Busy street full of people

UK population slowdown ‘will halt economic growth and accelerate health problems’

According to a leading population expert, the UK population slowdown will create enormous pressure on health services and slow economic growth.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed predictions in January that the natural population of the UK will begin to decline by 2025 due to falling birth rates and an ageing population.

Bucking a long-term trend, forecasts suggested deaths will surpass births two decades earlier than expected.

Regarding expectation there will soon be more people in older age groups than younger, Chris Murray, the director for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said: “This creates huge challenges to the fiscal stability of social insurance and health insurance.

“Inverted population pyramids will also have profound economic effects.

“Younger workers are the innovators, they are also the individuals who buy capital goods. These effects will slow economic growth.”

“Countries that address this problem by welcoming migrants like Canada, Australia or the US are likely to have higher economic growth than those countries that do not bring in migrants.”

Murray added that population decline will have benefits for climate change, but the rapid increase in average age will accelerate health problems for the elderly and put more pressure on the NHS.

Prior reports by the ONS predicted that there would not be more deaths than births until 2043 based on data from 2018.

However, according to these new predictions 4,000 more people will die compared to people that are born in 2025.

Another estimate from the report suggests the number of people aged 85 or over will double by 2045 to 3.1million.

In the US, the population grew by just 0.1% from July 2020 to July 2021 – the slowest rate than in any other year since the nation was formed.

Falling fertility rates globally, outside of sub-Saharan Africa, could also be linked to rising levels of education for women and an increased global access to contraception.

According to the most updated results by the Office for National Statistics, the resident population of England and Wales was 59,597,300 in March 2021, a 3.5million increase from 2011.

Featured image credit: Paul Buckingham via Geograph under (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles