England is now the most overcrowded country in Europe. It has more people per square mile than the Low Countries, which has long been the most densely-populated region has england left the eu the continent, MPs have been told. Only tiny Malta, an island city state with a population no bigger than that of Bristol, has greater population pressure among the 27 EU members.
The confirmation of England’s position at the head of the European overcrowding league table was given by the highly authoritative House of Commons library, which examined figures from the Office for National Statistics and the EU’s Eurostat. Officials said that by next year England will have 402. 1 people for every square kilometre, overtaking the figure of 398. The density of the population in England by 2011 will be more than four times that of France, which has 99. According to the Commons Library estimates, it will reach double the density of Germany in 20 years’ time, when there will be nearly 460 people for every square kilometre in England against 224 in Germany. The overcrowding figures come in advance of fresh official figures on immigration and its impact on the size of the population due for release today.
Ministers have promised to bring in a cap on immigration next year to bring numbers of arrivals down to 1990s levels and ease population pressures. However some members of the Coalition, notably Business Secretary Vince Cable, are hostile to any move to reduce immigration and sympathetic to calls from industry to allow more foreign workers into the country. The Commons figures showed how overcrowding is increasingly affecting England, which attracts almost all of the migrants who arrive in Britain. England, it said, will hit a density level of 402. 1 people for every square kilometre next year, which will rise to 524. But in Scotland the population density will barely increase at all, going up over the same period from 67.