The UK is set to take the title of most populous European county by 2050, beating even geographically larger countries like France as soon as 2030.
EU estimates from Eurostat suggest that Britain will be home to 70,469,762 people by 2030.
The statisticians say that without Britain’s high rates of immigration, the UK’s population would stay lower than France’s for a further 50 years.
By 2050, the country is predicted to rock a population of 77.1 million, while Germany will home 74.7 million people and France 74.2 million.
The population of the UK (at last official count in 2013) is 64.1 million.
At the beginning of 2030, the projections said, numbers in the UK will have gone up to 70,469,762, just ahead of the French population of 70,396,105.
If there was no immigration or emigration, Eurostat projects that the population of the country would begin to fall from 2050 – by 2080, it says that there would be around 64,710,496 people living in the UK.
But a complete stop to immigration and emigration is extremely unlikely, even after Brexit.
Net migration in Britain, which takes into account both people coming to and leaving the country, was measured by the Office of National Statistics at 335,000 in the year to June 2016.
Britain’s population has been higher than France’s before – in the 1960s, for example. However, as Britain stagnated and Europe prospered in the 1970s, that was undone by the early 80s.
An analysis by Migration Watch last week also found that the UK’s population could increase by 12 million people over the next 25 years.