Rapid UK population growth undermines living standards, but may be necessary for economic growth
The traditional link between population growth and economic growth has been weakened in the UK, according to academics at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI).
The latest evidence shows that despite the economic recession of the late 2000s, and subsequent stagnation, the UK population has grown at a rapid rate since the mid-2000s, with this growth continuing despite the coalition government’s attempts to curb immigration.
This contrasts with post-war experience in the UK, say academics. High population growth in the mid-to-late 1960s was matched by high economic growth, and lower population growth in the 1970s was matched by lower economic growth. Similarly, higher population growth from the mid-1980s onwards was matched by relatively high economic growth (with the exception of the early 1990s recession).
This unusual shift is the main reason that, while the economy creeps towards recovery in statistical terms, living standards remain significantly below their pre-recession peak.
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