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Monday, 16 July 2012
Census 2011: London's population booms to EIGHT million
The population of London has hit a new peak of more than eight million with a 12 per cent increase in the past 10 years, figures reveal today.
An extra 3.7 million people are living in England and Wales compared with 2001, taking the total to 56.1 million — an all-time high. More than half the increase is due to immigration.
Every region has seen a leap in numbers, but London has seen the fastest surge of all. It has 850,000 more residents since the last census was done in 2001.
The London total is 400,000 up on the previous estimate, from mid-2010, and appears to capture some of the capital’s “hidden” population.
The figures will heighten concern about the impact of migration and population growth on public services.
London has gained 112,700 children aged under five since 2001, putting pressure on school places over the coming years.
Nine of the 10 local authorities with the highest population growth are in London. Of the 20 most crowded local authorities in the country, 19 are in the capital.
Tower Hamlets, which has seen 26.6 per cent leap in the number of residents since 2001, has shown the fastest increase, followed by Newham, with a 23.5 per cent population rise.
Only one council in London, Kensington and Chelsea, has seen a drop in population.
Islington is the most densely populated part of the country with 13,873 people per square kilometre. That equates to about 140 people on a rugby pitch.
The 3.7 million increase in population, which equates to a seven per cent rise, is the biggest since census figures began being collected in 1801.
Figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland will be calculated later, but Glen Watson, of the Office for National Statistics, said today’s figures showed the overall UK population is now 63.1 million.
More than half of the surge in population is the direct result of immigration, which is responsible for 55 per cent of the increased national total, or 2.1 million people.
Higher births, also partly fuelled by migration, and a lower death rate are the other causes.
Today’s figures contrast with the statisticians’ previous official estimate, based on the situation in 2010, which put the UK population at 62,262,000.
That was comprised of 52.2 million people in England, three million in Wales, 5.2 million in Scotland, and a Northern Irish population of 1.8 million. London’s population at the time was 7,825,000.
Separate population projections published by the Office for National Statistics this year stated that the UK population would rise to 73.2 million by 2035 and 89.3 million by 2085 if current trends continued.
Those figures will now have to be revised in response to today’s census statistics. The faster growing rate of population increase means that population projections will be revised, almost certainly upwards, later this year, although other changes such as the government’s immigration reforms could help to reduce any projected increase.
Figures showed that on census day, which took place on March 27 last year, the number of women over 90 was 315,000, nearly three times higher than the number of men over that age, at 114,000.
Figures also showed that one in six people in England and Wales in 2011 was aged 65 and over.
The total population figure was about half a million larger than estimates had shown a year earlier.
The population of England was 53 million while Wales was 3.06 million.
The population of Northern Ireland also increased to 1,801,900, an increase from around 1.7 million in 2001.