Fact check: Just over 80 percent of the increase in UK population from 2000 to 2016 was due to immigration

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Claim: “The population of the UK rose by a total of 6.6 million between 2000 and 2016. The latest research shows that just over 80% of this increase was due to immigration – that is to say new immigrants and their UK-born children.”

Origin: On August 23, 2018, Migration Watch published an article stating the above claim.

Fact Check: WikiTribune put this claim to The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford.

Robert McNeil, the Migration Observatory’s Deputy Director and Head of Media and Communications told us “The numbers look about right”  but said that Migration Watch had gone with the higher projection, and that their assertion that growth has a major impact on public services “is less justifiable.” He went on to say “the Migration Watch methodology is somewhat opaque, but the data are largely in keeping with what we would expect.”

He also told WikiTribune the “key thing to remember is that migrants tend to be younger and are therefore more concentrated in the key fertility age-groups. This doesn’t mean they are much more fertile or having lots more kids, but they are more likely to be aged 30-39 – the age when people are most likely to have a baby.”

Verdict: Mostly true, within the parameters they define – that UK-born children, whose parents are immigrants are counted as population growth due to immigration.

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