Increasing fertility one of main factors in population growth

Increasing fertility and a greater number of immigrant women of childbearing age are behind a rise in the UK population figures, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Increasing fertility and a greater number of immigrant women of childbearing age are behind a rise in the UK population figures, according to the Office for National Statistics.

It says the UK population was 62,262,000 in mid-2010, an increase of 470,000 (0.8 per cent) on the mid-2009 figure which is significantly higher than the normal average rise.

The ONS says natural change – the difference between births and deaths – was the largest contributor to population growth between the years to mid-2008 and mid-2010, accounting for over half of the total population growth - it is thought the number of women who have delayed having children until later is partly responsible. Before 2008, net migration was the largest contributor to population growth.

The overall increase in natural change since mid-2002 is mainly attributable to a growth in the number of births, although a decrease in the numbers of deaths over this period has also played a part, says the ONS.

It says: "The number of births has increased partly due to rising fertility among UK born women and partly because there are more women of childbearing ages due to inflows of female migrants to the UK. There were 134,000 more births in the year to mid-2010 than in the year to mid-2002, when natural change was at its lowest."

In comparison, net migration contributed 230,000 to population growth in the year to mid-2010, an increase of 31 per cent on the year to mid-2009. This is mainly attributable to a decrease in long-term migration out of the UK, says the ONS.





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