Vision of Britain is an amazing resource for statistics, and those for population are very useful here. The population in Badingham is graphed here between 1801 and 1961, using census figures. It shows a population of 607 in 1801, rising to a peak of 866 in 1831. The population rose particularly fast between 1811 and 1821, remaining stable 1831-41 before declining fairly steadily to 558 in 1911, and, overall, falling more gradually to reach 454 in 1951 and diving a little to 369 in 1961.
The Badingham Parish Plan Report of 2013 contains estimated population figures to 2011, and suggests that the population dip continued on into the 1980s. Since then, the population has gradually built up again, and the census of 2011 recorded 489 individuals. This means that the population had essentially reached the same level as in 1931, when 490 individuals were enumerated.
Estimates of population prior to the introduction of the decennial census in 1801 are more difficult to produce as even where documentation is available it tends to record heads of household. Looking back to Domesday, the village was already large, with 56 households – 23 villagers and 33 smallholders – although it had lost £5 in value since 1066. Further details can be found on opendomesday.org. At the time, East Anglia was one of the most densely populated parts of the country.
It seems likely that, like other medieval settlements, there was a 14th century population decline associated with the Black Death.
Further evidence will be sought through the course of this study to extrapolate population figures from taxation records, parish and manorial records etc.