1. Introduction

This article provides a summary of the results of the 2016-based national population projections for the UK and provides additional charts and summary tables illustrating the results of the projections. For discussion of the results see the statistical bulletin.

Included in this report are:

  • results, which can also be examined using the interactive population pyramids, which allow comparisons of the projected age structure up to mid-2116

  • comparison with the results of the 2014-based national population projections

  • estimated and projected total population, year ending mid-1971 to year ending mid-2091

  • estimated and projected births and deaths, year ending mid-1971 to year ending mid-2091

  • percentage age distribution for the period, year ending mid-1971 to year ending mid-2091

  • change in the projected population at 2041 by age and sex compared with the 2014-based projections

This chapter focuses on the principal projection. Discussion of the results of the variant projections can be found in the variants chapter.

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2. Summary of results

Results

The UK population is projected to increase from an estimated 65.6 million in mid-2016 to 72.9 million by mid-2041. Of the projected 7.3 million increase between mid-2016 and mid-2041, approximately 2.8 million (39%) is because of projected natural increase (more births than deaths) while around 4.4 million (61%) is because of net migration.

Summary results tables

Table 2.1 summarises the projection results by components of change from mid-2016 to mid-2041 for the UK. The equivalent tables for the constituent countries of the UK are found in appendices A to D.

Charts of summary results

This section presents charts for the UK for the year ending mid-1971 to the year ending mid-2091. The equivalent charts for the constituent countries of the UK are available in the appendices A to D.

Figure 2.1 shows the estimated and projected total population in the UK between mid-1971 and mid-2091. The UK population is projected to continue to rise gradually over the period to mid-2091.

Figure 2.2 shows the estimated and projected births and deaths in the UK. The trends seen in the first year of the projection are the result of constraining the projections to the provisional estimates of births and deaths for the year ending mid-2017.

Figure 2.3 shows how the age distribution of the UK is projected to change. The median age of the population increases through the projection period.

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3. Comparison with previous projections

Base population

Overall, the published mid-2016 population estimate for the UK is about 76,000 (0.1%) higher than the 2014-based projection of the population at mid-2016.

Projected future population

The projected population of the UK at mid-2041 is about 2.0 million (2.6%) lower than in the 2014-based projections. This is because the 2016-based projections assume lower levels of long-term net international migration, a slower rate of increase in life expectancy and a reduction in the long-term assumed number of children born to women compared with the 2014-based projections.

At mid-2041, populations are projected to be lower than in the 2014-based projections for all four countries of the UK. The percentage difference by mid-2041 is greatest for England where the 2016-based projection is 3.0% lower than the 2014-based projections when comparing the principal population projection. For Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the differences by mid-2041 are 0.1%, 0.4% and 0.1% lower respectively.

Compared with the previous projections, the UK population at mid-2041 is also lower in all broad age groups with the exception of the 60 to 74 group where it is 118,000 higher than the 2014-based projections.

Comparisons with the previous projections (2014-based NPPs) are given in Table 2.2 and illustrated in Figure 2.4

At mid-2041, populations are projected to be lower than in the 2014-based projections in all broad age groups with the exception of those in their early 50s to early 70s.

The equivalent charts for the constituent countries of the UK can be found in the relevant appendices.

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4. Appendix A: England charts

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5. Appendix B: Wales charts

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6. Appendix C: Scotland charts

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7. Appendix D: Northern Ireland charts

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Contact details for this Compendium

Andrew Nash
pop.info@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0) 1329 44 4661