Rising immigration sees UK population soar

By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor

Last Updated: 2:36am BST 24/10/2007

Immigration is fuelling the biggest rise in Britain's population for almost 50 years, official figures show.

  • ONS report on national population projections
  • Sir Andrew Green: We must cut back numbers now
  • Within a decade, there will be 65 million people in the UK - an increase of five million.

    By 2028, the population will be over 70 million and reach 71 million by 2031, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) predicted.

    This is the fastest growth rate since the post-war baby boom.

    Actual and projected UK population (Graphic courtesy ONS)

    But unlike in the 1950s and 1960s, the main cause of the rise is immigration.

    Foreign settlers are adding to the population and, because they are younger, are pushing up the fertility rate.

    Statisticians said immigration would be responsible for at least 70 per cent of the rise in population over the next 20 years.

    The rest will be babies born to British mothers - many of whom are second generation immigrants.