People and Equalities

Bexley’s population in 2022



Bexley is a growing borough: by 2030 our population will be 257,000 and 267,000 by 2040

  • we are the 12th least populated borough in London and less populated than our neighbouring boroughs
  • we have one of the lowest proportions, in London, of residents moving in and out of the borough
Bexley population


  • 30% of Bexley residents are young people (under the age of 25) which makes us the 16th youngest borough in London
  • the largest five-year age group in Bexley is 35 to 39-year-olds at 7.2%
  • Bexley has the 5th highest rate of people aged 65 and over in London at 16.6%. This number will increase to 21.8% in 2050
  • higher populations of older people living alone are found in the south and centre of the borough. However, a quarter of older residents registered on the housing register live in Erith, in the north of the borough.
Age group%Percentage
0 to 912.7%
10 to 1912.4%
20 to 2911.5%
30 to 3914.1%
40 to 4913.4%
50 to 5913.8%
60 to 699.9%
70 to 797.4%
80 to 894.0%
90 plus0.9%


Bexley population diversity

Bexley is a diverse borough, our ethnic minority population is increasing and will continue to do so – this is in line with our neighbouring boroughs and is catching up with the rest of London.

28.1% of residents are from an ethnic minority background (excluding white minorities). Including white minorities, 35.6% of residents are from an ethnic minority background.

The north of the borough has a larger ethnic minority population - Thamesmead East, Belvedere and Slade Green and North End wards have the highest population of residents from ethnic minority backgrounds.

90% of residents, aged three and over, speak English as their main language. This is higher than the London average but has decreased by 4% since 2011. The top 3 languages spoken in Bexley, other than English, are Romanian, Panjabi, and Polish.

Our ethnic group breakdown in 2021 is:

Asian or Asian British

  • Bangladeshi 0.7%
  • Chinese 1.6%
  • Indian 4.4%
  • Pakistani 0.6%
  • Any other Asian background 2.6% 

Black, Black British, Caribbean or African

  • African 9.4%
  • Caribbean 1.3%
  • Any other Black, Black British, or Caribbean background 1.5%

Mixed or multiple ethnic group

  • White & Asian 0.9%
  • White & Black African 0.7%
  • White & Black Caribbean 1%
  • Any other Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups 1%

Other ethnic groups

  • Arab 0.2%
  • Any other ethnic group 2.2%


  • English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British 64.4%
  • Irish 1%
  • Gypsy or Irish Traveller 0.3%
  • Roma 0.1%
  • Any other White background 6%


  • 60% of residents say they are religious. This has declined over time. In 2011, 24%  of residents said they had no religion. In 2021, this figure rose to 34%
  • the 3 largest religions are Christian (50%), Muslim (4%) and Hindu (3%)
  • the proportion of Christian residents is decreasing - in 2011 62% of residents described themselves Christian, compared to 50% in 2021. The proportion of Hindu residents has increased from 1.5% in 2011 to 3% in 2021 and Muslim residents have increased from 2.4% in 2011 to 3.9% in 2021
  • in 2022, there were 19 faith-based hate crime offences, 2 Anti-Semitic hate crime offences and 10 Islamophobic hate crime offences reported in Bexley

Sex and Gender Identity

The  2021 Census is the first official data on the size of the transgender population in England & Wales. This was a voluntary question in the 2021 census; 6% of residents aged 16 and over did not answer (both for England & Wales and Bexley).

  • Over 1,000 people aged over 16 in Bexley did not identify with their registered sex at birth (0.5%)

Female residents


Bexley has more female residents than male - 48.1% of the population is male and 51.9% of the population is female in 2021. It is expected that this will remain the same in 2050

Male employment


The employment rate for men is similar to but higher at 82% than women at 79%

Pay gap


There is a growing gender pay gap for Bexley residents, with male full-time workers earning £165 more a week on average than female full-time workers weekly. This gap is also seen at a London and national level

Gender and education

  • girls achieve higher grades at both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 than boys in Bexley
  • at Key Stage 2, 69% of girls achieved the expected level or higher in reading, writing and maths in 2021/22. This was 8 percentage points higher than the 61% for boys
  • at Key Stage 4, girls achieved a 54.4 attainment 8 score in 2021/22. This was 4.1 higher than boys

Gender and crime

  • domestic abuse offences have risen from 2019 to 2022 by 2.5%, however, this is less than London which had an increase of 7%
  • MARAC cases (high-risk domestic abuse cases) have increased by 13.4% between 2021 and 2022; 27% of these cases related to residents with an ethnic minority background)
  • Female Genital Mutilation instances are reported in Bexley, with 15 cases in 2021/22 however we have a lower number of cases compared to our neighbouring boroughs
  • There were 6 recorded hate crime offences related to transgender people in Bexley in 2022.

Sexual orientation (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer/Questioning - LGBQ+)

  • Sexual orientation was a voluntary question in the 2021 census; 7% of residents aged 16 and over did not answer.
  • 2.11% of the population aged 16 and over identified with an LGB+ orientation. This is over 4000 people in total: around 2000 gay or lesbian, 1500 bisexual, 350 pansexual and 150 asexual, queer or other sexual orientations
  • The remaining 91% identified as straight or heterosexual
  • Bexley has a lower LGB+ population than London (4.3%) and England & Wales (3.2%)
  • there were 52 recorded hate crime offences related to sexual orientation in 2022 in Bexley 

Births, deaths and marriages

  • the birth rate is slightly declining. 3182 births are projected in 2021 - a birth rate of 12.8 per 1000
  • the average age of people giving birth was 31 years old
  • of people who gave birth in 2020, 62% were from a White ethnic group, 11.9% were Black or Black British, 9.1% were Asian or Asian British, 3.1% were Mixed and 5.5% were from another Ethnic group
  • of people who gave birth in 2020, 20.2% had complex social factors (alcohol or drug misuse, recent migrant or asylum seeker status, difficulty reading or speaking English, aged under 20, domestic abuse)
  • the number of marriages has been steady from 2015 until 2020/21 when they fell significantly due to coronavirus
  • civil partnerships have been increasing in Bexley
  • in 2017, 2.5% of marriages were of same-sex couples
  • the death rate is slightly increasing. 2223 deaths are projected in 2021 - a death rate of 8.9 per 1000
Births, deaths and marriages


The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone with a physical or mental injury. It must be substantial or long-term (likely to last more than 12 months) and affect their ability to conduct day-to-day activities.

  • in 2021, 36083 residents had one or more disability/illness, similar to the 37053 in 2011. This is 14.6% of the population, compared to 16% in 2011.
  • for 8.4% of residents their disability/illness limits day-to-day activities a little, and for a further 6.2% their day-to-day activities are limited a lot
  • 29.3% of households in Bexley reported that they have at least one person living there with an illness or disability
  • health and age are closely related, with older people being more likely to be in poorer health. ONS have calculated an age-standardised percentage (ASP) of 15.4% for Bexley to compare to other geographies which will have a different population size and age profile. The 15.4% is made up from 8.8% (ASP) of residents where their disability/illness limits day-to-day activities a little, and 6.6% (ASP) where their day-to-day activities are limited a lot
  • 0.4% of residents have a learning disability
  • 3.4% of school-aged pupils in Bexley have a learning disability
  • the rate per 10,000 for children in need due to a child’s disability or illness was 41.2 in 2018
  • employment - 20% of residents (aged 16 to 64) are disabled (core or work-limiting disabled) in 2021
  • the employment rate for residents with a disability (aged 16 to 64) is 59.2% (2021)
  • in 2021/22, 16.4% of 16 to 64 aged residents with learning disabilities were in paid employment
  • 5% of adults in contact with secondary mental health services were in paid employment
  • education - in 2020/21, 10% (4,413) of pupils were identified as having SEND Support; a fall from 11.2% in 2018/19 and 10.7% in 2019/20
  • 4% (1,486) of pupils in 2020/21 had an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). This has increased in recent years from 2.9% in 2018/19 to 3.2% in 2019/20
  • at the end of 2020, there were 95.2% of Year 12 and 13 pupils with an EHC plan who were in learning
  • crime - there had been 12 hate crime offences related to disability by the end of 2022