Statement on ONS UK National Population Projections

Population Matters statement on ONS UK national population projections

ONS release: National population projections: 2021-based interim

Alistair Currie, Head of Campaigns and Communications at Population Matters, said:

“Today’s figures are truly shocking: two years ago, ONS was projecting we’d hit 70 million people in 2036; today they are saying that will happen in 2026, and we’ll be more than 73 million by 2036. We expected some increase in the estimate following the census results and last year’s migration figures, but not on that scale. To put that in context, by 2026 we will have added the equivalent of the entire population of London – 8.8 million people – since just 2009.

“It’s time to get off this runaway train. People understand that population growth means more pressure on public services and nature, more climate emissions, more congestion, more crowding, and more housing needed on more land. There’s no challenge we face to which it offers a sustainable solution. We need a sustainable population, not a spiralling one.

“What we certainly don’t need is a higher birth rate or pressure from politicians to create one. ONS believes births are going to outnumber deaths until at least 2036 – there’s no baby bust. Meanwhile, the global population is set to increase by a billion in the next generation – let’s not add even more high-consuming, high resource-using Brits to that tally.

“The UK needs an informed, cohesive, evidence-based population policy – not passivity, not the outcome of a squabble between the Home Office and the Treasury, and not, even worse, a cocktail of ill-informed panic over ageing and an increasingly creepy pro-natal agenda.”



Alistair Currie, Head of Campaigns and Communications


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Population Matters is a UK-based charity working globally to achieve a sustainable future for people and planet. Our mission is to drive positive, large-scale action through fostering choices that help achieve a sustainable human population and regenerate our environment. UK charity number: 1114109


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