The population of England and Wales was estimated to be 56,567,800 in mid-2012, nearly 400,000 more than the mid-2011 estimate.
The population increase in the year to 30 June 2012 was caused by there being 239,100 more births than deaths (accounting for 60% of the increase) and 155,500 more international migrants arriving than emigrants leaving (39% of the increase), with moves within the UK accounting for the remainder.
Figure 1 shows the annual change in the population of England and Wales during the 10 year period beginning in mid-2002 to mid-2003.
Figure 1: Annual change in mid-year population estimates for England and Wales, years ending mid-2003 to mid-2012
The contribution of net international migration to population change over the period can be clearly seen in Figure 1, making up more than half of population growth in the years ending mid-2003 to mid-2008. From mid-2009 to mid-2011, the contribution to population growth of net international migration and natural change - the balance of births minus deaths - was broadly equal. For the year ending mid-2012, net international migration fell to its lowest level over the period.
The contribution of births minus deaths to population change has increased year on year over the last 10 years. From contributing slightly more than 29% of population growth in the year ending mid-2003, it contributed 60% of population growth in the year ending mid-2012. In the year to mid-2012 the number of births was at a 40 year high - the largest since the year to mid-1972 when there were 748,600 births.
The population of England and Wales has increased by 2,135,300 males (8.3%) and 1,830,400 females (6.8%) over the last ten years. The population pyramid (Figure 2) shows the age and sex structure of the mid-2012 and mid-2002 population.
Figure 2: Population pyramid for England and Wales, mid-2012 compared with mid-2002
- The pyramid stops at age 89, causing the top of the pyramid to be flat. Although the very elderly (those aged 90 and over) are included in the population estimates, estimates by single year of age are are the subject of research that will be published at a later date.
- Data for mid-2002 are revised and based on the 2011 Census results. These figures were first published in December 2012.
The main details shown by the pyramid are:
the increase in the number of males aged 75 and over. While there are more females aged 75 and over than males, the number of males in this age group has increased by 23% since mid-2002. This compares to an increase of slightly more than 5% for females in this age group over the same period;
that at most ages the peaks and troughs present in the pyramid in mid-2002 are visible in the mid-2012 data. The pyramid, however, shows some difference in this pattern for those aged 23 to 33, with the mid-2012 estimate being substantially higher than the mid-2002 one. This clearly shows the effects of immigration into England and Wales during the last decade; and
that there are 591,400 more zero to 6-year-olds in mid-2012 than there were in mid-2002, demonstrating the increase in births which have occurred in recent years. The number of children aged 7 to 16 is 335,500 less than mid-2002.
More details on the latest population estimates for England and Wales can be found in the Annual Mid-year Population Estimates for England and Wales, 2012 statistical bulletin.
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