LONDON (Reuters) – Immigration is expected to add 6.1 million people to the UK population by mid-2036, according to official projections that will increase pressure on British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on a key issue as the next election approaches.
The UK population will grow from 67 million people in mid-2021 to 73.7 million in mid-2036, driven almost exclusively by immigration, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) forecast in the report.
Immigration has become a dominant issue on the UK political scene and will play a major role in the national election later this year. Currently, Sunak's conservative party is likely to lose power, according to opinion polls.
The projected jump over the 15-year period also reflects a forecast of 541,000 more births than deaths, the Cabinet Office said.
Figures published in November showed immigration in the UK to hit 745,000 in 2022. Cabinet projections assume an annual immigration stock of 315,000 from the period ending in mid-2028.
Last month, the government announced tougher visa measures, including higher salaries and restrictions on family members, to reduce the numbers.
(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar, Additional reporting by Movieja M)
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