All estimates produced two years ago have been revised heavily upwards in a report published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics. Over the next ten years, the population is expected to rise annually by 491,000. Leeds’s current total is 486,000.
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.
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.
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