THE number of babies born in the whole of the UK is at its highest in four decades, contributing to the fastest population growth in Europe, new figures show.
There was a rise in population of 419,900 in the year up to the end of June 2012, with the total living in the UK at 63.7 million, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
A total of 813,200 births were recorded between June 2011 and June 2012 giving the UK its biggest baby boom since 1972. The rise has been attributed to larger numbers of women in their 20s and 30s becoming mothers, along with an increase in migrant families.
The number of non-UK born mothers was recorded at 25.9 per cent, in contrast to the position ten years ago when only one in six new mothers had been born overseas.
There were 558,000 deaths from June 2011 to June 2012. The ONS said the population increase could be tracked back to the fact that there were 254,400 more births than deaths and net migration levels of 165,600, with many of the migrants coming from China, India, Germany, US, Pakistan, Poland and Australia.
A drop in the number of smokers, plus improvements to health treatments for circulatory illnesses, has seen more men living past the 75-year marker, the ONS said. This is why the number of men aged 75 and over in the UK has increased by just over 26 per cent, or 422,353, since mid-2001.
Migration from overseas accounted for 517,800 of the population flow into the UK, while 352,100 people left the country, putting net migration at 165,600 for the year.
The estimated population of England stood at 53.5 million as of mid-2012, with 5.3 million in Scotland, 3.1 million in Wales and 1.8 million in Northern Ireland. In comparison, France’s population grew by 319,100 in the past year to 65,480,500, while Germany’s population went up by 166,200 to 80,399,300, the ONS said.