This report provides a brief summary of the results of the 2012-based national population projections and provides additional charts and summary tables illustrating the results of the projections. For discussion of the results see the statistical bulletin.
Included are sections on:
Results, which can also be examined using the following tools:
- The interactive population pyramids, which allow comparisons of the projected age structure up to mid-2087.
- The interactive graphs, which can be used to visualise the projected population and components of population change by country, age and sex up to mid-2037.
- The interactive table download tool, which allows easy access to the detailed reference tables.
The role of migration in population growth.
Comparison with the results of the 2010-based national population projections.
Charts for the UK and constituent countries are available in the appendices showing:
- actual and projected total population, year ending mid-1971 to year ending mid-2087,
- actual and projected births and deaths, year ending mid-1971 to year ending mid-2087,
- percentage age distribution for the period, year ending mid-1971 to year ending mid-2087,
- actual and projected total population for the principal and key variant projections, year ending mid-1971 to year ending mid-2087,
- change in the projected population at 2037 by age and sex compared with the 2010-based projections.
The UK population is projected to increase gradually from an estimated 63.7 million in mid-2012 to reach 73.3 million by mid-2037. Of the projected 9.6 million increase between mid-2012 and mid-2037, approximately 5.4 million (57 per cent) is due to projected natural increase (more births than deaths) while the remaining 4.2 million (43 per cent) is the assumed total number of net migrants.
Table 2-1 presents a summary of the projection results by components of change from mid-2012 to mid-2037, for the UK. The equivalent tables for the constituent countries of the UK, England & Wales and Great Britain can be found in the data download of this table.
2012-13 | 2013-18 | 2018-23 | 2023-28 | 2028-33 | 2033-37 | ||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
Population at start | 63,705 | 64,087 | 66,266 | 68,382 | 70,325 | 72,037 | |
Births | 799 | 812 | 815 | 805 | 798 | 805 | |
Deaths | 582 | 548 | 556 | 581 | 620 | 661 | |
Natural change | 218 | 264 | 258 | 224 | 177 | 144 | |
Migration | 165 | 172 | 165 | 165 | 165 | 165 | |
Total change | 382 | 436 | 423 | 389 | 342 | 309 | |
Population at end | 64,087 | 66,266 | 68,382 | 70,325 | 72,037 | 73,272 | |
This section presents charts for the UK for the year ending mid-1971 to the year ending mid-2087. The equivalent charts for the constituent countries of the UK are available in the appendices A to D.
Figure 2-1 presents the estimated and projected total population in the UK between mid-1971 and mid-2087 and shows that the population is projected to continue to rise gradually over the period to mid-2087.
Figure 2-2 shows the estimated and projected number of births and deaths in the UK since the year ending mid-1971.
Table 2-2 presents projections of the total population under the principal projection, standard variant projections and special case scenarios for the UK and its constituent countries in mid-2037, mid-2062, mid-2087 and mid-2112. Three additional measures available in the data download include the percentage of the population under 16, percentage of population 65 and over and dependants per 100 persons of working age.
A further seven variant projections (two standard variants and five special case scenarios) are due to be released on 10 December 2013.
Projection | 2037 | 2062 | 2087 | 2112 | ||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
Principal projection | 73,272 | 79,904 | 86,463 | 93,332 | ||||
SINGLE COMPONENT VARIANTS | ||||||||
High fertility | 75,200 | 85,554 | 97,723 | 111,873 | ||||
Low fertility | 71,390 | 74,645 | 76,467 | 77,688 | ||||
High life expectancy | 74,068 | 83,162 | 92,545 | 102,715 | ||||
Low life expectancy | 72,443 | 76,529 | 80,176 | 83,639 | ||||
High migration | 74,952 | 83,882 | 92,856 | 102,010 | ||||
Low migration | 71,606 | 75,942 | 80,083 | 84,666 | ||||
COMBINATION VARIANTS | ||||||||
Largest/smallest total population size | ||||||||
High fertility, High life expectancy, High migration | 77,717 | 93,012 | 110,958 | 131,871 | ||||
Low fertility, Low life expectancy, Low migration | 68,935 | 67,540 | 64,639 | 61,543 | ||||
SPECIAL CASE SCENARIOS | ||||||||
Zero migration (natural change only) | 67,477 | 66,248 | 63,755 | 61,776 |
Figure 2-4 shows the actual and projected population for the UK between mid-1981 and mid-2087, by principal projection and selected standard variants.
The equivalent charts for the constituent countries of the UK can be found in the relevant appendices.
The population of the UK is projected to rise both because of positive natural change, that is, more births than deaths and because of positive net migration. However, the components of population change are not independent of each other. In particular, the projected numbers of future births and deaths are themselves partly dependent on the assumed level of net migration.
An understanding of the overall effect of migration on population growth can be obtained by comparing the results of the principal and main variant projections with those of the zero net migration (‘natural change only’) variant projection. The zero net migration variant assumes that net migration will be zero at all ages in future, but makes the same assumptions about fertility and mortality as the principal projection. The effect of net migration on population growth in the period to mid-2037 is considered.
If annual net inward migration to the UK was to average 165,000 a year (the long-term assumption in the principal projection) this would lead to a total net inflow of 4.125 million migrants in the period between mid-2012 (the base year of the projections) and mid-2037. In fact, the projected total number of net migrants during this period in the principal projection is slightly higher (4.158 million) due to the higher migration assumptions for the first few years of the projection.
The assumed fertility and mortality rates are the same in the principal projection, the zero net migration variant projection and the high and low migration variants. However, because migration is concentrated at young adult ages, the different assumed numbers of migrants affect the number of women of childbearing age and hence the future number of births.
There is no comparable effect on deaths, at least in the period to mid-2037. At ages over 45, assumed net migration flows are close to zero in the principal projection and the high and low migration variants. Indeed, small net migration outflows are assumed at some older ages. This results in the projected number of deaths over the period to mid-2037 being similar under all the migration variants.
Table 2-3 shows the projected components of population change in the period to mid-2037 in the principal projection, the high and low migration variants (which assume long-term annual net inward flows of 225,000 and 105,000 a year respectively), and the zero net migration variant projection.
High migration variant | Principal projection | Low migration variant | Zero net migration variant | ||||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
Population at mid-2012 | 63,705 | 63,705 | 63,705 | 63,705 | |||||
Population change (2012-37) | |||||||||
Births | 20,546 | 20,165 | 19,788 | 18,474 | |||||
Deaths | 14,782 | 14,756 | 14,730 | 14,702 | |||||
Natural change | 5,764 | 5,409 | 5,058 | 3,772 | |||||
Net migration | 5,483 | 4,158 | 2,843 | 0 | |||||
Total change | 11,247 | 9,567 | 7,901 | 3,772 | |||||
Population at mid-2037 | 74,952 | 73,272 | 71,606 | 67,477 |
Table 2-4 shows how the projected population growth is broken down between the assumed level of net migration and projected natural change.
High migration variant | Principal projection | Low migration variant | ||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
Total population increase between 2012 and 2037 | 11,247 | 9,567 | 7,901 | |||
Resulting from: | ||||||
Assumed net migration | 5,483 | 4,158 | 2,843 | |||
Natural change assuming zero net migration | 3,772 | 3,772 | 3,772 | |||
Additional natural change from assumed level of net migration | 1,992 | 1,638 | 1,287 |
In the principal projection, the population of the UK is projected to grow by 9.6 million between mid-2012 and mid-2037. Some 4.2 million of this increase is directly due to the assumed number of net migrants. Natural change accounts for a further 5.4 million - the difference between 20.2 million births and 14.8 million deaths. Some 3.8 million of this natural change (increase) would occur with zero net migration. The remaining 1.6 million is the net effect of the assumed annual level of net migration on natural change (almost entirely the effect on births).
Some 43 per cent of population growth in the principal projection is therefore directly attributable to the assumed number of net migrants. The remaining 57 per cent is attributable to projected natural change (of which 39 per cent would occur with zero net migration and 17 per cent arises from the effect of net migration on natural change). In total, therefore, some 60 per cent of population growth in the period to mid-2037 in the principal projection is attributable, directly or indirectly, to future net migration.
It should be emphasised that these calculations are based on comparing alternative projections which make the same assumptions about future fertility and mortality rates irrespective of the assumed level of net migration. In practice, fertility and mortality rates for new migrants are likely to differ, to some extent, from those for the existing population.
Note: The principal projection and the zero net migration variant projection for the UK are calculated by aggregating equivalent projections for the four constituent countries of the UK. The resulting UK level fertility and mortality rates are therefore effectively weighted averages of those for the individual countries. This leads to some very small differences at UK level between the effective fertility and mortality rates used in the principal projection and the zero net migration variant. This has no significant effect on the analysis in this section.
Overall, the published mid-2012 population estimate for the UK is 460,000 (0.7 per cent) higher than the 2010-based projection of the population at mid-2012. The new base population for mid-2012 takes into account the 2011 Census results which found approximately 500,000 more people compared with the rolled forward mid year estimates based on the 2001 Census.
The projected population of the UK at mid-2037 is about 639,000 (0.9 per cent) lower than in the 2010-based projections. This is because the population of the UK is projected to grow at a slower rate in the 2012-based projections than the 2010-based projections. This is due to the change in the assumptions made for the 2012-based projections, with the assumptions for migration being lower and those for fertility being higher in the long term, but lower in the short term than the 2010-based.
At mid-2037, populations are projected to be lower than in the 2010-based projections for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland but slightly higher for Scotland. The percentage difference by mid-2037 is greatest for Wales (2 per cent) where the projected levels of births and net migration have fallen. The projected populations of England and Northern Ireland are 0.9 per cent and 0.4 per cent lower respectively than in the 2010-based projections. The population of Scotland is projected to be 0.01 per cent higher than previously projected.
Compared with the previous projections, the UK population at mid-2037 is lower in the age groups from 15 to 59 and higher for the 14 and under and 60 and over age groups.
Comparisons with the previous (2010-based) projections are given in Tables 2-5 and 2-6 and illustrated in Figure 2-5.
2012-2013 | 2013-2023 | 2023-2033 | 2033-2037 | |||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
000s | % | 000s | % | 000s | % | 000s | % | |
Births | -41 | -4.9 | -200 | -2.4 | 5 | 0.1 | -35 | -1.1 |
Deaths | 23 | 4.2 | -82 | -1.5 | -44 | -0.7 | 6 | 0.2 |
Net migration | -68 | -366 | -350 | -140 | ||||
Total change | -132 | -484 | -301 | -181 |
mid-2012 | mid-2023 | mid-2033 | mid-2037 | |||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
000s | % | 000s | % | 000s | % | 000s | % | |
Age group | ||||||||
0-14 | 156 | 1.4 | -174 | -1.4 | 38 | 0.3 | 51 | 0.4 |
15 - 29 | -56 | -0.4 | 56 | 0.5 | -315 | -2.4 | -371 | -2.7 |
30 - 44 | 291 | 2.3 | -394 | -2.9 | -433 | -3.1 | -414 | -3.1 |
45 - 59 | 77 | 0.6 | 130 | 1.0 | -161 | -1.3 | -401 | -3.0 |
60 - 74 | 55 | 0.6 | 221 | 2.1 | 266 | 2.2 | 295 | 2.5 |
75 & over | -64 | -1.3 | 4 | 0.1 | 147 | 1.7 | 201 | 2.2 |
All ages | 459 | 0.7 | -157 | -0.2 | -458 | -0.6 | -639 | -0.9 |
The equivalent tables for the constituent countries of the UK can be found in the Excel download
Figure 2-5 shows change in the projected population for the UK at mid-2037, compared with the 2010-based projections.
The equivalent charts for the constituent countries of the UK can be found in the relevant appendices.
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