THE UK could have the largest population in Europe as the latest figure revealed it is close to overtaking France. The report said: “During 2016 as many births as deaths were
recorded in the EU (5.1 million), meaning that the natural change of the EU population was neutral.“The population change (with 1.5 million more inhabitants) was therefore due
to net migration.”It comes after Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed Britain’s population had seen its sharpest increase in nearly 70 years, largely due to mass
immigration.The ONS report revealed that eight east European countries had almost 100 times more of their citizens living in the UK than Britons in their countries. About 1.3
million people from Poland and seven other eastern European states (EU8) were living in the UK between 2013 and 2015 but only 14,100 Britons lived in those same eight
countries – with 42 per cent residing in the Czech republic.The figures highlighted from the EU8 since 2004 when Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia joined the bloc.Neil Park, head of the Population Estimates Unit for OHS, said: “The population of the UK continued to grow in the year to mid-2016 at a similar rate to that seen over recent years. “Net international migration continued to be the main driver, but there was also an increase in births and fewer deaths than last year.”Population growth was not evenly distributed however, with London’s growth rate more than twice that in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the three northern English regions.”The report also found that the UK’s food production industry is heavily dependent on migrants, with 228,000 of the 5.2 million people employed in distribution, hotels and restaurants in the UK coming from the eight countries. Robin Maynard, director of Population Matters, said: “For people from the former Soviet bloc, the UK has long been an attractive destination — something we can be proud of.“However, we are one of the most densely populated countries in Europe and population growth from any source puts pressure on our infrastructure, services and environment.“At the same time, a flight of working-age people from those countries may not be good for their national economies or quality of life.”.