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UK population rising by 1,000 per day

The population of the UK reached 61,792,000 by the middle of last year. This was an increase of 394,000 or 0.6% on mid-2008 and was equivalent to an average increase of over 1,000 per day.

UK population grew by 0.2% per year between 1981 and 1991; by 0.3% per year between 1991 and 2001; and, 0.6% since 2001. It is this steady increase which has been exercising politicians of late and the coalition government have announced some steps to limit the number of skilled workers coming into the country.

 Components of population change, UK, mid-1998 to mid-2009  Source: ONS

According to the figures above provided by the ONS, this change in population has been fuelled by changes in births, deaths and the pattern of international migration.

This can be seen in the chart below which shows the contribution of natural change, which is the difference between births and deaths, and net migration, which is the difference between long term migration into and out of the country.

It can be seen from the graphic that ‘natural changes’ was the largest contributor to growth until the year to mid-1999 and also, more recently, between mid-2008 to mid-2009. However, between these periods it was net migration which drove population change. For example, in the year to mid-2002 net migration was responsible for 70% of the total change in population.

However, in the year to mid-2009 natural change accounted for 55% of total population growth.

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