The unsustainable population of England continues to rise by over a million every three years, ten times the combined rise in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Here’s our graph with the updated ONS mid 2018 population estimates released yesterday. There has been no population density increase in Scotland population up by just 13,300, no population density increase in Wales population up by just 13,466 and no population density increase in Northern Ireland population up by just 10,807. The population density increased in England from 427 in 2017 to 430 in 2018 & the population grew by 357,748. That means 90.5% of population growth in the UK actually occurred in England and that’s over a million extra people in England every three years. England has a land area of just 242,495 km² for comparison France is 643,801 km², Germany is 357,386 km², Poland is 312,679 km² and Romania is 238,397 km².

UK and EU population density 2018

In response to these figures Population Matters director Robin Maynard says

“These figures give no grounds for complacency about UK population growth. Birth rates and migration fluctuate from year to year but our already unsustainable population is continuing to rise and that will continue until a positive strategy is put in place to address it. 

“The government has announced ambitious plans to achieve a zero carbon economy but by ignoring our unsustainable population growth, it is driving with the brakes on. More people means more emitters and more emissions. Our growing numbers are incompatible with our climate change commitments, the health of our environment and our quality of life.

“Unlike the government, the electorate  fully understands that action to address this challenge is vital. A Population Matters poll last year found that 74% of people support a national strategy to address population, 64% think projected population growth is too high and just 2% – that’s one-in-fifty- think it is too low (1). The public concern is real – the government needs to respond. 

“It’s time for a reasoned, evidence-based and honest public debate about population. There are effective, ethical measures that can and should be taken to ensure a sustainable population, one that’s consistent with the environmental commitments we’ve made and the quality of life we all deserve. Population Matters is calling for an integrated, strategic, evidence-based Sustainable Population Policy in the UK (2). That needs to happen now.”  Population matters website