Last week the Office for National Statistics released a report with estimates that the UK population is projected to increase by 9.7 million over the next 25 years from an estimated 64.6 million in mid-2014 to 74.3 million in mid-2039.
Thats a rather large increase. Of the extra 9.7 million most could be attributed to immigration.
Thus about 68% of the projected increase in the population over the period mid-2014 to mid-2039 is either directly attributable to future migration (51% of projected National population projections,
growth), or indirectly attributable to future migration through its effect on births and deaths (17% of projected growth).
A good thing for the UK? No definitely not. The UK already has an unsustainable population level with the associated problems of a lack of land to feed the population, high density living, housing issues and increasing loss of biodiversity.
It would help the economy? Thats a big fallacy, yes total output would increase but its the output per person that counts. Looking just at output also misses the point there is more to life that the output of goods and services.
But we could cope? If you mean could we support more people then yes we could but the impact on land-use, housing and infrastructure would be considerable.
What is the alternative? Essentially moving towards a steady state population and economy. We should be working towards reducing the population not increasing it.
But does that not go against the natural trend? No not at all. We know the factors that influence population growth whether though population movement or natural growth. All are the result of economic and social factors which governments can and do alter. And the tendency for all societies has been to reduce the birth rate as people have realised that just having lots of children is of use whatsoever!
A final point? A simple easy question for all those sustainability deniers who assert that population growth is good and that is what is the point of increasing the population? What is the benefit?