MORE and more people are gravitating to Swansea city centre while affluent areas in the west have seen a population decline, census results have revealed.
Castle ward, which covers the city centre and the marina, had 15,883 residents when the census was taken last year, compared with 11,933 in 2001. Uplands had 15,665 householders, including students, up from 13,355 in 2001.
Llansamlet, to the east, has also witnessed a big jump — up from 12,003 to 14,433.
Oystermouth ward, in the west, is meanwhile down to 4,160 residents from 4,315 in 2011, while nearby West Cross and Mayals have also seen a decline.
There are also fewer people living in Bishopston and Killay South compared with 2001.
But this pattern is not cut and dried. Newton, in Swansea West, has seen a population rise, while Gower's has nudged up from 3,654 to 3,696.
Oystermouth ward councillor Tony Colburn said: "I am surprised that the population (in Oystermouth) has decreased. You would have thought even if it had not increased that it would have stayed the same."
But he said: "When we have been out canvassing at elections, it has been noticeable that a number of properties in the ward are used as summer residences only.
"The student population in Oystermouth has also greatly decreased.
"And there has been a lot of building in Newton."
Gorseinon, Penderry and St Thomas, which comprise SA1, have also seen marked rises.
Repeated claims by some Pontarddulais residents that schools and doctors' surgeries in the area are struggling to cope with demand appear to be borne out. The Bont's population was recorded by the census as 6,281, up from 5,293 in 2001.
"We have had quite a number of houses built in Pontarddulais within the past 10 years," said ward councillor Philip Downing. "I'm not surprised the population has gone up."
More people also mean a bigger client base for businesses and more potential customers for shops.
Swansea has 36 wards, 25 of which saw population rises.
The biggest wards, in geographical terms, are rural Gower and Mawr.
The largest, population-wise, is still Morriston (16,928), while the smallest remains Mawr (1,850).
The 2011 census found Swansea has 239,000 residents, up from 223,500 in 2001, as previously reported in the Post. Some 139,800 people call Neath Port Talbot home, while Carmarthenshire's population is 183,800.
Wales's population was found to be 3,063,500 — up 153,300 from 2001.
The rise is explained by two factors: higher birth rates than death rates, and migration.
Census responses are used to plan public services. Details about ethnicity and migration will be released on December 11.