THE changing make-up of York and its surrounding areas has been revealed by the new census data.

The statistics from the 2011 Census, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show how the area has changed since the last census of 2001.

In York, the median age of residents remains the same at 38 and people have become better qualified, with 32.4 per cent of people having a level four qualification or more – the equivalent of a degree or NVQ level 4-5 upwards, compared with 23.56 per cent in 2001.

The city has become more ethnically diverse, with the number of white British people dropping from 95.11 per cent in 2001 to 90.2 per cent last year. The percentage of white but not British people is 3.4 per cent and 1.2 per cent of people are British Chinese.

Fewer people would describe themselves as Christian, dropping from 74.42 per cent to 59.5 per cent, and more people say they have no religion – rising from 16.57 per cent in 2001 to 30.1 per cent last year.

Commenting on the census, Coun James Alexander, leader of City of York Council, said he hoped the Government would continue to carry out the census, as it helped to address the needs of residents.

He said: “I’m concerned that in the future the Government will stop doing the census so important information like this which enables us to respond to people’s needs will become increasingly difficult to access.”

The pattern is similar in Selby – the median age has risen from 39 to 42 and people are better qualified with 25.9 per cent having top qualifications compared with 18.07 per cent in 2001. Christianity is less prevalent – with 71.8 per cent of residents being Christians compared with 82.28 per cent.

The percentage of white British people has dropped from 98.23 per cent to 95.5 per cent and the number of Christians from 81.13 per cent to 71.8 per cent. In Selby, 21.7 per cent of people have no religion compared with 11.23 per cent in 2001.

On average, people are older in Ryedale, with the median age rising from 43 to 47 and more highly qualified, with those with top qualifications rising from 19.28 per cent to 27.3 per cent. Levels of white British residents are similar, with 96.2 per cent of residents being white British compared to 97.84 in 2001.

Meanwhile, in the East Riding the average age has risen from 42 to 45 and people are more highly qualified – with 25.9 per cent considered highly qualified compared to 18.07 per cent in 2001. The number of white British residents has stayed roughly the same, making up 97.58 per cent in 2001 compared with 96.1 per cent last year. Levels of Christianity have dropped from 79.67 per cent to 68 per cent with people with no religion rising from 11.9 per cent to 23.4 per cent.