UK immigration to force population up

26 Oct 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

UK immigration is driving the country's population up at a rapid pace, according to the latest government figures.

Compiled by the Office for National Statistics, the data predicts that the population will rise from 62.3 million in 2010 to 73.2 million by 2035.

While 56 per cent of the growth is projected to occur as a natural result of births exceeding deaths, around 44 per cent of the population growth in the next decade is expected to come from net migration, as an increasing number of people move to Britain and fewer head overseas.

This figure is higher than previous reports would suggest. The projections for net immigration have been revised up by 20,000 to 200,000 a year since the last estimate was issued around two years ago. This is in spite of the government's efforts to lower immigration by cutting down on the number of UK work permits issued to international employees.

Following the publication of the figures, Damian Green, the UK immigration minister, suggested that the high levels of immigration are responsible for the “sweeping changes” made by the government in an attempt to “get a grip on immigration in this country”.

He cited the closure of routes that are subject to abuse among these actions, along with steps taken to remove people who have "no right to be here".

"Much has been done, but there is more to do to bring down net migration to the order of tens of thousands a year and ensure migration which benefits the UK," the minister concluded.