UK immigration is adding significantly to the country's population growth, recent figures have revealed.
Compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the data shows that the population increased by 470,000 between mid-2009 and the same point in 2010.
UK immigration played a major part in this figure, with net migration accounting for an extra 230,000 people last year. This represents an increase of 31 per cent in comparison to the net migration figures for the year to mid-2009.
While people moving to the country with UK visas played a part in this growth, a decline in long-term migration away from Britain was cited by the ONS as the main factor in the net migration increase.
However, Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, stated that the figures are "astonishing".
"They are further evidence that the government must take urgent steps to get a grip of immigration, which is a major factor in this unprecedented population growth," he remarked. "The alternative is extra investment in public services, for which there is no money."
The ONS data also noted that an increase in the number of women of childbearing age immigrating to the UK is contributing to population growth.
Natural changes in births and deaths, however, were cited as the largest contributor to population growth.