UK set to see over 400,000 new migrants a year in next decade

by Ray Clancy on October 30, 2015

The UK has always been popular with expats from around the world and that looks set to continue despite the current government’s wishes to reduce migration.

Official projections from the Office of National Statistics estimate that the population will soar by 10 million in just 25 years, much of it due to immigration.

ukmapSo by 2039 the population will number almost 75 million people, the equivalent of adding the population of Sweden to numbers already living here. But the ONS said it could even reach 80 million.

It is estimated that over half, 51%, will be people migrating to the UK. The United Nations defines a migrant as someone who moves to a country for at least a year to live and work.

The rest of the growth is estimated to be due to more births, with migrants from particular parts of the world having larger families. The ONS says that immigration really accounts for 68% of the total increase because of much higher fertility rates among immigrants.

The current population is 64.6 million and the increase is set to be the most dramatic in the next decade with a rise of 4.4 million, or around 440,000 every year. This is a rise of 15% compared with the European Union average of 3%.

According to Professor Dustmann, director of the Centre for Research and Analysis on Migration at University College London, it is the opposite of what is happening in other EU countries.

He pointed out that in the larger economies, such as Germany, the population if falling and it is also on the decline in Italy and Spain. He also explained that these countries could have problems with an aging population resulting in not enough younger workers.

“When populations are decreasing, you’re dealing with a shrinking working-age population, which basically has to be confronted with an increasing ageing population which is not productive anymore,” said Dustmann.

Only Luxembourg, Belgium and Sweden are expected to see larger rises, although the projections for Europe were based on figures compiled before the recent migration crisis. On current trends the UK will overtake France by 2030 and Germany by 2047, becoming Europe’s most populous country.

“The UK’s population is set to grow and age. Growth will be at a faster rate than we have seen previously, largely due to the direct impact of international migration and the indirect impact of immigration,” said Guy Goodwin, the director of social analysis at the ONS. “Despite this, the population will also be older as those born shortly after world war two and during the 1960s baby boom reach the oldest and pensionable ages respectively. The number of people of age 80 or over will more than double over the next 25 years.”

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