Population Matters

England’s population growth & living standards

England’s population growth & living standards

LiverpoolMore people make life worse.

Simon Ross, chief executive of Population Matters, commented, “This constant population growth in what is already Europe’s most densely populated country makes life worse — not better — for its citizens. Even if we ignore the impact on emissions and on food, water and energy security, which we should not, people’s lives are already deteriorating under the pressure of this constant increase in numbers. We call again on the government to encourage smaller families, strengthen measures to reduce unplanned pregnancies, phase in the ending of subsidies for larger families and move towards balanced migration.”

The latest official projection is for the population of England to rise from 53 million now to 62 million by 2037 — an increase of almost nine million or 16 per cent in just 25 years.

More than a quarter (27 per cent) of the increase will be in London, increasing its population by 28 per cent.

The increase in population in the 10 years to 2022 will be 3,844,000 (seven per cent) for England as a whole and 1,084,000 (13 per cent) for London alone.

This is on top of an increase in the population of England of almost four million or seven per cent (London: 850,000 or 12 per cent) during the last 10 years.

One consequence of this increase will be increased living costs:

  • higher rents and mortgage payments; and
  • higher transport and utility costs to meet the extra infrastructure required to meet the greater demand.

Another consequence will be greater congestion: delays on the roads; overcrowding on public transport; and smaller homes and gardens.


A third consequence will be poorer access to services and amenities: GP and hospitals; schools and green spaces and playing fields.

Not surprisingly, in a poll this month for Population Matters, 84 per cent of UK adults questioned thought that it would be better if in the future the UK population stayed the same or fell.

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of respondents thought that, when deciding how many children to have, people should take into account at least one of the following: the future availability of housing, services and amenities; natural resource limits; and environmental conservation. Of these respondents, just over half (51 per cent) thought that people should have no more than two children.

Most respondents supported a move towards balanced migration in the UK (54 per cent) and limiting child tax credit (51 per cent) and child benefit (50 per cent) to the first two children in each household, with payments for further children being means tested.

There was also support for better sex and relationships education in schools (49 per cent), better family planning services (41 per cent) and promoting smaller families (37 per cent).


2012 (000s) 2037 (000s) Increase (000s) % change
England 53,494 62,166 8,672 16
North East 2,602 2,766 164 6
North West 7,084 7,645 561 8
Yorkshire & the Humber 5,317 5,912 595 11
East Midlands 4,568 5,230 662 14
West Midlands 5,643 6,356 713 13
East 6,907 7,093 186 3
London 8,308 10,662 2,354 28
South East 8,725 10,307 1,582 18
South West 5,340 6,194 854 16

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