London: London’s population has been rising steadily since the mid-1980s but evidence has emerged that Brexit and the high cost of buying and renting homes is deterring new people from coming to live in the city. The London Intelligence Report published on Wednesday by the think-tank the Centre for London showed that in the year to mid-2017 London’s population experienced the slowest rate of growth in over a decade, Xinhua news agency reported.
The growth rate in the city’s population, which stands at 8.1 million people, nearly halved in the first full year since the Brexit referendum in June 2016 to 0.6 per cent per year, down from the 2015-16 figure of 1.1 per cent. This is the slowest rate of growth in over a decade, and means the 2017 population was 79,000 (0.9 per cent) lower than expected within 2016-based projections. Tom Colth-orpe, researcher on the report told Xinhua: “There are many fewer people coming to London from other countries.” “There is a bit of a nosedive. There is a pretty significant drop in international immigration which some might point to Brexit.” The contribution of net international migration has declined considerably year-on-year to a net gain of just under 83,000 individuals. Though international migration remains the largest contributor to population growth, it now only contributes 5,000 more individuals than those added through natural change (births and deaths).
Registrations for national insurance numbers (known as NI, a form of health tax necessary for most types of work) continued to fall, a trend seen since the Brexit vote. The number of EU nationals registering for NI fell by a quarter over the year. (IANS)