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Population:
For the first time ever, the UK has more people aged over 60 than under 16. Today there are five times more people aged over 85 than there were in 1951.

While the population is ageing, growth has also been slower than predictions. The population on census day last year was 58,789,194 - about one million lower than estimates.

THE KEY FACTS
Headline figure: 58,789,194
Figure lower than expected
Population getting older
Internal migration southwards

The average European Union population growth since 1951 has been approximately 23%. The UK is well below that at 17%. By international comparison, Australia's population has shot up by 133% over the same period.

What the UK is experiencing is substantial internal migration. The population of southern England and London is continuing to grow while northern areas decline.

Scotland's population has dropped by 2% in 20 years. In contrast Northern Ireland's population has shot up by 9%.

In England and Wales, the fastest-growing region over the past 20 years was Milton Keynes (+64.4%). Manchester has witnessed the biggest decline (-15.1%).

You can find out lots more about population growth on the official census website. It includes detailed breakdowns of the information for each and every area of the UK.

The UK's population
CHANGES SINCE 1981
Population Change
ENGLAND
North East 2,515,479 - 4.60%
North West 6,729,800 - 3.00%
Yorks/Humber 4,964,838 - 0.90%
E Midlands 4,172,179 + 8.00%
W Midlands 5,267,337 + 1.60%
E England 5,388,154 + 11.00%
London 7,172,036 + 5.40%
South East 8,000,550 + 10.40%
South West 4,928,458 + 12.50%
The nations
SCOTLAND 5,062,011 - 2.00%
WALES 2,903,085 - 3.20%
N IRELAND 1,685,267 + 9.00%

Source: Census 2001

Internet links

Census

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