First half of 2012 sees highest number of births for 40 years

THE NUMBER of births in England and Wales during the first half of 2012 rose dramatically, with more babies born in the period than in any year since 1972.

There were 729,400 births in the six months up to the end of June last year. The number of births subtracted by the number of deaths in England and Wales has been steadily rising for the past decade.

In 2003, in the middle of the year there were only 77,000 more births than deaths. This year, there have been 239,000. In the past, most of the annual increase in population has been attributed to immigrants arriving in the country, a process which is now being reversed.

As recently as 2008, net migration made for a 244,000 increase in population, while births made up for only 204,000. This year, the government’s restrictions on immigration are easily seen in the changing data. Net migration only made up for an increase of 156,000.

New births made up 60 per cent of the increase in population, while immigration only accounted for 39 per cent.

London posted the fastest growth in population between the middle of 2011 and the middle of 2012, with an increase of 1.27 per cent. By contrast, the north east and north west of England grew by only 0.23 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.

Within London, many local authorities saw the largest population rises of any part of England and Wales. The population of Tower Hamlets, the City of London, Camden, Kingston and Hackney all rose by two per cent or more, far above the average.

Kensington and Hammersmith actually saw their populations decline over the period.