Population Projections Unit
Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444652
Frequency of release: Biennially
Geographical coverage: UK
Geographical breakdown: Country
National population projections are available by age and sex for the UK and its constituent countries. They are based on the annual mid-year population estimates for 2006 published on 22 August 2007 and a set of underlying assumptions of future levels of fertility, mortality and net migration.
On 31 January 2006, the function of producing the national projections transferred from the Government Actuary's Department (GAD) to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). These projections were therefore the first to be produced by the ONS in partnership with the National Records of Scotland (NRS), the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) and the Statistical Directorate of the Welsh Government. The ONS published summary results but more detailed results were originally published on the GAD website.
The projections are not forecasts and do not attempt to predict the impact that future government policies, changing economic circumstances or other factors might have on demographic behaviour. They provide an indication of the impact that changes in demographic patterns might have on the size and age structure of the population in the future.
Projections become increasingly uncertain the further they are carried forward and long-term projections should be used with caution. To help understand the uncertainty, a number of variant projections are also produced which are based on alternative demographic scenarios.
National population projections are used as a common framework for national planning and policy making in a number of fields such as fiscal sustainability, health, education and state pensions policy. They also provide the base for other products such as subnational population projections and household projections, which are widely used for resource allocation and planning.
Other useful information
2006-based reference volume No. 26 (1.73 Mb Pdf) : Series PP2
The projections are produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in partnership with the National Records of Scotland (NRS), the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) and the Statistical Directorate of the Welsh Government.