Data recently released by Eurostat indicate that the population size of the United Kingdom will increase by approximately 20 million and exceed 85 million by 2080. The data in addition indicate that the country will replace Germany as the most populous one in the European Union.
The European Union en masse is projected to experience a population increase of about 31 million by 2080. A number of member states — notably Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic — are projected to experience population size decreases.
What sets the United Kingdom apart from its neighbours is its comparatively high fertility rate, which unlike that of many other European countries is not expected to decrease by 2080. Whereas Germany’s fertility rate is expected to be approximately 1.5 children per woman for the remainder of this century, the British fertility rate is expected to be about 1.9. Fertility rates across Eastern Europe are expected to decrease to 1.4 or lower during the coming years.
Recent studies have shown the teenage pregnancy rate of Britain to be approximately 2.9 per 100 girls — one of the highest in Europe. The teenage pregnancy rate of Germany in contrast is only about 1.1.
Increasing immigration to the United Kingdom is also contributing to population growth. According to the Office for National Statistics, net migration to Britain increased by approximately 100,000 from 2013 to 2014 and exceeded 318,000 last year. About 800,000 people — mostly refugees and asylum seekers — are expected to migrate to Germany this year.