Population in the UK

The UK population is one of the fastest growing populations in Europe and currently stands at 66 million people. If current trends continue, the United Kingdom is expected to become the most populous nation in Europe by the second half of this century, despite its small land area.

Learn the facts about population in the UK here.

See our latest news stories and blog posts about population in the UK below.

1 June 2018

Three million more in 10 years. Is England’s growth sustainable?

The population of England is expected to grow by three million people by 2026, according to the latest release from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The population of every region in England is also projected to increase by mid-2026, with London set to grow fastest.

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24 April 2018

Big (royal) families are behind the times

The announcement of the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge last year was greeted with criticism, as well as congratulations. Population Matters offered our own comment in the national media.

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Population Matters climate change conferece 2018
5 March 2018

Empowering women and melted ice: PM conference 2018

On Saturday, Population Matters’s 2018 conference, Climate change and Us: more feet, more heat? took place in London. Hundreds of people turned up. Our international panel covered a wide range of topics, including the effects of climate change, its impacts on food supply, the challenges of empowering women and the future paths of population and emissions.

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23 January 2018

UK Sustainable Population Policy needed now – not in 25 years

Population Matters director Robin Maynard has written to the Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, to urge him to address population pressures on the UK environment.

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27 October 2017

A century of growth: latest UK population projections

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today released its projections for population in the UK over the next 100 years. They show a slowdown in anticipated population growth in comparison to the previous projections (issued in 2015) – but nevertheless, anticipate a population of nearly 73m by 2041.

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26 June 2017

UK population growth highest in 70 years

https://populationmatters.org/the-factsLast week, the Office for National Statistics released its mid-2016 Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These statistics reveal that the number of people residing in the UK increased by 538,000 over the previous year, the largest rise in actual numbers seen in nearly 70 years. 

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11 January 2017

Chris Packham speaks out on impact of population

I remember when this was all fields full of birds and butterflies.” It’s a cliché isn’t it . . . but those words frequently describe changes most adults have seen if they have been fortunate enough to spend time in the countryside. It’s also a powerful metaphor for the wider situation we find ourselves in today.

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15 September 2016

State of Nature report overlooks population growth impact

On September 14th, more than 50 nature conservation and research organisations published the 2016 State of Nature report. The report found evidence of significant losses in biodiversity in the UK but overlooked the impact of population growth.

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27 August 2016

Teen pregnancy rates continue to fall

The Family Planning Association (FPA) has recently reported on the latest teenage pregnancy figures from the Office for National Statistics, which recorded a 6.4 per cent decrease in teenage pregnancies in England and Wales for the second quarter of 2015 vs. the same period for the previous year.

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14 July 2016

Our 25th anniversary

The Optimum Population Trust (OPT) was founded by David Willey and others on 24 July 1991. Its goals were: “to collect, analyze and disseminate information about the sizes of global and national populations and to link this to a study of carrying capacities and inhabitants’ quality of life in order to support policy decisions.”

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