UK Population Set to Hit 70m in Just over a Decade, Three-Quarters Driven by Migration

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By mid-2028, the population of the UK is set to increase by three million to 69.4 million, primarily driven by immigration.

According to projections published on Monday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 73 per cent of the growth is predicted to be due to the net international immigration of 2.2 million people. Less than one-third, 27 per cent, of the increase will be due to natural population growth (more births than deaths).

The government statistics agency made that immigration prediction based on the average annual net long-term international migration of 190,000. That figure is derived from the average immigration figures from mid-1993 to mid-2018. In terms of gross immigration, 5.4 million people are expected to immigrate long-term to the UK in the ten years to mid-2028.

The ONS also predicts that the population will pass the 70 million mark by mid-2031.

However, The Times noted that the 70 million mark could be hit far sooner. Based on a higher projection offered by the ONS, where net migration runs at around 290,000 a year, that level could be reached in the next eight or nine years.

That figure is not far off the total net migration for the year to September 2018, in data the ONS revealed in February. In that preceding 12-month period, net migration — gross immigration minus emigration — was at 283,000. Total immigration for that period was 627,000 people, while 345,000 people left the UK (emigrated).

Commenting on the release, Migration Watch UK’s chairman, Alp Mehmet, said in a press release: ‘This is a staggering projection. What the ONS is saying is that, if the level of net migration remains at about the average of the past five years, the population will rise to 71 million within 15 years, or another five million people.

“In such a scenario, more than 90 per cent of the increase would be due to the impacts of new immigrants and the children they then go on to have in the UK.”

Mr Mehmet added: “Looking further ahead, if net migration continues at that level then by the time a child born this year reaches his or her 18th birthday there would be another 6.3 million people. This will mean further unbearable pressure on housing, transport, schools, university places. The impact now is huge, but it will be even greater on the next generation.

“This underlines how crucial it is for post-Brexit border reforms to deliver a significant reduction in the level of net arrivals. No wonder 30 million people — 3 in 5 UK adults — wish to see this happen.”

London is also set to hit a milestone within a decade, according to predictions published in April, with the population projected to hit 10 million by 2029. Again, international migration is set to be the driving factor, with an estimated 172,000 foreigners arriving in the capital each year.

Migration Watch UK analysed government statistics and in a report published in August 2018, suggested that 82 per cent of all population growth since the beginning of the 21st century has been due to the impact of migration.

Breitbart London reported in August 2019 that the birth rate in England and Wales had fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1938 — meaning that the current birth rate is even smaller than during the war years, when the country was robbed of its young men who were fighting on the fronts in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

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