UK population approaches 60 million
Population: by gender and age, mid-2004
In mid-2004 the UK was home to 59.8 million people, of which 50.1 million lived in England. The average age was 38.6 years, an increase on 1971 when it was 34.1 years. In mid-2004 approximately one in five people in the UK were aged under 16 and one in six people were aged 65 or over.
The UK has a growing population. It grew by 280,600 people in the year to mid-2004, and the average growth per year has been 0.4 per cent since mid-2001. The UK population increased by 7.0 per cent since 1971, from 55.9 million. Growth has been faster in more recent years. Between mid-1991 and mid-2003 the population grew by an annual rate of 0.3 per cent.
The mid-2004 population of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom is estimated as follows:
The UK has an ageing population. This is the result of declines both in fertility rates and in the mortality rate. This has led to a declining proportion of the population aged under 16 and an increasing proportion aged 65 and over.
In every year since 1901, with the exception of 1976, there have been more births than deaths in the UK and the population has grown due to natural change. Until the mid-1990s, this natural increase was the main driver of population growth. Since the late 1990s, although there has still been natural increase, net international migration into the UK from abroad has been an increasingly important factor in population change.
Sources: Mid-year population estimates: Office for National Statistics, General Register Office for Scotland and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Notes: The average age of the population has been estimated using the median value. The median is the mid-point age that separates the younger half of the population from the older half.
20/12/05 – Correction - ONS published a minor correction to the mid-2004 population estimates affecting the London Borough of Harrow and ‘higher’ geographical levels. As a result the following data in this nugget has changed: Growth of UK population in the year to mid-2004 was 280,600 people (original figure was 281,200). Population of England in mid-2004 is 50,093,100 (original figure was 50,093,800). Population of United Kingdom is 59,834,300 (original figure was 59,834,900).