UK population projected to grow by 4 million over the next decade

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The population of the United Kingdom is projected to increase by over 4 million to 65.6 million in 2018, according to new population projections released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Over the next 25 years, the UK population is projected to rise from an estimated 61.4 million in 2008 to 71.6 million by 2033. It is projected that the population of the UK will exceed 70 million by 2029.

The 2008-based national population projections are based on the estimated population at the middle of 2008 and a set of demographic assumptions about the future. The projections are not forecasts, and do not attempt to predict the impact that future government policies, changing economic circumstances or other factors might have on demographic behaviour. These new projections replace the previous 2006-based projections published by ONS in October 2007.

Of the 10.2 million projected increase in the UK population over the next 25 years, 55% is projected natural increase (more births than deaths) and 45% is projected net migration. However, future numbers of births and deaths are themselves partly dependent on future migration. Taking this is taken into account, just over two-thirds of the projected total increase in the UK population between 2008 and 2033 is expected to be either directly or indirectly due to future migration.

The population is projected to rise most quickly for the oldest age groups. The number of people aged 85 and over is projected to more than double over the next 25 years from 1.3 million in 2008 to 3.3 million by 2033. The number of centenarians is projected to increase more than sevenfold over the same period, from 11,000 in 2008 to 80,000 in 2033.

Despite the forthcoming increases in state pension age, the population of State Pensionable Age (SPA) is projected to rise by 32% over the next 25 years from 11.8 million in 2008 to 15.6 million in 2033. In contrast, the population of working age is projected to rise by just 14%, from 38.1 million in 2008 to 43.3 million in 2033. The ratio of working age people to each person of SPA is projected to decline from 3.23 in 2008 to 2.78 in 2033.

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