Population - Predicted Growth

The natural growth of young families will show a Muslim population rise greater then the national average in the Census 2011.

Because Muslims are a comparatively young social group, with one third under 16 and half under 25 years of age (in 2001), a population growth is expected faster than that of the national population, and current estimates suggest that the Census 2011 will show a British Muslim population around 2.5 million. The great bulk of this increase will be due to the natural growth of new and young families. This was also evidenced in Muslims representing 5.7% of the population age band of 0 to 4 years in April 2001, which is two times the population proportion of 2.8%. Muslim households in 2001 showed the highest proportion of households with dependent children, with 62.5% against a national average of 29.4% of households with dependent children. Sikhs (54.9%) and Hindus (48.6%) also showed a much higher proportion with dependents.

Although this young average age will yield a significant proportional rise, the Census 2011 is also expected to show a slowing down in the rate of population growth in Britain’s Muslim and other groups. This will be influenced by factors such as a rise in lone parents with dependent children (15% in 2001 but not far from the national average of 22%), housing capacity constraints, career aspiration and success particularly among Muslim women, and cultural naturalisation.

The UK population is also rising steadily, at an approximate rate of 1,000 people a day. According to the Office for National Statistics, the population of the United Kingdom was estimated at 61.8 million in mid 2009, an increase of 394,000 (0.6 per cent) over 12 months and an increase of 2.7 million from the Census 2001. The UK population has thus increased by an average of 0.6% per year, a rate double the growth rate of 0.3% between 1991 and 2001, which was slightly higher than the growth rate of 0.2% 1981 and 1991.

Natural change overtakes net migration in UK population change.

Short of one to three thousand people (a small number in the UK population count), two factors account for all of the UK’s population change: natural change (the difference between births and deaths) and net long-term international migration (the difference between long-term migration into and out of the UK). Net migration overtook natural change at the start of the decade as the greater contributor of the two, but natural growth has also seen a steady rise, accounting for approximately 1.2 million of the UK population growth since the Census 2001. Notably, from 2007, natural migration has overtaken net migration as the greater contributor, with net migration continuing to fall quite sharply. Natural change continues to follow an upward trend from 2002 onwards although more from 2008, this steady rise appears to have stabilised somewhat. The trend line for natural change and net migration can be seen at the top of this page.

The Census 2011 is expected to show a UK population exceeding 62.5 million, and is expected to cross the 65 million mark in 2017. The national estimates of the population between 1981 and 2015, used to enable population modelling and planning (but not as reliable as census statistics) can be seen here.

The daily increase of the UK’s general population!
© Crown Copyright. Source data has been derived from ONS Census 2001, unless otherwise stated.