Immigration helps fuel UK population increase

The UK’s population grew by almost 420,000 people in the year to June 2012 as the number of people living in Britain increased more steeply than anywhere else in Europe, figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show.

Population in Britain This increase was largely driven by a baby boom, as birth rates reached their highest level for 40 years. The statistics show that 813,200 babies were born in the year to 30th June 2012 – the largest number of births since the year to mid-1972.

However, immigration was also a major contributor to the country’s increasing population, which now stands at 63.9 million. The ONS figures show that 517,880 migrants from overseas also contributed towards the population increase – although 352,100 people also left the country during this period, putting the UK’s net migration at 165,600. One in three migrants arriving in Britain went to London.

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During the same period, the population in France rose by just over 319,000, while numbers in Germany went up by 166,000, in Belgium by 91,000, in Sweden by 70,000 and in Holland by 62,000. All have been magnets for immigration in recent years.

If the UK’s population continues to increase at its current rate, the population will hit the 70million landmark point in the early months of 2027.