The UK’s population growth over the next decade will be driven by the arrival of 2.2million migrants as native deaths outnumber births, official figures revealed today.
The ONS said that deaths would outnumber births by 59,000 in the decade to 2030 due to declining fertility rates globally and the increasing age of the post-war ‘baby boom generations’.
But this will be offset by the net increase of migrants pushing the UK’s population to an estimated 67.1million in mid-2020 to 69.2 million in mid-2030.
The number of over-85s in the UK is expected to almost double from 1.7million to 3.1million in 2045.
However, estimates for the 2030 population have been revised down by 0.6million since 2018, and down by 1.8million for 2045.
ONS statistician James Robards said: ‘The UK population is projected to grow by 2.1 million over the ten years to mid-2030, with England’s population expected to increase more quickly than the other UK nations.
‘These projections suggest slower growth than we’ve previously said. This is because of lower assumptions both about future levels of fertility and mortality improvements.
‘Given a higher number of deaths and fewer births are projected, net international migration is expected to play an increasing role in population growth.’
In the decade 2020 to 2030, the ONS predicts there will be 6.6million births, but 6.7million deaths.
At the same time long-term immigration will be 5.6million, with 3.4million people leaving Britain permanently.
Its analysis noted: ‘Over the 10 years between mid-2020 and mid-2030, natural change is projected to be negative 59,000. Over the same time period it is projected that net migration will lead to a total of 2.2 million people coming into the UK.
Over the 25-year period between mid-2020 and mid-2045 it is projected that there will be 1.4 million more deaths than births. During this period, the population will grow by 3.9 million, again driven by projected net migration of 5.3 million.’
‘In the first year of the projections there is an increase in the number of deaths, reflecting mortality arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the year to mid-2021.
‘The number of deaths is then projected to decrease slightly and be followed by a steady increase in the number of deaths, as people born in the baby boom generations after World War Two and in the 1960s reach older ages.’