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Made to measure?

By Tom Chatfield  

The complexities faced by statisticians attempting to talk about immigration and population are dealt with in a special report in the latest issue of Prospect by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot. And it seems that their warnings couldn’t be timelier, as the ONS have just announced that, if recent trends continue, the UK population is expected to grow to 71m by 2031, something that has made the headlines in most newspapers.

The key phrase here, of course, is “if recent trends continue.” As Blastland and Dilnot point out, British population projections for 1995 made in 1955 and 1965 respectively differed…

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