After spending the last two weeks of term in Uganda with a group of students, one of the pleasures on coming home was to check through home newspapers for any important geography articles that appeared while I was away.
One such article was the release of 2011 population census data from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) – an essential update for any population geography lessons.
The 2011 census revealed that the UK population has now reached 63.1 million – an increase on 4 million in the past decade, the largest population increase in a single decade since the first modern census in 1801. This growth rate is the equivalent of adding a city the size of Manchester to our population each year. More than half of this population growth has been attributed to immigration, with two thirds moving here from non-EU countries.
The official figures also showed:
# England is now the third most densely populated country in Europe behind Malta and the Netherlands.
# 1 in 6 people in England and Wales are over 65 years old. This totals 9 million people ( a figure that will swell by more than 2 million more in the next three years as the post war baby boomer generation retires).
# The number of centurions has risen by two thirds to 11,000
# Growth in the elderly population has created a ‘generation divide’, with older people dominating parts of the south west, coastal areas, East Anglia and Wales.
# England and Wales has experienced another ‘bay boom’ with the number of children under 5 rising by 13%.
# There are now three significant bulges in our population pyramid: (1) Pensioners; (2) 20 – 30 years old (including immigrant workers); and (3) Young children
# There are over half a million more people in England and Wales than previously estimated – putting extra pressure on schools, hospitals and infrastructure.
# London and the south east have experienced the biggest population growth with declining or negligible in the old industrial areas of the north east, north west and parts of Wales.
# Average people per household was 2.4 – compared to 4.3 in 1911