The population of the UK has risen slightly to 66.4 million people but the rate of growth has stalled over the past two years to its slowest increase since 2004, official estimates show.
In the year to mid-2018, there were 2% fewer births and 3% more deaths. The annual growth rate of 0.6% was the same as the previous year and is slower than any year since mid-2004.
The number of births recorded in the year to mid-2018 was 744,000, the fewest for more than a decade. The number of deaths was 623,000, the highest number since mid-2000.
The figures also confirmed the increasingly aged profile of the population, with the number of those 65 years and over growing faster than those under 65.
The number of people aged 65 to 84 increased by 23% to 10.6 million between 2008 and 2018, while the number of people aged 85 and over rose by 22.8% to 1.6 million over the same period.
Aideen Young, evidence manager at the Centre for Ageing Better, said the figures showed how quickly the age structure of the UK’s population was shifting.
She said: “Not everyone is enjoying the longer lives that medical and technological advances have afforded us. We need a radical rethink across society – creating age-friendly workplaces, delivering accessible housing everyone can live in, and fostering communities that enable good social connections.”