The UK is on course to have a population of 75 million by the middle of the century, fuelled by immigration and the current birth rate.
The projection, based on current births and immigration levels, was made by the EU’s statistics organisation Eurostat.
The figure would make the UK a more populous nation than Germany. The combined UK immigration and birth rate is also projected to continue growing as the figure flattens out across other European countries by the end of the century.
Eurostat expects the overall European population to jump by 11 million to reach 520 million by 2080, mainly due to immigration. In the same year, it estimates an UK population of 85 million. All the projections are based upon birth and immigration rates staying as they are now.
The figures show that immigration from outside of the EU has been the main reason for the continent’s population growth in recent years, accounting for 95 per cent of growth in 2013.
The UK’s population grew faster than any other EU nation in the last decade. Last year, 600,000 immigrants legally entered the country and half that number left to live elsewhere.
According to the Oxford Migration Observatory, more than eight million of the UK’s current 64.5 million people were born overseas.
England, rather than the UK, is the second most densely settled country in Europe after the Netherlands. That figure does not take into account Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales where there are much smaller immigrant populations. The highest number of immigrants settled in London.
Of the five million overseas-born residents in the UK, around three million are migrants from other EU countries, led by Poland. The other five million come from non-EU countries, with people from India and Pakistan topping the list of settlers.