The numbers to touch 70million mark by 2023
19th November 2009: The latest estimates now suggest Britain’s population may go well beyond the 70 million mark in another two decades.
It is now believed the population may, in fact, will grow to 74million over the next 20 years, if immigration continues at high levels.
Reports trickling in suggest the population will rather swell by approximately 12million in two decades; and will reach the 70million mark by 2023, six years earlier than expected. Only last month the Office for National Statistics (ONS) had asserted the likely time for the 70million level to be reached was 2029.
The new projection by ONS come soon after Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged the population will not hit 70million in the next 20 years; and the new immigration curbs will lead to a cut in the migration levels.
Available information suggests the fresh estimate are based on the consequences of immigration continuing at the highest levels seen in recent years, if birthrates among new migrants are maintained, and if the life expectancy of Britons keeps rising.
An ONS spokesman said the high-level population projection was calculated from alternative, but still plausible, assumptions.
Immigration minister Phil Woolas, has all along been insisting, the ONS has published projections, not forecasts, that clearly show that population growth is starting to slow down.
This was proof that the radical reforms they have made to the immigration system over the last two years are working. Last year saw a 44 per cent fall in net migration and they were expecting that fall to be sustained and reflected in future projections.