UK 'will swell to 75m' as migrants raise births

telegraph oct 07

The number of people living in the United Kingdom will exceed 75 million by the middle of the century, population experts now believe.

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    Rising immigration, a higher birthrate among migrant families and longer lifespans are on course to lift the population by at least 15 million by 2051, from last year's 60 million total. There are fears it could even hit 77 million.

    The increase will be the equivalent of building two new cities the size of London. It will place enormous demands on housing, transport and public services, and will bring a dramatic change to the nation's ethnic mix.

    The projection, expected to be confirmed by government population experts this week, represents a big increase from the last prediction, in 2005, which showed the UK's population rising to 69 million by 2051. The new figure will fuel the debate over Labour's policy on immigration controls.

    Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, has signalled a toughening of the regime by pointing to "the need for swift and sweeping changes to the immigration system". Last night, the Tories renewed their call for a cap on the intake of migrant workers from outside the European Union.