The population of the United Kingdom was estimated to be 63.7 million in mid-2012 which was nearly 420,000 higher than the mid-2011 estimate. The population increase of the UK in the year to 30 June 2012 was as a result of there being 254,400 more births than deaths (61% of the increase) and 165,600 more international migrants arriving than emigrants leaving (39% of the increase).
Comparing population age and sex structure with mid-2001
Since mid-2001, the population of the UK has increased by 2,482,800 males (8.6%) and 2,109,200 females (7.0%). The population pyramid below shows the age and sex structure of the mid-2012 and mid-2001 population, along with some important trends in the demographics of the UK.
For instance, the number of males aged 75 and over in the UK has increased by 26% since mid-2001. However, for females in this age group there has been an increase of slightly more than 6%. The reason for this fast improvement in male mortality is largely a result of changes in tobacco smoking and advances in health treatments for circulatory illnesses. Also, male occupations over the same period have become less physical and safer.
We can see in the chart that the number of births has increased year on year. There were 581,800 more zero to six year olds in mid-2012 compared with mid-2001. Although, the number of children aged 7 to 16 was less than mid-2001 (453,300) because of the lower birth rates around the turn of the century.
The mid-2012 estimates also show a change in those aged 23 to 33, which is likely a result of new population being added from the outside through immigration. We can see that the profile of this age group is much wider and flatter than in mid-2001.
Chart 1: Population pyramid for the UK; mid-2012 compared with mid-2001
- Source: Office for National Statistics, National Records of Scotland, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Regional population highlights in the year to mid-2012
The population growth shows some interesting trends across regions of the UK. A quarter of the growth in population of the UK occurred in London where the population grew by 104,000 in the year to mid-2012. London, the South East, and East of England accounted for over half (53%) of the growth seen across the UK in the year. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland together accounted for fewer than 8% of the in-year growth.
London had the largest natural change of all regions with 86,000 more births than deaths whereas Scotland had the lowest natural change with just 4,200 more births than deaths. London was the destination for over a third of international migrants arriving in the UK and had the highest net international migration of all regions at 69,000. Northern Ireland had the lowest net international migration.
More people from other parts of the UK moved to the South East of England than any other region, leading to a 26,000 population increase. London saw the greatest outflow of people to other parts of the UK of any region, with a net loss of over 51,000 people.
Chart 2: Population change of the UK in the year to mid-2012 by country and region
These statistics were compiled and analysed by the Population Estimates Unit at the ONS using mid-year population data. If you’d like to find out more about the latest population estimates for the United Kingdom you can read the full statistical bulletin and see further stories on population. If you have any comments or suggestions, we’d like to hear them! Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.