The latest census figures show that the population of England and Wales has increased by 6.3 per cent during the last decade. According to the Office for National Statistics, there are now 59.6 million people living in the two countries.
The last census, published in 2011, revealed a rise of 7.8 per cent on the 10 years before that. While the rate of increase may have slowed since, the direction of travel continues to point upward, as it does for many other countries across the world.
What to make of such news? Looking past the obvious impacts that a swelling global population is having on the environment around us – mass deforestation, growing eutrophication and rising temperatures, to name but a few – here in the UK, the government will face a number of fresh challenges as it grapples with the effects of a changing population.
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