Friday, January 15, 2021

The UK's Population Drop

 The United Kingdom is set to likely have the largest population decline since WWII, according to a new study.

As many as 1.3 million migrants born abroad left the UK in just over a year – from July 2019 to September 2020 and the UK’s Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) think-tank said it was an “unprecedented exodus” driven by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. London had lost nearly eight percent (700,000) of its population in a little more than 14 months.

The study noted a high number of job losses in sectors that rely heavily on workers from abroad, such as hospitality.

“It seems that much of the burden of job losses during the pandemic has fallen on non-UK workers and that has manifested itself in return migration, rather than unemployment,” the study's authors said. But a number of people who left the UK last year explained the pandemic was not the biggest factor in their decision to relocate. Instead, they said, it was mainly the country’s exit from the European Union.

The ESCoE study’s authors said the exodus may be temporary, suggesting some could return when the pandemic eases.

“But it may not,” they cautioned, noting a permanent drop in London especially would have “profound” implications.

“Big shifts in population trends in London, driven by economic changes and events, are by no means historically unprecedented,” they wrote. “Inner London’s population shrank by fully 20 percent in the 1970s, so the recent picture of sustained growth driven by international migration is relatively recent.”

‘Unprecedented exodus’: Why are migrant workers leaving the UK? | Migration News | Al Jazeera

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