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Release: Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2011 and Mid-2012

Released: 08 August 2013 Next edition: 26 June 2014


Pete Large

Population Estimates Unit

Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444661

Categories: Population, Population Change, Population Estimates, Population Estimates by Age and Sex

Frequency of release: Annually

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: Country, Local Authority and County

  • The population of the UK was estimated to be 63.7 million in mid-2012, up from the estimated 63.3 million in mid-2011.  This represents a growth of 419,900 (0.7%) in the year to 30 June 2012.

  • The estimated populations of the four constituent countries of the UK in mid-2012 are 53.5 million people in England, 5.3 million in Scotland, 3.1 million in Wales and 1.8 million in Northern Ireland.

  • In the UK there were 813,200 births and 558,800 deaths occurring in the year to 30 June 2012.  This is the largest number of births seen since the year to mid-1972.

  • The population of the UK aged 65 and over was 10.8 million (17% of the UK population) in mid-2012.

  • The estimated flow of international migrants to the UK in the year to 30 June 2012 was 517,800 and estimated outflow for the same period was 352,100.  This means that UK net migration was 165,600 in the year to mid-2012.

  • The population increase of  the UK in the year to 30 June 2012 was caused by there being 254,400 more births than deaths (61% of the increase) and 165,600 more international migrants arriving than emigrants leaving (39% of the increase).

  • The mid-2012 population of the UK ranks third, behind Germany and France when compared to other member states of the European Union.

  • The absolute increase in population of the UK was greater than that of any other European Union member state during the 12 months to 30 June 2012.

The mid-year population estimates for 2011 and 2012 are provided for: the United Kingdom; Great Britain; England; Scotland; Wales; and Northern Ireland.  Data for regions of England; unitary authorities and county districts in England; council areas in Scotland; unitary authorities in Wales and district council areas in Northern Ireland are provided in an unformatted file. The Population Estimates reflect the local authority administrative boundaries that were in place on 30 June of the reference year of the tables.

Supporting Material

United Kingdom Annual Population Estimates Frequently Asked Questions, August 2013 (115.6 Kb Pdf)

Mid-year population estimates – age distribution errors

We have recently been made aware of errors mainly affecting the age distribution of the mid-year population estimates for Scotland for the years 2002 to 2014. These errors only affect areas within Scotland; population estimates for England, Wales and Northern Ireland are unaffected.  Whilst the estimated age distribution of the UK population is affected for the period, the total estimates of the UK population remain valid. ONS have published Frequently Asked Questions (158.6 Kb Pdf) that provide further information on the errors.

ONS plans to publish corrected UK population estimates for the years 2012 to 2014 incorporating corrected estimates for Scotland in April 2016.


Mid 1981 Population Estimates

Mid 1982 to Mid 1990 Population Estimates

Mid 1991 to Mid 2000 Population Estimates

Mid 2001 to Mid 2010 Revised Population Estimates

Mid 2011 and Mid 2012 Population Estimates

These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

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