The population of England will rise by almost four million to 57 million in the next eight years, largely because of high immigration, according to official figures.
London will have the biggest growth, with its population heading towards 10 million, while in the rest of the southeast it will grow to 9.5 million.
The rising population will intensify the housing crisis after other official figures showed increases in renting and overcrowding over the past decade. At the same time, there were more than a million empty properties, including holiday homes and properties in the process of being sold, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
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Almost a fifth of houses in England and Wales are rented, and the number of households with six or more people in them rose by a quarter in the decade to 2011. Over the same period, the number of people living alone rose by half a million to just over 7 million.
There was a rise of almost 11 per cent to 2.2 million households where young adults still live with their parents. The number of households where more than one family lives together or there is one family living with unrelated adults rose by a third.
“This suggests that more people and families are living together in one household; this may be due to economic pressures and cultural factors in some communities,” the ONS said.
Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migration Watch UK, which campaigns for lower immigration, said: “The public are slowly waking up to the consequences for the country of immigration that has quite obviously run out of control. There are no credible plans to provide the houses and school places that will be needed, so it will be ordinary Londoners who will pay the price.”
London and the southeast and East Anglia will take most of the projected population growth.
Ninety per cent of the projected growth in London’s population is due to there being more births than deaths, partially a reflection of almost half the residents being in the main child-bearing age group, while only a tenth of its population is over 65.
During the decade to 2011 there was a 63 per cent rise in privately rented housing, from 2.5 million to 4.2 million.
Simon Ross, of Population Matters, said that the rising population was causing overcrowding in homes, on transport and in green spaces. “It is affecting access to health and education.”
He said that the country was being hit by a “double whammy” of high net immigration and the effect of younger immigrants having more children than British-born families.