Britain’s population is set to overtake that France within the next 13 years thanks to high levels of immigration, European Union figures suggest.
If immigration stays at the same rate, Britain will have overtaken France by 2030, and will be the most populous country in Western Europe by 2050, according to EU statistics agency Eurostat.
The UK is currently the third most populous country in the European Union, just behind France in second and Germany first.
The agency put the UK population at the start of 2015 at 64,643,370. This compares to 66,175,754 in France and 80,709,056 in Germany.
By 2030, however, Britain’s population will have risen to 70,469,762, just ahead of France at 70,396,105. This is despite the UK being less than half the size of France in terms of geographic area, making it already one of the most densely populated countries in Europe.
Despite the huge influx of migrants over the past couple of years, Germany’s population is still predicted to decline in the long run due to the low birth rate among its aging native population.
The figures come less than a week after an analysis suggested Britain’s population would rise by 12 million people in the next 25 years unless the government starts controlling EU immigration.
The report by Migration Watch said continued mass immigration from the bloc would be inevitable if Britain stayed in the Single Market, as any hope of a reduction in numbers would be “extremely limited”.
With the UK’s minimum wage set to rise even higher by 2020, Migration Watch says the incentive for migrants to come to Britain will be even higher.
“At a time when the UK government is seeking to close the budget deficit it is hard to see where the money will come from to provide the additional schools, GP surgeries, hospitals and housing, not to speak of how the country’s road and rail networks will cope with such rapid growth,” the report said.