Immigration set to make the UK the most populous country in European Union

by Ray Clancy on September 23, 2015

The UK is set to become the most populous country in Europe as more and more people move to the country rather than as a result more children being born.

Indeed, the population is set to soar by twice as much as the rest of the European Union combined over the next 65 years, according to a forecast by Eurostat, the EU’s official statistics body.

Union JackAt the same time the population in France will also surge, though not as much as the UK, and the population in Germany will fall considerably, the forecast report also says.

According to the Eurostat report, the vast majority of the population growth across Britain and the continent will come from immigration.

Across the EU immigration has been a bigger contributor to population growth than ‘natural’ increases from increasing birth rates since 1992. In 2003 some 95% of the total population growth was due to migration. This fell to 58% in 2009 but rose to 95% again in 2013.

The British population will soar over the next three decades and by 2037 it will be 76 million, up from 64 million today. At this point it will be larger than both France and Germany.

Overall it will grow by twice as much as the entire population of the EU combined and within 65 years there will be an extra 21 million people living in the country. Over the same period the EU population will have increased by just 11 million.

So, by 2080 there will be an extra 21 million people living in the UK, taking the population to 85 million. Over the same period Brussels expects the EU’s population to reach 520 million.

The surge in population means every year Britain will have to accommodate an extra 315,000 people, equivalent to a city the size of Nottingham.

But by 2080 Germany’s population will have slumped by 15 million and France is expected to be home to 78 million, an increase of 12 million.

Research published by the Migration Observatory, part of Oxford University, showed that in 2004 the UK’s population of foreigners stood at just over five million, rose to six million in 2006 and seven million in 2009.

By 2013 it had reached 7.9 million and it has now surpassed eight million, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics. Around two in three arrivals come from outside of the EU with nationals from India topping the list, followed by people from Poland, Pakistan and Ireland.

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