Population of England exceeds 50 million for the first time

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They show that the total in mid-2004 was up 238,000 on mid-2003 - a rise of 0.5 per cent. That total for June last year was estimated at 50.1 million. In the United Kingdom overall, the population last year was 59.8 million - a rise of 0.5 per cent, or 281,200 people. This means the UK total will probably reach 60 million this year.

The population of Wales in 2004 was 2.9 million and Northern Ireland 1.7 million - both representing rises of 0.5 per cent. Scotland's total was estimated at 5.1 million - an increase of 0.4 per cent. The ONS research also revealed that the United Kingdom's elderly population was still growing. The number 85 and over rose from 873,300 to 1,111,600 between 1991 and 2004.

This group accounts for 1.9 per cent of the total population - and it is made up mostly of women. In 2004, there were 322,800 males and 788,800 females in the category.

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