The numbers of Gypsies and Travellers in the population is difficult to ascertain. There may be significant underreporting as organisations often do not include Gypsies and Travellers in their ethnic monitoring, the subjective definition of Gypsies and Travellers and reluctance to declare ethnicity for fear of discrimination. The National Census will include Gypsies and Travellers for the first time in 2011 and the Gypsy and Traveller community should be encouraged to complete this.
In Cambridgeshire Gypsies and Travellers make up almost 1% of the population representing the largest ethnic minority in the county. In Cambridgeshire it is estimated that approximately 70% are Romany Gypsies, 20% are Irish Travellers and 10% are others including Scottish and Welsh Travellers and an increasing number of Eastern European Gypsies. There appears to be a demographic variation between North and South Cambridgeshire with a higher number of Irish Travellers in South Cambridgeshire.
A Traveller Needs Assessment carried out in the Cambridge Sub-region in 2005 estimated the Gypsy and Traveller population in Cambridgeshire to be 5,700. Cambridgeshire County Council is currently updating the figures and new estimates will be available in October 2010.