YORK’S population has broken through the 200,000 barrier, according to official figures.

An Office for National Statistics (ONS) report on 2012 population rates – the latest assessment available – revealed the number of people living in York that year is estimated to have risen by almost 2,000, or one per cent, to 200,018 while age ranges have altered across the city.

Areas in east York, such as Heslington, Hull Road, Osbaldwick and Derwent, saw rising levels of 20 to 24-year-olds, but the number of 25 to 39-year-olds living in the city fell since the 2001 Census.

The ONS report said this could reflect job opportunities available to graduates and young professionals.

Fulford and Guildhall both saw the number of children aged four and under rise by more than ten per cent between the 2011 Census and the 2012 estimates, which the ONS said has implications for childcare and school places.

Heworth and Micklegate saw the largest increases in the number of older children, with Fishergate, Heslington and Heworth Without’s 15- to 19-year-old population dropping sharply. 

The number of Derwent and Wheldrake residents in their mid to late 30s fell, with the report saying housing costs could be a factor, but more people in their early to mid-30s moved into the city centre.

Meanwhile, 12 council wards saw their 65- to 69-year-old population rise by more than ten per cent.

The ONS predicted in 2009 that York’s population would pass 200,000 by May 2010, but the 2011 Census showed it had fallen just short.

City of York Council leader James Alexander said information from the 2011 Census and the new population estimates was being fed into the authority’s draft Local Plan development blueprint, which includes building 22,000 new homes.

The plans for thousands of houses to be built on green belt land have caused controversy.

“It’s important that, through the Local Plan, we can secure homes and jobs for the future and any proposed developments include local amenities and services, such as school provision,” he said.

“It’s encouraging that the data also shows a sharp increase in the number of 20- to 24-year-olds living in York, which could reflect the employment opportunities available to graduates and young professionals.”