded in Leeds—is the single largest provider of risk capital to small and medium sized enterprises in the UK.

A shopping mecca for the Yorkshire

Leeds extensive retail area is the principal shopping centre for the whole of the Yorkshire and Humber region, with 5.5 million shopping who are spending £1.93 billion annually. The many indoor shopping centres in the city include the Merrion Centre, the St John’s Centre, The Core, The Light, the Victoria Quarter, and mire. In total, there are over 1,000 retail stores with a combined floor space of over 3.6 square feet in the Leeds City Centre.

The city’s centre has a large pedestrian zone, which also lends to its shopping mecca. Briggate is the main shopping street of the area, where many British High Street stores are located, such as Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, Debenhams, Topshop, Costa Coffee and Harvey Nichols. The Victoria Quarter especially is known for its luxurious, high-end stores, such as Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Diesel and the anchor store, Harvey Nichols.

Clean Air Zone

Leeds’ air quality has been declared unsafe by the World Health Organization, with Neville Street near Leeds Railway Station rating as some of the most polluted outside London. As part of the plan to tackle the illegal levels of air pollution, the city has plans to create a Clean Air Zone. This will consist of drivers being charged a daily fee for driving older model vehicles that are more polluting.

Review Updated: November 2, 2020

Leeds Urban Area Population History

1950 1,692,000
1951 1,693,000
1952 1,694,000
1953 1,695,000
1954 1,696,000
1955 1,697,000
1956 1,698,000
1957 1,699,000
1958 1,701,000
1959 1,702,000
1960 1,703,000
1961 1,704,000
1962 1,707,000
1963 1,709,000
1964 1,711,000
1965 1,714,000
1966 1,716,000
1967 1,719,000
1968 1,721,000
1969 1,724,000
1970 1,726,000
1971 1,723,000
1972 1,696,000
1973 1,670,000
1974 1,644,000
1975 1,618,000
1976 1,593,000
1977 1,568,000
1978 1,544,000
1979 1,520,000
1980 1,496,000
1981 1,481,000
1982 1,493,000
1983 1,504,000
1984 1,516,000
1985 1,528,000
1986 1,540,000
1987 1,552,000
1988 1,564,000
1989 1,577,000
1990 1,589,000
1991 1,600,000
1992 1,605,000
1993 1,610,000
1994 1,616,000
1995 1,621,000
1996 1,626,000
1997 1,632,000
1998 1,637,000
1999 1,643,000
2000 1,648,000
2001 1,655,000
2002 1,667,000
2003 1,679,000
2004 1,692,000
2005 1,704,000
2006 1,717,000
2007 1,730,000
2008 1,742,000
2009 1,755,000
2010 1,768,000
2011 1,781,000
2012 1,793,000
2013 1,804,000
2014 1,816,000
2015 1,828,000
2016 1,840,000
2017 1,852,000
2018 1,864,000
2019 1,876,000
2020 1,889,000
2021 1,902,000

Leeds Urban Area Population Projections

2022 1,915,000
2023 1,929,000
2024 1,942,000
2025 1,956,000
2026 1,971,000
2027 1,985,000
2028 1,999,000
2029 2,012,000
2030 2,026,000
2031 2,039,000
2032 2,053,000
2033 2,066,000
2034 2,078,000
2035 2,091,000

Map of Leeds, United Kingdom

All Biggest Cities in the United Kingdom