The population of England and Wales grew by an estimated 1% in the year to June 2022, the fastest rate for 60 years, figures show.
The increase was driven mostly by international migration, rather than natural change – unlike the baby boom which fuelled the growth in the early 1960s.
Some 60.2 million people are estimated to have made up the population of England and Wales in mid-2022, a jump of 577,514 (1.0%) on a year earlier.
This is up sharply from population growth of just 0.2% in the year to mid-2020 and 0.4% in the year to mid-2021, according to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It is also the fastest rate since the year to June 1962, when growth was also 1.0%.
The population of England and Wales at mid-year 2022 was estimated to be 60.2 million.
An increase of around 578,000 (1.0%) since mid-year 2021.
— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) November 23, 2023
Net migration accounted for 531,173 of the population change in the year to mid-2022, while natural change – the number of births minus the number of deaths – was responsible for just 46,341.
The net migration figure covers both internal and international movement of people, though net internal migration stood at a negative figure of around -9,800, meaning more people left England and Wales for elsewhere in the UK than moved the other way.
Net international migration stood at around 541,000 – more than 11 times higher than the figure for natural change.
There was a small increase in the number of births for mid-2022 in England and Wales compared with mid-2021, but the number was still lower than in all the years between mid-2003 and mid-2020.
Neil Park of the ONS said: “The population of England and Wales has grown at the fastest rate seen since 1962, however, unlike the baby boom driving population growth in the 1960s, the increases in our latest estimates are predominately being driven by international migration.
“The picture varies across regions. In fact, the rate of population growth was higher in the north of England than in the south, with London having the lowest rate of population increase.”