The United Kingdom is one of Europe’s most populous countries. More than four Britons out of five live in England, which according to official estimates had just over 56 million residents in 2018. That same year Scotland had 5.4 million residents, Wales 3.1 million and Northern Ireland 1.9 million.
The United Kingdom has relatively high birth rates, although they have fallen in recent years (on average, British women give birth to 1.74 children, compared to almost 2 years in 2010), but almost two-thirds of the population growth is due to immigration. In 2018, just over 14 percent of residents were born outside the country, of which about 60 percent came from countries outside the EU. The number of residents is increasing most rapidly in the London area and other parts of southern England. At the same time, the proportion of older Britons is increasing, almost every fifth of the population is over 65. The fact that the population continues to grow is largely due to immigration.
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Key populations estimated size and data of United Kingdom, including population density of how many people per square mile. Also included are facts for population and language.
The residents are descended from the people who, through the centuries, have gone to the British Isles: Celts, Romans, Angels, Saxons and Normans. Significant immigration from Ireland, the Caribbean, South Asia and Africa took place in the 1950s and 1960s. A large number of people still come to the UK from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, former British colonies in Africa, and from China, the United States, Australia and Saudi Arabia to work and study.
Great immigration from other EU countries
Following the 2004 EU enlargement, immigration from the new Member States accelerated. Up to 2008, perhaps as many as 1.5 million people arrived, many of whom came from Poland. One reason why such a large number applied to the UK was that there were plenty of vacancies. As the British economy deteriorated that year, some of the new immigrants moved home, but far from all. Later figures show that immigration to the country has continued, even during economically tough times in the UK. In 2018, there were about 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK, of which about 900,000 were Poles. That made them one of the largest immigrant groups in the country, along with Romanians, Indians, Irish, Italians and Portuguese.
In 2017, around 1.3 million Britons resided in one EU country, of which over 300,000 in Spain, 280,000 in Ireland and 190,000 in France (according to UN statistics. The UK statistics authority has a lower figure, while others estimate the number of British abroad to about 1.8 million). But many, above all, highly educated Britons also reside in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.
In the negotiations on the UK exit from the EU, Brexit, the question of what conditions should apply to EU citizens residing in the UK and Britons residing in an EU country plays an important role (see Current Policy).
More people are moving to the UK than from there
Various British governments have tried to restrict immigration from overseas countries, including through stricter requirements for those who obtain work permits or visas for study. In 2012, the government began advocating that restrictions should also be imposed on immigrants from other EU countries. But despite all the talk of tougher rules, immigration to the UK continued to increase for a long time. However, a trend break occurred after the Brexit vote in June 2016, when fewer EU citizens moved to the UK than ever before and more left. But there were still more people who immigrated to the UK from other EU countries than who moved from there. After a short decline, immigration from countries outside the EU increased, mainly from various Asian countries. About half of them came to the UK to study. Labor market).
In 2012, when Theresa May, Minister of the Interior, introduced checks on foreign workers to find illegal immigrants. Employers and landlords are then requested to carry out checks, and those who do not run the risk of imposing fines or imprisonment. One group that then got stuck was the so-called Windrush generation, people who immigrated to Britain between 1948 and 1971 from the Caribbean, a large proportion of them as children. In the spring of 2018, it was revealed how hundreds of those who had legal right to live in the country but could not prove it had to quit their jobs, become homeless, lost their right to health care and other social benefits, were locked into special migration centers and in some cases expelled (see Calendar). The government has apologized for how they have been treated and they have also promised damages to those affected (see a clip from the BBC here).
Refugees and asylum policy
In 2002, more than 84,000 people applied for asylum in the United Kingdom, since then the number has dropped significantly due to the fact that the possibilities of appealing a refusal to an asylum application have been limited and restrictions have been imposed on those who are entitled to financial support from the community. More than 29,000 people sought political asylum in the UK in 2018, most from Iran, Iraq, Eritrea, Albania, Sudan and Pakistan. In the same year, more than 15,000 people were granted political asylum. The figures have been at about these levels since 2015.
Britain received criticism during the refugee crisis in 2015 for receiving so few of those who had fled Syria. However, the government promised that the country would receive up to 20,000 Syrians with particularly high protection needs by 2020 (the selection is made with the help of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR). In 2016, another refugee program was added in which the UK undertook to welcome 3,000 children from the Middle East and North Africa. A total of more than 11,600 people had been allowed to come to the UK until March 2018. Those who arrived before 1 July 2017 were entitled to humanitarian protection, while those who arrived after that date were granted refugee status, which, among other things, gives them social benefits, the right to travel. to other countries and study at universities. All of them have been granted temporary residence permits that are valid for five years. Another 8,000 Syrians,
View on immigration, a generation issue
Ahead of the referendum on EU membership in 2016, those who wanted the country to leave cooperation on the dissatisfaction with immigration from EU countries such as Poland and Romania played. The terrorist attacks in the UK in 2017 then diluted the problems. Since then, there has been a significant increase in the number of hate crime notices in England and Wales targeting immigrants (in Scotland and Northern Ireland they have decreased slightly). The way in which immigration is viewed differs between generations; young Britons are generally more positive to people from other countries than those belonging to older generations.
English is the dominant language. Almost a fifth of Wales, according to the 2011 census, had native (Welsh) native language. Nearly 58,000 Scots spoke Scottish-Gaelic.
Nowadays, non-European immigrants who want to move to the UK to marry or live with their partner have to pass a language test.
FACTS – POPULATION AND LANGUAGE
British (English, Scots, Wales, Northern Irish), people from other EU countries or of African, Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese origin and more
Number of residents
66 022 273 (2017)
Number of residents per square kilometer
Percentage of residents in the cities
83.1 percent (2017)
Nativity / birth
11.8 per 1000 residents (2016)
Mortality / mortality
9.1 per 1000 residents (2016)
0.6 percent (2017)
1.8 number of births per woman (2016)
Percentage of women
50.7 percent (2017)
81 years (2016)
Life expectancy for women
83 years (2016)
Life expectancy for men
79 years (2016)
English, Chymric (Welsh), Scottish-Gaelic, various Asian languages, etc.
Students protest university fees
Several thousand students are demonstrating in London to protest against higher university fees (the figures on how many they are vary between 20,000 and 50,000). A smaller group of protesters are taking violence and entering the Conservative Party’s premises in central London. Even later, protests occur, not least on December 9 when the lower house votes on the matter. The question of raising the fee ceiling to a maximum of £ 9,000 a year in England and Wales is particularly sensitive to the Liberal Democrats, who in the election movement had promised to oppose all proposals for higher fees in higher education. The government’s proposal is still voted on by a 21-vote margin.
Defense cooperation with France
As part of the defense defense requirements, the United Kingdom enters into a cooperation agreement with France (see also Foreign Policy and Defense).
New budget savings are announced
When the budget is presented on October 20, it contains substantial savings. In total, the state will save £ 81 billion by 2014/2015, with most ministries getting their appropriations reduced by almost a fifth. Among the most vulnerable are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Environment. Although the Ministry of Defense does not suffer the same cuts, 42,000 jobs are expected to disappear and plans to buy new advanced equipment are abandoned. The rules for those who will receive early retirement are tightened. Savings should also be made on housing subsidies. The appropriations to the municipalities will be reduced by 7 percent from April 2011, and in addition to a previously announced VAT increase, a new bank tax will be introduced to reduce risky lending, among other things. School, care and assistance are some of the few areas that are excluded from savings. According to the government, a total of almost half a million public sector jobs are estimated to disappear in four years. Tankesmedjan Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) criticizes the budget and says that the poorer families with children will be hit hardest by the cuts, as their income percentage decreases the most.
Ed Miliband becomes new Labor leader
Ed Miliband, who was previously Minister of Energy and Climate, is elected new Labor leader. His main opponent is the brother, former Foreign Minister David Miliband. What determines the choice is that Ed Miliband, who occupies a leftist position, receives support from the trade union movement. David Miliband, for his part, has a majority of Labor MPs behind him.
Hard savings in civilian crisis budget
Finance Minister Osborne’s crisis budget includes, among other things, a VAT increase, a two-year pay cut is introduced for public servants who earn more than £ 21,000 a year, tax deductions are abolished for families with children who earn more than £ 40,000 a year, and the retirement age should be gradually increased to 66 years. Almost all ministries should have their appropriations cut at the same time as corporate taxes are gradually reduced from 28 percent to 24 percent. In order to protect the weakest groups, the income tax is completely eliminated for those with the lowest wages and two billion pounds is to be spent on children in the poorest families. Osborne promises to have the state’s finances in balance within five years.
David Cameron new prime minister
The Conservative party forms a coalition government together with the Liberal Democrats, with David Cameron as prime minister and Nick Clegg as vice prime minister. Two conservative politicians, George Osborne and William Hague, become finance minister and foreign minister respectively.
Labor is losing the election
Neither party succeeds in winning its own majority in the May 5 election. The largest party will be the Conservative Party with 36 percent of the vote and 306 seats, while Labor will receive 29 percent and 258 seats, the Liberal Democrats 23 percent and 57 seats, the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) 1.7 percent and 6 seats, the Green Party 1 percent and 1 seat, Sinn Féin 0.6 percent and 5 seats, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 0.6 percent and 8 seats, Plaid Cymru 0.6 percent and 3 seats, and SDLP 0.4 percent and 3 seats. More than 65 percent of UK voters vote in the election.
Success for Clegg in the first televised election debate
In it, the party leaders from the three largest parties, Labor’s Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg, will take part in the May elections. Clegg is doing well, which results in opinion polls.