Population Matters

United Kingdom population increasing rapidly

United Kingdom population increasing rapidly

The United Kingdom Office for National Statistics recently released new population data sets for the United Kingdom, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The population size of the United Kingdom increased to almost 65 million by the middle of 2014. This represents an increase of more than 491,000 from the middle of 2013. More than 226,000 of the additional people were due to so-called “natural” growth — births minus deaths — and almost 256,000 were the result of net migration — migrants arriving minus migrants leaving. Approximately 5,000 were due to other changes and adjustments — mainly in the armed forces.

Crowd of people

The population size increased at an average rate of 0.7 per cent each year from 2004 to 2014 — that rate was slightly more than double the rate of the European Union as a whole.

The population continued to age, although more slowly than the populations of most other European Union countries. The median age in the middle of 2014 was at an all-time high of 40 years. The number of people 65 or older in the middle of 2014 was more than 11.4 million or 17.7 per cent of the population. In the middle of 2013 the number was 11.1 million or 17.4 per cent.

The majority of the increase in population size occurred in England, which for some time has been more densely populated than any other United Kingdom country. The population of England increased by more than four million between 2004 and 2014 to approximately 54 million. London experienced the greatest percentage increase during the period — 1.4 per cent — and by the middle of 2014 had a population of about 8.5 million.

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