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Britain's population sees biggest annual growth in 70 years

Staff Writer |
Britain has recorded its biggest year-on-year population increase since 1947, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.

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The country's population on June 30, 2016 stood at 65,648,000 people, an increase of just under one percent, with Britain having the third highest population of nations in the European Union area.

ONS said international migration into Britain during the year accounted for almost two thirds of the increase, amounting to 336,000 people, with just under 36 percent or 193,000 people making up the rest through the number of births, less than the number who died.

Of the total number of overseas people migrating to Britain, the number in London accounted for 126,079 of them.

Neil Park, head of Population Estimates Unit at ONS, said: "Net international migration continued to be the main driver, but there was also an increase in births and fewer deaths than last year.

"Population growth was not evenly distributed, with London's growth rate more than twice that in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the three northern English regions."

The population of England grew fastest, and has exceeded 55 million for the first time, with the population of London growing at 1.3 percent.

It means England now accounts for over 82 percent of the total population of Great Britain, Scotland 8.2 percent, Wales 7.7 percent and Northern Ireland 2.8 percent.

The populations increased in 364 local authority areas, while in 26 authority areas there were fewer people.

Of the 14 local authority areas registering the highest population increases of 2 percent or higher, eight were in London, including the inner-London boroughs of Westminster, Camden, City of London, Islington and Haringey.

London is growing faster than the other areas, because of its young age structure and attractiveness to international migrants, said ONS.

The ONS study also found that the population continues to age, but at a slower rate than in recent years, with only a small change to the proportion of people aged 65 and over.

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