London has grown steadily for the past 30 years, in people, jobs and self confidence. Population growth has been driven both by in-migration (more people moving to London than moving away) and by natural change (more births than deaths). International migration – both EU and non-EU – has been a major factor in the city’s growth, outweighing domestic migration, where London has been a net exporter of people.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released a new report on Friday saying that the population of Britain has hit 66.4 million, the slowest growth rate since 2004.
In the year to mid-2018, there were 2% fewer births and 3% more deaths, but the population increased by 0.6% for the second year running, due to a net increase in international migration.
The report also showed a shifting age structure towards older ages, the number of people aged 65 and older are expected to grow by 8.2 million, equivalent to the population of London, in 50 years.
Sarah Coates, from the ONS Center for Ageing and Demography, said that “The structure of the UK’s population is changing. People living longer and having fewer children means the age structure is shifting towards later ages. The ways in which people live are also changing with cohabiting families the fastest growing family type and more young adults living with their parents.”
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