THE devastating effect of Labour’s shambolic immigration policy over the past decade has helped push Britain’s population through the 62-million barrier.
Last year’s 470,000 rise is the biggest for nearly half a century, Government figures revealed yesterday, and is enough people to fill a city the size of Manchester.
The increase took the UK’s population in July 2010 to 62.2 million – 3.1 million more than nine years earlier.
Campaigners said the shocking figures bore out earlier warnings about Labour’s lax immigration policy.
Yesterday Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of MigrationWatch UK, said: “These are astonishing figures.
“They are further evidence that the Government must take urgent steps to get a grip of immigration which is a major factor in this unprecedented population growth.
“The alternative is substantial extra investment in public services for which there is no money.”
We have warned about the results of an open-door immigration policy
Paul Nuttall, MEP and Ukip deputy leader
Paul Nuttall, MEP and Ukip deputy leader, said: “We have warned about the results of an open-door immigration policy.”
Government statisticians yesterday said the 0.8 per cent annual rise – the highest since 1962 – was mainly due to the biggest baby boom in a decade.
In the 12 months to July 2010, there were 797,000 births, around 10,000 more than the previous year and 134,000 more than in 2001/02 when the country’s population was 59.1 million.
The relatively high birth rate among the growing number of immigrant families was a significant factor, the Office of National Statistics said in its statistical bulletin published yesterday.
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Fertility rates of non-UK born females stands at 2.48 children each on average, compared with 1.94 for those women born here.
One in every four babies born in Britain in 2009 was to a migrant mother – the highest since the recording of parents’ country of birth was introduced in 1969.
The net migration boom was fuelled by a drastic fall in people leaving Britain.
Some 574,000 entered the UK last year, up 12,000 on the previous 12 months. But those emigrating fell from 386,000 in 2008/09 to 344,000 a year later.
Last night Immigration Minister Damian Green: “This is yet more evidence of the impact that a decade of uncontrolled migration has had on the UK. Net migration has been too high but the controls and reforms we are introducing will bring it back down to the tens of thousands.”
David Cameron has said he wants to bring annual net migration down to just “tens of thousands” by 2015.
But Oxford University’s Migration Observatory said last week he was unlikely to meet his deadline.