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Britain’s population set to increase sharply

2 February 2024

Image Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) published its latest UK national population projections on 30 January. ONS predicts that by mid-2036 the population will be 73.7 million.

This is a significant increase in population, around 10 per cent up from the 2021 figure of 67 million. The vast majority of this will be caused by immigration.

The ONS predicts that net migration (total immigration less total emigration) will be 6.1 million over that period. It estimates that total immigration, before emigration, will be about 13.7 million.

These are estimates, but if anything they could be too low. In December 2023 the ONS had to revise its short-term predictions of net migration upwards. By its own admission, ONS needs to update its methods. A stronger view is that the government has little idea of how many people live in Britain.


To put these figures in context, the predicted increase in the population over the next 12 years is equivalent to twice the current population of Wales, or five times the population of Birmingham.

Capitalism has failed woefully to provide work, homes, health and education for all those living in Britain. It promotes vast increases in immigration to a country that cannot provide for its existing people.

Greater contribution

The current government concentrates on promising a reduction in illegal immigration, which has increased despite its polices. Yet it encourages the far greater contribution of legal migration – around 1.2 million in the year to June 2023, compared to around 52,000 known attempts to enter the UK illegally in 2022.

The Labour Party mirrors that outlook. It talks tough on what it would do about illegal migration, and is equivocal about its overall aims and migration policy.