Posted by Wendy Zhou on 3. Aug 2010
Britain will be the biggest country in Europe by 2050, overtaking both France and Germany, according to official projections.
Britain will see its population swell from today's 62.2 million to 77 million, an increase of 24 percent.
This will make it bigger than France, projected to be 70 million and Germany, which is predicted to have 71.5 million citizens.
The forecasts come from the Population Reference Bureau, a US body which supplies data to governments and institutions around the world.
The predictions suggest that Britain will see its population increase over the next 40 years at a far faster rate than nearly every other European country. The extra 15 million equates to the combined populations of Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool being added to the total national population over the next two generations.
Britain's population has started to climb sharply in recent years. Last year the Office for National Statistics indicated that mothers had more children than at any time since 1973.
Immigrant mothers accounted for more than half of the increase in births, but the fertility rate among British-born women also rose sharply.
The Population Reference Bureau predicts that France's population, in contrast, will increase at half the rate, adding 7 million to its 63 million. While Germany will actually see its population fall sharply from 81.6 million to 71.5 million because of a lack of immigration, and a far lower birth rate than that in Britain. It already has the second oldest population in the world after Japan, with one in five of all Germans over the age of 65.
Europe, in total, will see its population dip from 739 million to 720 million, because of its low birth rate.
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