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Historically the population of Manchester began to increase rapidly during the Victorian era, estimated at 354,930 for Manchester and 110,833 for Salford in 1865, and peaking at 766,311 in 1931. From then the population began to decrease rapidly, due to slum clearance and the increased building of social housing overspill estates by Manchester City Council after the Second World War such as Hattersley and Langley.
The 2012 mid-year estimate for the population of Manchester was 510,700. This was an increase of 7,900, or 1.6 per cent, since the 2011 estimate. Since 2001, the population has grown by 87,900, or 20.8 per cent, making Manchester the third fastest-growing area in the 2011 census. The city experienced the greatest percentage population growth outside London, with an increase of 19 per cent to over 500,000. Manchester's population is projected to reach 532,200 by 2021, an increase of 5.8 per cent from 2011. This represents a slower rate of growth than the previous decade.
The Greater Manchester Built-up Area in 2011 had an estimated population of 2,553,400. In 2012 an estimated 2,702,200 people lived in Greater Manchester. An 6,547,000 people were estimated in 2012 to live within 30 miles (50 km) of Manchester and 11,694,000 within 50 miles (80 km).
Between the beginning of July 2011 and end of June 2012 (mid-year estimate date), births exceeded deaths by 4,800. Migration (internal and international) and other changes accounted for a net increase of 3,100 people between July 2011 and June 2012. Compared with Greater Manchester and with England, Manchester has a younger population, with a particularly large 20–35 age group.
There were 76,095 undergraduate and postgraduate students at Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester and Royal Northern College of Music in the 2011/2012 academic year.
Since the 2001 census, the proportion of Christians in Manchester has fallen by 22 per cent from 62.4 per cent to 48.7 per cent. The proportion of those with no religious affiliation rose by 58.1 per cent from 16 per cent to 25.3 per cent, whilst the proportion of Muslims increased by 73.6 per cent from 9.1 per cent to 15.8 per cent. The size of the Jewish population in Greater Manchester is the largest in Britain outside London.
Of all households in Manchester, 0.23 per cent were Same-Sex Civil Partnership households, compared with an English national average of 0.16 per cent in 2011.
In terms of ethnic composition, the City of Manchester has the highest non-white proportion of any district in Greater Manchester. Statistics from the 2011 census showed that 66.7 per cent of the population was White (59.3 per cent White British, 2.4 per cent White Irish, 0.1 per cent Gypsy or Irish Traveller, 4.9 per cent Other White – although the size of mixed European and British ethnic groups is unclear, there are reportedly over 25,000 people in Greater Manchester of at least partial Italian descent alone, which represents 5.5 per cent of the population of Greater Manchester). 4.7 per cent were mixed race (1.8 per cent White and Black Caribbean, 0.9 per cent White and Black African, 1.0 per cent White and Asian, 1.0 per cent other mixed), 17.1 per cent Asian (2.3 per cent Indian, 8.5 per cent Pakistani, 1.3 per cent Bangladeshi, 2.7 per cent Chinese, 2.3 per cent other Asian), 8.6 per cent Black (5.1 per cent African, 1.6 per cent other Black), 1.9 per cent Arab and 1.2 per cent of other ethnic heritage. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester