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Population Trends

1.4 How is migration in each area expected to change in the future?

Forecasting future migration levels is extremely difficult because the drivers of migration are so complex. ONS produces population projections for the UK and local authorities based on a number of assumptions, such as the fertility rate, life expectancy and the level of migration. These figures therefore provide some indication of future changes in the size of the immigrant population in relation to the rest of the UK population. Population projections come with significant uncertainty as a result of changing demographic and economic trends as well as changes to government policy, including migration policy. Users should bear in mind that the UK’s actual future immigrant and total populations are bound to differ from these projections.

Population projections are provided separately for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and generally cover a period of 25 years.

Figure 10 shows the total projected population change in English local authorities between 2016 and 2041. It also shows ‘natural change’ – i.e., the expected population change due to the number of births minus the number of deaths – and population change due to net international migration and net internal (within-UK) migration.

Download the source data in this table for England from ONS

Download the source data in this table for Scotland from NRS

Figure 10: Population change components in the UK, by local authority (2018-based)

Source: ONS, NISRA, NRS and StatsWales; prepared by Migration Observatory for the Migration Observatory Local Data Guide

Data Notes ?

Internal migration includes cross-border migration within the UK. Internal migration figures are unavailable for Northern Ireland. Figures may not sum to totals due to rounding.


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Last updated: 2020-09-09