Population Hits Record 61m

The UK population has exceeded 61 million for the first time, the National Statistics Office has revealed.

Residency grew by 408,000 last year, bringing the total population figure to 61.4 million.

Birth and death rates now contribute more to fluctuation levels than any other factor.

Around 791,000 babies were born in the UK last year, up 33,000 on 2007.

The number of people aged over 85 now sits at 1.3 million, representing 2% of the population.

Overall migration levels - the numbers of people arriving minus those leaving - fell by 44% to 118,000.

This is the lowest level since EU enlargement.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: "The fall in net migration is further proof that migrants come to the UK for short periods of time, work, contribute to the economy and then return home.

"Our new flexible points-based system gives us greater control on those coming to work or study from outside Europe, ensuring that only those that Britain need can come.

"The British people can be confident that immigration is under control."

Annual population growth rate is now 0.7%, which is more than double the rate in the 1990s and three times the level of the 1980s.


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