Northern Ireland's population hits record high
NORTHERN Ireland's population has reached a record high with the number of people now registered as living in the north having increased by 11,100 in the last year.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Northern Ireland's population increased by 0.60 per cent to 1,851,600.
While England saw the biggest increase, its population growing at a rate of 0.86 per cent in the last year, Northern Ireland came in second ahead of Scotland and Wales.
The population of Britain and Northern Ireland as a whole passed 65 million for the first time after rising by more than half a million in the last year.
Population change due to natural change, births and deaths is at its lowest level in the last ten years.
The ONS report stated that the number of births decreased on last year's figure and is below the average for the period, while there was an increase in the number of deaths since last year, partly attributed to flu outbreaks in early 2015.
Meanwhile, an increase in immigration, which was up by 53,700, and a decrease in emigration down 22,300 contributed to the increase in net international migration compared to that seen the previous year.
The figures were released hours after the polls opened in the EU referendum and come after a campaign which has been dominated by debate over immigration.
Simon Ross, chief executive of charity Population Matters, said: "The UK population is growing faster than even the concerning trend of recent years.
"Near-record net migration and an excess of births over deaths, to which migration also contributes, are combining to keep the UK near the top of the European population growth league table."