The population of Britain could more than double in the next century unless immigration is tightly controlled, according to official estimates showing it could grow 40 per cent faster than previously thought.
Only weeks after the Office for National Statistics predicted that the UK will have 10 million more people within the next 25 years, it published new estimates showing that the true figure could be four million higher.
The dramatic upward revision suggests the population of Britain could rise from its current record level of 63.7 million to just under 78 million by 2037.
On the same projection it could reach and as much as 132 million by this time next century.
That would mean that the UK would pass the milestone of 70 million people – a figure once considered controversial and which some politicians have suggested might never be passed, by around 2024 – at least four years earlier than previously predicted.