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The UK is set to be the most populous country in Europe

In today’s blog post we will be commenting on the repercussions of a recent report by the Statistical Office for the European Union that suggests that the United Kingdom will be the most populated country in Europe by the year 2050.

Currently, the U.K population stands at almost 65 million people, this figure is expected to rise (if current trends continue) to 77.2 million in 2050. Germany is the most populated country in Europe yet the U.K may overtake Germany with their population expected to decline to around 74 million over the same period.

The rise in the U.K’s figures is predominately fuelled by a huge increase in immigration. These figures follow on from the recent Home Office statistics that confirmed not only a 5th consecutive rise in migrations figures but also a net migration figure of 320,000.  With an all time low public opinion of migrants it will be interesting to see what is made of these latest figures.

The latest wave of migrants have travelled from North Africa, the Middle East and parts of Europe and, with no sign of the current humanitarian crisis abating in Calais, Britain is bracing itself for further waves of migrants attempting to illegal enter the United Kingdom.

Eurostat further projected that by 2080 the United Kingdom’s population will have continued to rise to around 85 million whilst Germany’s will have steadily declined to around 65 million (the current U.K population’s level).

The United Kingdom is no stranger to immigration. Historically, it has witnessed immigration from its former colonies over the past century. More recently, and with the opening of EU boarders, new waves of migrants have came from across Europe.

Immigration is a very polemic topic in the United Kingdom and the past few months have seen it take a direct spotlight once again. New measures by the government are seen as a direct result of the target of 100,00 net migration being massively missed. Raising salary limits for Tier 2 migrants, increasing immgration checks and making it harder for students to change their visa in the U.K are all aimed to lower the number of migrants in the country. Whilst the direct benefits or consequences of immigration can be hard to measure, those in favour argue both the economic and cultural advantages. However, critics have highlighted a dilution of British Identity as well as drawing attention to a percieved lack of economic opportunities for British workers due to migrants.

Another fear is the stress that such an increase in population would place on current infastrucutre. Schools, hospitals and other state social services are expected to suffer as a result of such a boom in population.

Overall, immigration once again remains a divisive and polemic subject and these latest statistics do nothing to change this. Whilst non-EU and EU migration continue to rise the current worry is the U.K government’s inability to control migration from within the E.U. This is one of the contributing factors in the rise of right wing, anti-EU parties such as Nigel Farage’s UKIP and today, the 1st September, Home Secretary Theresa May outlined proposals to only allow EU migrants who have jobs lined up entry to the UK.

What do you make of these latest statistics? Can anything be done to limit migration? What should be done? Or is this just a natural consequence of globalisation? Let us know your thoughts below?

Westkin Associates

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