Over-populated England


News that England is poised to become the most crowded nation in western Europe will come as little surprise to the millions who already battle their way to work in London and the South East.

Within two years, England will overtake Holland as the most populous major country – and it will get progressively worse.

According to the Office for National Statistics, England’s population will rise to 521 people for every square kilometre by 2056, compared with 390 individuals per sq km in 2006.

England is already one of the most densely populated countries in the world, let alone in Europe. It has nearly twice the population density of Germany, four times that of France and 12 times that of the USA.

Inevitably, the South will take the brunt of the increase, placing further strain on housing and transport, which are already almost at breaking point.

The main driver for this increase is immigration, which has also produced higher levels of childbirth. More people are also living to a ripe old age. If current trends continue, then the UK population could rise to 108 million in a lifetime.

Until fairly recently, demographers believed the population would stabilise at around 60 million and then decline. In other words, there was no long-term policy planning for the population we have today, let alone what we now face.

The inevitable consequences are less space, more costly land, smaller but dearer homes, congested roads, packed trains, overburdened hospitals, oversubscribed schools, new towns and pressures on resources.

Since England will remain an attractive destination for many immigrants, who often bring their entrepreneurial dynamism with them, it would help matters if more people moved to other, less crowded parts of Britain.

But we are such a top-heavy nation, with a capital city more dominant than any in Europe, that this is unlikely to happen unless more jobs are created elsewhere in the country.

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