LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom’s population growth is projected to slow dramatically in the next decade, largely due to lower assumptions about future fertility levels making net immigration a crucial variable over coming decades.
The United Kingdom’s population is projected to grow 3.2% to 69.2 million in the decade to 2030, up from 67.1 million in 2020. In the decade to 2020, the population grew by 4.3 million, or 6.9%.
From 1995 to 2020, the population grew by 9.1 million, or 15.6%; from 2020 to 2045, it will grow 3.9 million, or 5.8%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. By 2045, the UK population will be 71.0 million.
England will grow faster than Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. More people will be old and there will be more deaths than births as people born in the baby boom generations after World War Two and in the 1960s reach older ages.
“Given a higher number of deaths and fewer births are projected, net international migration is expected to play an increasing role in population growth,” said James Robards, an ONS population and household projection statistician.
“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.”
Net migration over the decade to 2030 is likely to be 2.2 million people, the ONS said.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Andy Bruce)