THE POPULATION of the UK has passed 65 million for the first time after rising by more than half a million in a year, official figures have revealed.
There are now 65.1 million people living in the UK with more than 54.7m of those living in England which has seen a bigger increase than anywhere else in the Uk.
The latest statistics also show there were 5,391,000 people living in Yorkshire in mid 2015, an increase of more than 30,000 on 12 months earlier.
The largest growth in the UK has been seen in London where the population of 8,674,000 is 135,024 (two per cent) higher than in 2014 and more than 16 per cent higher than it was a decade ago.
Yorkshire’s population is one per cent higher than it was last year.
Nationally natural population growth - where there are more births than deaths - has led to an increase of 171,800 people between mid 2014 and 2015.
However the biggest driver of the rising population was net international migration of 335,600 over the 12 months. The figures indicate it accounted for just under two-thirds (65 per cent) of the annual change.
Migration was also the main reason for the population increasing in the region.
It accounted for 20,900 of the increase with natural growth adding another 11,900.
The national increase of 513,000, or 0.8 per cent, mean the population has risen by around 4.7m in 10 years.
The Office for National Statistics said the rise over the 12 months to mid-2015 was similar to the average annual increase seen in the last decade.
Population change because of “natural change” is at its lowest level since the year to mid-2006, the ONS said.
Its report said: “The number of births has decreased on last year’s figure and is below the average for the period, while there was an increase in the number of deaths since last year, partly attributed to flu outbreaks in early 2015.”
Simon Ross, chief executive of charity Population Matters, said: “The UK population is growing faster than even the concerning trend of recent years.
“Near-record net migration and an excess of births over deaths, to which migration also contributes, are combining to keep the UK near the top of the European population growth league table.”
Alp Mehmet, vice chairman of campaign group Migration Watch UK, said: “These figures confirm that our population is growing by around half a million annually - the equivalent of a city the size of Liverpool every year.
“As the population grows beyond our capability to provide for it, pressure on housing, schooling, healthcare and transport will become ever more critical.
“This is unacceptable to the majority of the public who wish to see net migration reduced.”
England saw the biggest jump in population, with a rise of 469,700, or 0.86 per cent, to 54,786,300.
The population of Scotland increased by 25,400 (0.47 per cent) to 5,373,000;.
Wales rose by 7,100 (0.23 per cent) to 3,099,100; and Northern Ireland was up by 11,100 (0.60 per cent) to 1,851,600.
The older population continues to grow, with more than 11.6 million people - 17.8 per cent of residents - aged 65 and over, and 1.5m (2.3 per cent) aged 85 and over.
Since mid-2005, the UK population aged 65 and over and aged 85 and over have increased by 21 per cent and 31 per cent respectively.