Nytt

Den britiske befolkningen er ventet å øke til 73,2 millioner i 2035, noe som vil gjøre Storbritannia til det mest folkerike landet i Europa. Hovedfaktoren – to tredjedeler – i befolkningsveksten på nærmere 500.000 årlig er innvandring, enten direkte eller indirekte som følge av innvandreres fødselsrater. De nye tallene fra det nasjonale statistikkbyrået (ONS) er en krafig oppjustering fra estimatene som ble lagt frem i 2009.

ONS` nye befolkningsfremkriving viser også at Storbritannia vil nå 70 millioner innen 2027 – en vekst den avgåtte Labour-regjeringen i 2008 hevdet at aldri ville bli tillatt.

Most will live in the already-crowded South of England.

It is predicted that the landmark total of 70million – a figure the immigration minister in the last Labour government said would never be allowed – will be reached in the middle of 2027. This is two years earlier than previous reckoning. Two thirds of the overall growth in numbers, says the ONS, will be brought about either directly or indirectly by migration.

In the long term, net migration – the number added to the population every year through arrivals from abroad – will continue to run at 200,000 a year, the ONS said. This level, some 20,000 a year more than was predicted two years ago, is more than double the net migration that David Cameron has promised will be achieved by Coalition curbs.

De reviderte tallene kommer i en tid med økende bekymring over den raske befolkningsvekstens effekt på boliger, transport, vann, energi og offentlige tjenester som utdanning, helse og velferdsytelser. En Labour-støttet tenketank har allerede lagt fren forslag om å skatte eldre og enslige ut av store boliger for å skaffe rom til trangbodde, fattige familier:

The past month has seen a row over planning rules sparked by Whitehall attempts to make room for the new homes needed to accommodate the expanding numbers, with conservation groups warning about the unrestrained construction of housing on green fields in the South of England.

Tory ministers also face pressure over plans to improve transport links through high-speed railways.

A Labour-backed think-tank has called for older people and empty nesters to be taxed out of family homes, making room for poor families living in overcrowded conditions.

Eksperter advarer mot effekten på pensjonsordningen, da tallene for 2035 viser at det bare vil være 2,9 personer i arbeidsfør alder til å betale for hver pensjonist, til sammenligning med de nåværende 3,2.

I januar i år viste en omfattende undersøkelse at fire av fem briter ønsker en redusering av innvandringen til landet. Den store – og økende – motstanden mot innvandringsnivået som kom til uttrykk var bemerkelsesverdig fordi den regjeringsinitierte undersøkelsen var spesielt designet for å sikre “god representasjon” av etniske minoriteter og særlig muslimer blant respondentene». Mer enn halvparten i undersøkelsen uttrykte ønske om en kraftig reduksjon i dagens innvandringsnivå.

If the population continues to grow at the present rate, it will be almost 100million a century from now. In Europe, only Luxembourg, Cyprus and Ireland are likely to see faster population growth.

Net migration is directly responsible for 47 per cent of the projected population growth, and natural increase – the greater numbers of births than deaths – accounts for the rest.

But the ONS said immigration had the effect of pushing up birthrates, so that net migration was responsible overall for two thirds of population growth.

The annual rate of increase for the next decade is expected to be 0.8 per cent a year – a speed of growth surpassed only in one year of the baby-boom era of the 1950s and 60s and not matched for a sustained period since the Edwardian years before the First World War.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘Immigration to the UK has been too high. That is why we have made sweeping changes to get a grip on immigration in this country, closing down routes subject to abuse and taking action against those with no right to be here.

‘Much has been done, but there is more to do to bring down net migration to the order of tens of thousands a year and ensure migration which benefits the UK.’

Daily Mail: UK grows by 500,000 every year: Annual population increase, fuelled by immigration, equals city the size of Leeds