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Release: National Population Projections, 2012-based projections

Released: 06 November 2013 Next edition: 10 December 2013


Denise E Williams

Population Projections Unit

Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444652

Categories: Population, Population Change, Population Projections, National Population Projections

Frequency of release: Biennially

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: Country

  • The UK population is projected to increase by 4.3 million from an estimated 63.7 million in mid-2012 to 68.0 million by mid-2022 and to 73.3 million over the 25 year period to mid-2037.

  • The UK population is projected to reach 70 million in 2027.

  • The population of the UK is projected to continue ageing with the number of people aged 80 and over in the UK to more than double to 6 million by mid-2037.

National population projections are available by age and sex for the UK and its constituent countries. They are based on the mid-year population estimates for 2012 and a set of underlying assumptions of future levels of fertility, mortality and net migration.

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. Nine variants are published with this release and a further seven will be published on 10 December.

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. Further information on the fitness for purpose of the population projections can be found in the Quality and Methodology Information paper for national population projections (113.3 Kb Pdf)

Other Useful Tools and Information

  • an Interactive table download tool - that enables users to find the reference table they need; allowing them to select the country, variant and table content,
  • Interactive population pyramids - that are animated graphically to show how the age and sex structure of the population is projected to change in the UK under different scenarios for the latest set of projections.
  • Interactive graphs - for the principal population projection and the associated components of population change to mid-2037. Users can select the country they wish to look at and for the population can select from some predefined age groups
  • Mid-2012 population estimates for UK

The projections are produced 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. 

These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.