Overview:

  • uses the latest official population estimates as the base year

  • published in 2 parts: the principal projection with the 9 main variant projections and the remaining standard combination and special case scenario variant projections

  • produced by the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) since 1954

  • became our responsibility in 2006

National population projections (NPP) are the official set of population projections for the UK and its constituent countries. It provides projections of the future population for a period of 50 years for both single year of age and 5 year age groups by gender. Projections between 50 and 100 years are published by 5 year age groups.

The datasets produced within NPP include standard demographic figures. As well as overall population totals, it provides:

  • the projected number of births and net migrants

  • age specific fertility rates, mortality rates and life expectancy

  • migration by age

  • dependency ratios

The projections are based on assumptions regarding future levels of fertility, migration and mortality. However, to give users an indication of fundamental demographic uncertainty, a number of variant population projections are produced based on alternative assumptions.

The reference volume national population projections (series PP2) contains full details of the results of the projections, the assumptions made for future fertility, mortality and migration, and also the methodology behind the calculations.

NPPs are used as the base for our other official population projections, such as marital status projections, subnational projections, household projections and in the calculation of life tables. Other government departments use the projections directly to calculate information such as future school place requirements, expected future cost of state pensions and potential demand for health services.

We quality assure the administrative data used for these statistics to ensure that they are suitable for this purpose. To gain further insight on data quality issues and the impact on statistics, please see Quality Assurance of Administrative Data:

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