The UK is set to become the country with the highest population in the European Union by 2047, according to official EU figures.
Britain’s steadily rising population will overtake Germany’s declining population in 32 years’ time, reaching just over 76 million, while Germany will fall to just under 75 million in the same year.
The figures from Eurostat are based on factors such as fertility rates, net migration and people living longer. Britain has the third highest birth rate after France and Ireland.
Simon Ross of Population Matters told The Times Britain’s rising population could have a huge impact on public services and infrastructure. “We are already seeing the implications in terms of rising house prices, pressure on the infrastructure such as roads and railways and rising utility bills,” he said.
“There is huge congestion on the roads. It is difficult for some people to get their children into the school of their choice. People cannot always see a doctor quickly. These are all a result of huge pressure being put on public services by a rising population.”
The UK’s population is expected to rise twice as fast as the rest of the EU over the next 65 years. Currently at around 64.6 million, it is expected to increase by nearly 12 million by 2047, while Germany’s will shrink from 81 million to 74.75 million.
Meanwhile, the population of France is also expected to rise, but nowhere near as quickly as the UK. Overall the EU will see its population increase by 11 million to 520 million in 2080 – assuming Britain is still a member by then.
The figures come as Germany pledges to take to take as many refugees as make their way to the country. Speaking to Der Spiegel, the head of the country’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees said there would be “no limit upwards” on the number of refugees his country could accept.