Census: British Population Hits All Time High, Driven Mostly By Migration

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 24: Shoppers make their way down Oxford Street on December 24, 2012 in London, England. Many high street retailers have started their sales two days early this year on what is expected to be the busiest shooping day of the year. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The population of England and Wales has hit a new all-time high according to the first statistical release of once-in-a-decade census, the statistical agency saying the majority of population growth is due to immigration.

After taking over a year to publish its first batch of census figures, the government has revealed that the population of England and Wales rose by 6.3 per cent over the previous ten-year recording period, taking the total to nearly 60 million. When combined with Northern Ireland and Scotland, the other two integral members of the United Kingdom, the population rose to almost 67 million.

The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed that the population of England hit 56,489,800, while Wales recorded 3,107,500 people. This is a 6.3 per cent rise from 2011 or an increase of 3.5 million residents. The lion’s share of this increase was a result of “positive net migration”, which accounted for 57.5 per cent of the increase, representing two million people.

Despite the census being conducted in March of last year, the full breakdown of immigration and demographic changes has yet to be published, with the government saying that more releases will follow later this year and into 2023.

The partial release of data on Tuesday did claim that population growth had stalled, with 6.3 per cent growth recorded between 2011 and 2021 compared to 7.8 per cent between 2001 and 2011.

The claim that population growth has declined was met with some credulity, including from ‘Mr Brexit’ Nigel Farage, who questioned the accuracy of the census and that the true increase in population was likely much higher in reality.

“I don’t believe any of these figures,” Mr Farage said on his GB News programme on Tuesday evening. “There are huge numbers of people now who just don’t fill in census forms… Certainly, if you were here illegally you wouldn’t fill in a census form, so I’m very very sceptical about those figures”.

Nevertheless, the growth in population was criticised by Migration Watch chairman Alp Mehmet, who said: “The census confirms huge population growth, considerably higher than the growth rate of countries such as France and Germany.

“There are large impacts on areas up and down the UK, with mounting pressure on services, GP places, housing roads and schools. With almost all recent population growth due to uncontrolled, mass immigration, England is one of the most crowded nations in Europe and London is the most gridlocked city on the planet,” he added in comments provided to Breitbart London.

“Over half the public say immigration has been too high. The case for bringing immigration down by a lot is overwhelmingly strong. The government must listen.”

Though the census bureau has so far failed to provide a full assessment of the demographics of the country, there have been indications that immigration is playing an outsized role in shaping the future of the country.

According to a report from the Migration Watch think tank released last year, the foreign-born population has risen to nine million and the ethnic minority population to thirteen million in the past two decades.

The population increases driven by immigration over the past decade have coincided with the rule of the Conservative Party, which came to power in 2010. Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Tories dropped the long-standing promise — though never fulfilled — from the Conservative Party to reduce net migration to the country “from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands”.

In 2017, former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne admitted that the party leadership never actually intended on fulfilling their promise to the public and that in private they did not even believe in the policy.

In addition to failing to fulfil this pledge, the Conservatives have also been unwilling or unable to “take back control” of the nation’s borders and clamp down on illegal immigration. So far this year, over 12,000 illegal migrants have crossed the English Channel in rubber boats from France.

The record numbers this year have taken the total since 2018 to over 50,000. Yet, this is only set to increase, with estimates forecasting between 65,000 and 100,000 illegal landings this year, alone.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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