05 Nov 2014

A New Debate on EU Migrants

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A recent report published by University College London suggests that new EU migrants have contributed almost £5 billions to the UK economy between 2004 and 2011. The report suggests that after taking into account costs of all public services, including those that increase with additional migrants coming into the country such as health and education as well as fixed costs such as the armed forces.

It is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind in recent years and which looks at a wide time span of 7 years. A fuller account of this study can be found on the BBC website. The study has fuelled another debate on the merits or otherwise of allowing EU migrants arriving in the UK especially since the joining of Assession or A10 countries to the EU in 2004. It adds to the political wrangling over migration becoming a central issue for the UK Parliamentary elections due in 2015.

Our view is that there may be much more pressing issues for political parties to argue about and satisfy the electorate on, in respect of problems faced by society at home and abroad than to argue over migration which is very small in the scheme of things so long as it is legally justified.

26 Oct 2011

New UK population estimates for the next 25 years

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today released it’s estimates of UK population growth for the next 25 years. They quote the following salient points:
  • The UK population is projected to increase by 4.9 million from an estimated 62.3 million in 2010 to 67.2 million over the ten year period to 2020
  • Projected natural increase (more births than deaths) accounts for 56 per cent of the projected increase over the next decade
  • The UK population is projected to increase to 73.2 million over the 25 year period to mid-2035, which is equivalent to an average annual growth rate of 0.6 per cent
  • The UK population is projected to reach 70 million by mid-2027
  • The population is projected to continue ageing with the average (median) age rising from 39.7 years in 2010 to 39.9 years in 2020 and 42.2 by 2035
Given below is a chart showing the ONS estimates in so far as migration and natural births and deaths will have an impact on the UK population in the next 25 years:
Total at start 		62.3	64.8	67.2	69.4	71.4

Births			4.2	4.2	4.1	4.0	4.0
Deaths			2.8	2.8	2.9	3.0	3.2
Natural change		1.4	1.4	1.2	1.0	0.8
Net migration		1.1	1.0	1.0	1.0	1.0
Total change		2.5	2.4	2.2	2.0	1.8

Population at end	64.8	67.2	69.4	71.4	73.2

One of the key findings is in respect of numbers of people ageing. The average age of the UK population will rise from 39.9 years in 2010 to 42.2 years in 2035. The numbers of people aged 75 and over will double in the next 25 years from 4.9 million to 8.9 million. The numbers of people in the oldest age group is expected to rise the highest from 1.4 million of people aged 85 and over, to become 3.5 million by 2035 and numbers of people aged between 60-74 to rise from 9.2 million in 2010 to 12 million in 2035.

One of the forecasts relates to numbers of people of state pension age (SPA). The figures for these will increase by 28 per cent from 12.2 million to 15.6 million by 2035. By 2035, even given future planned changes in SPA, there will be significant impact. Currently there are 3.15 person of working age for every person of SPA. By 2035 there will be 2.87 person of working age for every person of SPA.

All of these findings, the ONS points out, are predictions based on a number of factors and the furthest the time period for which predictions are made, the more inaccuracies may be inherent in calculations. However we, at Swansea Bay REC, believe that these predictions must be taken seriously and acted upon in order for authorities to plan well in advance for such changes in our population.