New figures suggest that England’s population could reach 60 million within a decade.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that population growth in England’s regions could be thousands higher or lower than main official projections indicate.
Alternative figures on possible numbers of occupants were compiled using ten years of data on international, internal and cross-border migration.
This differs from principal population projections it published last year and which are based on five years of data.
Numbers of occupants are expected to rise in all regions, but the projected increases for some were sharper under the alternative measure – and vice-versa for others.
The median figure, based in net migration in England standing at 152,000 a year, would put England on course for a 60 million figure by 2029, according to Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of Migration Watch UK.
He told The Times: “The truth is that net migration to England has averaged 213,000 per year over the past ten years. This makes a big difference.
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“On this more realistic scenario, the population of England would hit nearly 60 million by 2029 — that is an increase of four million.”
Lord Green added that the population increase means crowded roads and trains, which results in “great inconvenience to us all”.
West Midlands had the largest negative difference in population in the “10-year migration variant”, with 38,300 fewer residents in 2026 compared with the principal projection.
London had the largest positive difference, with the variant figure for the capital 36,200 higher than the principal projection.
Despite regional differences, the two measures produced almost identical figures of just over 58.5million for England’s projected population in 2026.
Of local authorities, Liverpool had the largest negative difference in population in the 10-year migration variant, with 17,900 fewer residents compared with the principal projection.
Ealing had the largest positive difference in population in the 10-year migration variant, with 13,200 more residents compared with the principal projection in mid-2026.
The ONS said: “These alternatives can be used alongside the principal projection – they do not replace it.”