According to recent data from the Office for National Statistics, the population of the UK is expected to reach 73.7 million by mid-2036, surpassing the 70 million mark a decade earlier than previously estimated.
This signifies a growth of approximately 6.6 million, or 9.9%, from the calculated 67 million in mid-2021.
Long-term international net migration – the difference between the number of people entering the country and leaving – is projected to account for 6.1 million of the increase, with the remainder coming from a higher number of births than deaths.
The numbers provided are estimates, not prophecies or expectations, as they are derived from present and prior patterns.
The Office for National Statistics stated that the projected levels of migration and population in the future may vary, depending on policy changes and the influence of unknown patterns of migrant behavior.
According to the latest estimates, net migration is expected to decrease in the upcoming years, dropping from its highest point of approximately 670,000 in the 12 months leading up to June 2023. Afterward, it is projected to stabilize at 315,000 starting in 2028.
Between mid-2021 and mid-2036, it is estimated that 10.8 million individuals will be born, 10.3 million will pass away, 13.7 million will permanently relocate to the UK, and 7.6 million people will leave the country.
The latest forecasts indicate a stronger possibility of increased levels of migration across countries in the long run compared to previous calculations, according to James Robards, the head of population and household projections at ONS.
“It is crucial to acknowledge the uncertainty in the current international migration estimates,” he emphasized. “Upcoming changes in policies and unknown behavioral patterns of migrants in the future will impact future migration.”
The most recent estimates indicate that the population of the UK could reach 70 million by mid-2026, which is ten years earlier than previously projected in 2022 when a date of mid-2036 was predicted.
The study predicts that the number of individuals aged 85 and above in the UK may increase in the next 15 years, rising from 1.6 million (2.5% of the total population) to 2.6 million (3.5%).
The population’s demographic makeup is expected to shift towards older age groups. It is estimated that those aged 75 and above will make up 10% of the total population in 2029 and 9% in 2037 – the same year when individuals of retirement age will make up 20%.
The projected increase in the UK population over the next 25 years is expected to be smaller in proportion compared to the increase over the past 25 years. Between mid-1996 and mid-2021, the population has grown by 8.9 million (15.3%), while it is projected to grow by 9.5 million (14.2%) from mid-2021 to mid-2046.