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Britain to be most crowded in Europe

world Updated: May 06, 2008 13:36 IST

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Britain will become the most crowded major nation in Europe with its population set to increase by a third over the next 50 years, suggests a forecast that could further raise demands by anti-immigrants to check migration into the UK.

According to the Office for National Statistics, England's population will be 68 million or 1,349 for every square mile by 2056. Presently with a population of 50 million there are 1,010 people per square mile.

The population density in the capital London will surge from 12,377 people per square mile to 13,910 over the next 20 years.

"This demonstrates the real pressure public services are being put under as a result of Labour's immigration policy," Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister, was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.

The anti-immigrants have increasingly pointed to a recent House of Lords report that has questioned the benefits to indigenous Britons by the large-scale migration into the country.

With about 1.3 million immigrants having arrived in the UK in the past decade, the population density in England is already almost double the level in Germany and quadruple that in France.

Apart from the British capital, the biggest surge will be in the East and South West of England, up 16 per cent by 2029, the report said.