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Children and young people - overview of needs

Needs of children and young people in Leicester for current and potential providers of services.


The city is home to 130,726 children and young people aged up to 24 years (38% of the city’s population). This is an increase of 12.5% since 2015, which is more than double the increase seen in England as a whole. This growth includes a big increase in the number of young children aged 0-4 years which rose by nearly 25% from 20,726 in 2005 to 25,884 in 2015.

The number of children and young people (aged 0-24 years) is projected to grow further to 138,100 by 2025 (an increase of 7.4% from 2014), with the biggest growth in the 10-14-year age range.

Age groups

The chart below shows the number of children and young people in each age group:

The chart below shows the number of children and young people in each age group

Explanatory note for chart:

Leicester population 0 to 24-year olds – from Office for National Statistics mid-year estimates 2019

  • Age 0 to 4: 4,655
  • Age 5 to 9: 24,703
  • Age 10 to 14: 22,771
  • Age 15 to 19: 24,256
  • Age 20 to 24: 39,574
  • Total number of children and young people aged 0 to 24 in Leicester: 115,959

Ethnic groups

According to the Census 2011, 55% of children and young people are from ethnic groups other than ‘white’. The two main broad ethnic groups for children and young people in Leicester are ‘white’ (45%) and ‘Asian/Asian British (38%).

Leicester has a much higher level of ethnic diversity amongst its children and young people than most other council areas.

Children and young people age 0 to 24 by ethnic group (Census 2011)

Explanatory notes:

Children and young people age 0 to 24 by ethnic group (Census 2011)

  • White: 45%
  • Mixed/multiple ethnic group: 6%
  • Asian/Asian British: 38%
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British: 8%
  • Other ethnic group: 3%

Deprivation and child poverty

The Index of Deprivation (IoD) 2019 showed that Leicester is ranked as the 32nd most deprived out of 151 local authority areas in England.

The Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) showed that 23% of children (under 16) live in most deprived 10% of areas nationally

Beaumont Leys, Eyres Monsell, New Parks and Braunstone have the highest proportion of children receiving free school meals in the city.

Children’s services

We are responsible for ensuring that everyone is in receipt of education and for collecting results from at certain points in a young person’s education.  This totals approximately 83,000 people aged between 0-19. 

We are also responsible for protecting and promoting the welfare of children in need in the city. The latest snapshot in 2020 shows that there were:

  • 599 children looked after by the council
  • 271 receiving leaving care services
  • 1,210 children in need. These are children who have safeguarding and welfare needs, except for those who are on a Child Protection Plan or Looked After Children. Children in need may be receiving social care support because of issues in the family such as drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, sexual abuse, familial dysfunction, mental health or neglect.
  • 363 children who were the subject of a Child Protection Plan
  • 1,740 children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

There is more detailed information in our Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) covering children and young people.