The UK population is set to pass the 70 million mark before the end of the next decade, according to official statistics.


Demographers project that the milestone will be reached by the middle of 2029 as the number of occupants increases from an estimated 65.6million last year.
More than three quarters of the projected increase over 25 years will be either directly or indirectly linked to international migration, the report suggests.
In the next decade, the population is set to rise by 3.6 million – more than the number of people currently living in Wales.
The Office for National Statistics predicts there will be 69.2 million people living in the UK by mid-2026.
This is set to increase to 72.9 million by 2041.

England’s population is projected to grow 5.9%, for Northern Ireland the figure is 4.2%, while for Scotland and Wales the percentages are 3.2% and 3.1% respectively.
The report also reveals that the rise in the number of inhabitants in the UK is tracking at well above the EU average, and at the fastest rate among the four largest nations in the bloc.
More than half (54%) of the projected growth over the decade is attributed to net international migration, with the remaining 46% resulting from more births than deaths.
The ONS report notes that international migration also has an indirect impact on the population.
For example, women coming to the UK who subsequently have children will increase the numbers of births. Conversely, those emigrating before they have children will decrease the number of births.
The study gives a fresh indication of the ageing nature of the population.
In mid-2016 there were 1.6 million people aged 85 and over – by mid-2041 this is projected to double to 3.2 million.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Life expectancy continues to rise – cancer survival rates are at a record high whilst smoking rates are at an all-time low.
“Our ageing population is well cared for with continued investment in the health service – the NHS will receive an £8bn funding increase in real terms by 2020-21.”

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