Reports of our booming population are predictably being used to spout bigotry on immigration. A lack of room is the least of Britain’s problems.
By 2039, the Office for National Statistics expects the UK population to be 74.3 million, an increase that is accounted for, in almost exactly equal parts, by immigration and natural growth (more births than deaths). Its estimates of net migration are 256,000 next year, 232,000 the year after, dropping below 200,000 in the 2020s. Given that net migration was over 300,000 last year, and the average over the past decade has been 250,000, the real story here is that the ONS expects migration to decrease. At a guess that’ll be because, by 2020, word will have got out to the world that our public services have been asset-str