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As migration tumbles, the UK population growth rate drops to its lowest level since 2004

Tourists view the Elizabeth Tower, which houses the Great Clock and the 'Big Ben' bell, at the Houses of Parliament, in central London
Reuters/Toby Melville
Mind the gap.
By Aamna Mohdin
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Britain recorded the lowest population growth rate since mid-2004, with the “largest single driver” being the drop in migration, says the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The nation’s official data agency also identified Brexit as one of the main reasons for migration falling off a cliff.

In 2017, the UK population was just over 66 million. In the year to mid-2017, the population increased by 0.6%, or 392,000 people. In contrast, figures released last year showed an increase of 538,000 people, the sharpest annual population rise since 1948.

Since the Brexit vote, Britain has become a far less attractive place for immigrants. In February, the ONS noted a steep decline in EU migration. Overall, the annual number of EU citizens coming to the UK for work reasons—with or without a job—has fallen by about a third since the referendum.

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