The UK population reached 67.1m in the twelve months to June 2020, the lowest annual increase since 2001.
New estimates from the Office for National Statistics suggested that the population grew by 284,000 people in the twelve months to June 2020 – at a rate of 0.4 per cent.
Although the UK population continued to grow, it did so at the slowest rate in two decades: since the twelve months to June 2001 when it also grew by 0.4 per cent.
The slowing of the growth rate in this period was largely due to the impact of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic on mortality, the ONS said.
In the year to mid-2020, there were 669,000 deaths: the most in since 1986, and 13 per cent higher than in the year to mid-2019.
In the year to mid-2020, the number of deaths stood at 669,000 according to the ONS estimates: the highest level in 34 years (since mid-1986).
This mortality rate was also 13 per cent higher than the previous year to mid-2019, and around 67,000 higher than the average for the previous five years.
No coronavirus baby boom was evident in the ONS figures – in fact, the number of births recorded in mid-2020 was the lowest in 17 years, and around 56,000 fewer than the average for the last five years.
But unlike in 2019 when more deaths than births were registered in the UK for the first time since 1976, in the year to mid-2020, births did outweigh deaths once again. There were 700,700 births and 669,200 deaths.
The impact of the first coronavirus lockdown restrictions on people’s movement was also reflected in the ONS figures: in the year to mid-2020, there were around 11 per cent fewer internal moves than in the previous year.
“The 12 months to June 2020 can be broken into two clear parts,” said Neil Park, a statistician from the population estimates unit at ONS.
“The first eight months, when births, deaths and migration patterns were similar to trends seen in recent years, and the four months from March, when the first wave of coronavirus hit.
“Some of the clearest impacts of the pandemic can be seen in the increase in the number of deaths and reduction in the number of moves made within the UK.”