Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics estimate a population increase of 513,000 (0.8 per cent) in the twelve months to mid-2015.
The population increase of the UK in the year to mid-2015 included natural growth (more births than deaths) of 171,800 people, net international migration of 335,600 and an increase of 5,800 people in the armed forces and prison populations.
Population change due to natural change, the difference between births and deaths, is at its lowest since the year to mid-2006. International migration inflow is at its highest since the year to mid-2007, while outflow is at its lowest since comparable records began in 2002.
Simon Ross, Chief Executive of Population Matters, a charity concerned with sustainability and population, has expressed concern about the latest trends. Commenting, he said:
“The UK population is growing faster than even the concerning trend of recent years. Near record net migration and an excess of births over deaths, to which migration also contributes, are combining to keep the UK near the top of the European population growth league table.
“London and the South East, already two of Europe’s most densely populated areas, are growing denser still. Such population growth will feed into existing concerns about housing affordability, transport congestion and access to schools and healthcare. High population growth also threatens the green belt, biodiversity and emissions targets. These figures are further evidence that we must act now to limit future growth.”
Commenting on the timing of the projections, which coincide with the EU referendum, Simon Ross said: “Whether we leave or remain, addressing population growth will be one of our biggest challenges.”
Office for National Statistics release.