Baby boom as UK’s population hits 63.7m

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THE UK has had its biggest baby boom in 40 years leading to a population surge of more than 400,000, new official figures show.

The growth of 419,900 means the UK population now stands at 63.7 million.

Baby boomers

Baby boomers

In the 12 month period up to the end of June last year Yorkshire’s population rose by 28,500 to 5,316,691.

There are now 2,698,653 women and 2,618,038 men living in the region.

Most of this increase is down to birth rates being higher than deaths but just over a third of the rise is because of international migration into the region, the figures reveal.

Overall, the UK’s population increase can be tracked back to the fact that there were 254,400 more births than deaths and net migration levels of 165,600, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Many of the migrants are coming from China, India, Germany, USA, Pakistan, Poland and Australia, according to the figures.

The result show the UK had its biggest baby boom since 1972, with 813,200 births recorded in the past year, while there were 558,800 deaths during this period.

That played a significant part in the UK having the biggest growth of any country in Europe and now being the third largest EU nation behind Germany and France.

France’s population grew by 319,100 in the past year to 65,480,500 while Germany’s population went up by 166,200 to 80,399,300.

The number of non-UK born mothers was recorded at 25.9 per cent, in contrast to the position 10 years ago when only one in six new mothers had been born overseas.

There are fears that this could put added pressure on hospitals.

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said another 5,000 midwives are needed in England to provide services for new mothers and their children.

She said: “In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, births are at recent highs. Births in England are continuing to boom, with the proportion of births to the oldest women growing faster than for younger women.

“This places considerable pressures on maternity services and we are struggling to provide high quality antenatal and postnatal care.

“Despite recent welcome increases in the numbers of midwives, there is still a shortage.

“Maternity care is the earliest health intervention of all and getting care right for mothers and babies is a vital part of supporting families and building a foundation for good health in later life.”

A drop in the number of people smoking, plus improvements to health treatments for circulatory illnesses, has seen more men living past the 75-year marker, the ONS said.

This is why the number of men aged 75 and over in the UK has increased by just over 26 per cent, or 422,353, since mid-2001 to 2,043,034. Migration from overseas accounted for 517,800 of the population flow into the UK while 352,100 people left the country, putting net migration at 165,600 for the year.

The estimated population of England stood at 53.5 million as of mid-2012, with 5.3 million in Scotland, 3.1 million in Wales and 1.8 million in Northern Ireland. A 104,000 surge in London’s population accounts for around a quarter of the UK’s 419,900 population growth.

London saw the greatest numbers on the move within the UK with a net loss of more than 51,000 people who moved out, largely to the South East and East of England, the ONS data records.

Together London, the South East and the East of England accounted for 53 per cent of growth across the UK in the year while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland jointly accounted for eight per cent.