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Population

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 19 May 2008, Official Report, columns 50-51W, on population, what the projected (a) population and (b) population density of (i) the UK, (ii) England, (iii) Scotland, (iv) Wales and (v) Northern Ireland is for the most distant projection made by the Office for National Statistics; and what assumptions about migration have been made in calculating such projections. (207695)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated May 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your question asking what the projected a) population and b) population density of (i) the UK, (ii) England, (iii) Scotland, (iv) Wales and (v) Northern Ireland is for the most distant projection made by the Office for National Statistics; and what assumptions about migration have been used in calculating such projections (207695).

The 2006-based national population projections published results for 75 years ahead, that is, to 2081. Details of how to calculate the population densities for any year of the projections were provided in my reply to your PQ dated 19 May 2008 (205787). Using the country areas provided in this answer, and the projected population totals for 2081, produces the following projected densities:

Projected population density of UK and constituent countries in 2081

Projected population (Million)

Area (sq km)

Density (persons/sq km)

United Kingdom

85

242,495

352

England

75

130,279

574

Wales

3

20,733

168

Scotland

5

77,907

64

Northern Ireland

2

13,576

152

Source:

2006-based national projections, ONS.

The long-term assumptions of annual net migration to the United Kingdom and constituent countries used in these recent national population projections are as follows:

Country

Long-term migration assumption

England

+171,500

Wales

+9,500

Scotland

+8,500

Northern Ireland

500

United Kingdom

+190,000

As previously advised in my reply to your earlier PQ (177459), the underlying assumptions for the projections are demographic trend based and should not be seen as predictions.