List of towns and cities in Devon by population

This list is of towns and cities in Devon in order of their population, according to the 2011 census data from the Office for National Statistics. It comprises the Key Statistics for local authorities, civil parishes and wards that attempt to show their populations. The largest settlement in Devon is the city and unitary authority of Plymouth with a population of 256,720, whereas the smallest settlement was the town and civil parish of Beer with a population of 1,317. The city of Exeter, which is home to Exeter Cathedral, is the county town and headquarters of Devon County Council. The ceremonial county of Devon includes unitary authority areas such as Plymouth and Torbay, but the non-metropolitan county of Devon excludes such unitary authority areas. It is governed by Devon County Council, whereas Plymouth and Torbay can govern themselves on matters such as transport and education.

Interactive map showing the location of the towns and cities within Devon. The size of the circle corresponds to the size of its 2011 population and the shade of blue or red to its population growth or decline respectively.

Traditionally a town is any settlement which has received a charter of incorporation, more commonly known as a town charter, approved by the monarch. However, since 1974, any civil parish has the right to declare itself as a town. Prior to 1888, city status was given to settlements home to a cathedral of the Church of England such as Exeter. After 1888 it was no longer a necessary condition, leading to Plymouth gaining city-status in 1928. Historical towns such as Plympton, Stonehouse and Devonport, which were merged into the city of Plymouth, have not been included, as well as Topsham, which became a part of Exeter's urban district, and St Marychurch, which was annexed by Torquay. However, the unitary authority area of Torbay recognises the three towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. The ward for Ottery St Mary is also included, as it is titled Ottery St Mary Town.

Changes to population structures have, however, led to explosions in non-traditional settlements that do not fall into traditional, bureaucratic definitions of 'towns'. Several villages, which are not included in this list, have grown steadily and are more populous than many towns. For example, the ward of Fremington, with a population of 4,310.[1] would be ranked 34 whilst its neighbour Braunton civil parish, with a population of 8,128,[2] would be ranked 21.

2011 rank Town/city 2011 population[3] 2001 population[4] Increase since 2001 Notes Image
1Plymouth256,384240,7206.1%City and unitary authority, which includes the suburbs of Plympton and Plymstock. Plympton used to be a separate town and Plymstock is a parish.
2Exeter117,773111,0765.7%City, urban district and the county town (capital) of Devon
3Torquay65,245[5]63,998[6]1.9%Part of the unitary authority of Torbay
4Paignton49,021[5]48,251[6]1.6%Part of the unitary authority of Torbay
5Exmouth34,43232,9724.2%Civil parish
6Barnstaple24,03320,72413.8%Civil parish
7Newton Abbot24,02923,5801.9%Civil parish
8Tiverton21,33518,62112.7%Civil parish
9Brixham16,693[5]17,457[6]-4.6%Civil parish; part of the unitary authority of Torbay.[7]
10Bideford16,61014,40713.3%Civil parish
11Teignmouth14,74914,4132.3%Civil parish
12Sidmouth13,73713,1354.4%Civil parish
13Dawlish13,16113,1350.2%Civil parish
14Tavistock12,28011,6045.5%Civil parish
15Northam12,06211,0188.7%Civil parish
16Ivybridge11,85112,056-1.7%Civil parish
17Ilfracombe11,50910,8405.8%Civil parish
18Honiton11,15610,8572.7%Civil parish
19Kingsteignton10,45110,615-1.6%Civil parish
20Cullompton8,4997,60910.5%Civil parish
21Crediton7,6006,83710.0%Civil parish
22Totnes7,4567,4440.2%Civil parish
23Bovey Tracey7,1686,9293.3%Civil parish
24Okehampton7,1045,84617.7%Civil parish
25Seaton7,0966,7984.2%Civil parish
26Axminster6,5575,62614.2%Civil parish
27Kingsbridge5,8875,5216.2%Civil parish
28Great Torrington5,7145,2797.6%Civil parish
29Dartmouth5,6055,5121.7%Civil parish
30Budleigh Salterton5,1854,8017.4%Civil parish
31Ottery St. Mary4,8984,36610.9%Ward, which refers to Ottery St Mary as a "town".
32South Molton4,8754,09316.0%Civil parish
33Chudleigh4,3783,84612.2%Civil parish
34Ashburton4,0873,9094.4%Civil parish
35Buckfastleigh3,6313,661-0.8%Civil parish
36Exminster3,6163,3108.5%Civil parish
37Colyton3,1652,9646.4%Civil parish including Colyford
38Holsworthy2,6412,25614.6%Civil parish
39Bradninch2,2061,91613.1%Civil parish
40Salcombe1,9091,8930.8%Civil parish
41North Tawton1,8591,57015.5%Civil parish
42Hatherleigh1,7291,30624.5%Civil parish
43Hartland1,7241,6762.8%Civil parish
44Moretonhampstead1,7031,5369.8%Civil parish
45Chagford1,4491,470-1.4%Civil parish
46Chulmleigh1,3231,3081.1%Civil parish
47Beer1,3171,381-4.9%Civil parish

See also


  1. "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  2. "Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics: Braunton". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  3. "2011 Population: All Usual Residents". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. 27 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  4. "Key Figures for 2001 Census: All people". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. 1 April 2001. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
  5. "Census 2011 - Torbay Profile". Torbay Council. 3 July 2013. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2017. (Word document)
  6. "Key Statistics for Tobray — May 2005" (PDF). Census 2001. The Consultation and Research Team, Torbay Council. p. 2. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
  7. "Brixham Town Council". Torbay Council. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2009.

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