The charts below show the most recent official data on the UK population. The ONS estimates are published each summer showing what the population was 12 months prior (so the figures published in 2017 show the population estimate for mid 2016).
UK population 1991-2015 (millions)
How will the UK's population grow in the future? The below chart uses 2014 as a base year and projects forward assuming a number of different scenarios.
England's population has risen by around 7 million since 1991, with greater increases during the 2000s.
The population of Scotland fell during the late 90s and early 00s, but has risen quickly since.
Life expectancy in the UK has increased steadily over previous decades. The UK has more older people and they are staying in work longer. The following series of charts show how the population is changing.
Estimated population of the very old
This chart shows the number of people aged 90 or over per 100,000 of the UK population. In 2014, there were over half a million people aged 90 and over in the UK. There is a significant gender gap amongst the very old: for every 100 men aged 90 and over, there were 249 women. The number of centenarians have risen by 72% over the past ten years and was 14,450 in 2014.
Female to male ratio (aged 90 and over)
This chart shows the number of women aged 90 and over for every 100 men of those ages, from 1990 to 2014. The ratio peaked in the late 1980s: Spanish flu and WW1 had a disproportionate impact on men, killing those who would otherwise have been 90 or over. The downward trend since then is due to greater improvements in male mortality relative to female mortality.
Estimates of number of centenarians (people aged 100+)
Over the last 30 years, the number of centenarians has increased massively. The ratio of female centenarians to male has started to fall in recent years due to improvements in male mortality. In 2002, there were over 8 female centenarians for every 1 male; by 2014, there were around 5.5.
How has immigration affected the UK population? Is it behind the increase in growth, or are changes to the birth and rates rates the real cause?
UK Long Term migration
This chart shows immigration to the UK from the EU and non-EU countries immigration to the UK since 2006. Net migration is the total of both these figures, minus outflows. Figures shown are in thousands, and data is for the 12 months prior to December in any given year.
UK total fertility rate
The fertility rate fell during the 90s, before rising again during the 00s. Some suggest that EU immigration is linked to the rise in fertility as eastern European migrants have tended to be younger and ready to start families.
Death rate (england and wales)
This chart shows the ASMRs (Age Standardised Mortality Rates for England and Wales from 2001 to 2015. ASMRs are a better way to assess mortality rather than simple numbers as they take into account population size, age structure and age distribution. The long term trend is an improvement in mortality.
Population data sources
- 2015 population estimate (ONS)
- 2014 population estimate (ONS)
- 2013 population estimate (ONS)
- 2012 population estimate (ONS)
- 2011 population estimate (ONS)
- 2010 population estimate (ONS)
- 2001-2010 population estimate (ONS)
- 1991-2000 population estimates (ONS)
- Estimates of the very old: England and Wales, and UK (ONS)
- Mid year population estimates 2002-2014 (centenarians) (ONS)
- UK population projection (migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk)
- ASMRs for England and Wales (ONS)