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Migrants from India, Pak drive UK population boom

Last Updated: Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 20:59

London: Migrants from India, China and Pakistan have resulted in the highest population growth in the UK among all 24 European Union countries.

The country`s population grew by 419,900 to 63.7 million between June 2011 and June 2012, pushing the UK as the third most populous EU nation behind Germany and France.

In comparison, France`s population grew by 319,100 to 65,480,500 over the same period while Germany`s went up by 166,200 to 80,399,300, the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

Migration from overseas accounted for 517,800 of the population flow into the UK, with China, India, Germany, US, Pakistan, Poland and Australia among the top countries of origin.

The UK also registered its biggest baby boom since 1972 as 813,200 births were recorded in the past year. The country`s population increase can be tracked back to the fact that there were 254,400 more births than deaths and net migration levels of 165,600, the ONS said.

The figures suggest that the increase in birth is being driven by large numbers of women in their 20s and 30s who are becoming mothers, along with an increase in the number of migrant families in the UK. The number of non UK-born mothers is now about 26 per cent, the ONS said.

The estimated population of England now stands at 53.5 million with 5.3 million people in Scotland, 3.1 million in Wales and 1.8 million in Northern Ireland.

London, along with south-east and east of England accounted for 53 per cent of the growth across UK in the year while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland jointly accounted for 8 per cent. London`s population has surged by 104,000, with high birth and immigration rates.

The latest data is likely to boost the anti-immigration rhetoric of right-wing parties.

The UK Independence Party (UKIP), which campaigns against immigration into the country, has already labelled the figures as a sign of the Conservative-led coalition government`s failure.

"The results of this increase in population can be felt in communities up and down the country as public services struggle to cope with the increase in demand. At the same time we face cuts to front line services and send billions of pounds abroad in foreign aid," said UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

First Published: Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 20:59
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