Letter: More Britons

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The Independent Culture
Sir: If your correspondents wish to bring the UK's population level into the debate on racism, may I ask them to do so on the basis of facts (letters, 8, 10 November)?

The UK's population has expanded every decade this century, from 39 million in 1901, to about 58 million now. The National Statistical Office predicts a further 1,800 000 additional people by 2001, taking the figure to 59,618 000. The furthest prediction is for 2021, when it is estimated the population will have reached 61 million, and still growing.

In the early part of this century net migration was outward, but since 1981 it has been consistently inward, fluctuating between 5,000 and 10,000 per year. As a percentage of population growth, immigration has slightly increased, because of the slowdown in growth due to an excess of births over deaths. Currently the two are about the same.

The above figures are taken from the NSO's annual abstract of statistics for 1999. The real myth over our population is the belief that it is no longer growing.

I dare say, human perfidy being what it is, that racists can find some way of distorting these figures in an attempt to support their cause. I hope anti-racists will not stoop to join them.


Green Party Population Policy Working Group

Market Rasen, Lincolnshire