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UK population sees biggest increase in half a century

The UK population increased more last year than at any time in almost half a century, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. By mid-2010 the estimated resident population was 62,262,000, an increase of 470,000 (0.8%) on the previous year. The growth rate is the highest since 1962, during the “baby boom” years.

‘Natural change’ — the difference between the numbers of births and deaths — accounted for 52% of the population growth.

The number of births in the UK is now at its highest since 1991, with 797,000 during the year to mid-2010.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says two factors are significant — rising fertility among UK-born women and more inward migration of women of childbearing age.