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Migration calculations push up population projection for Suffolk

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There may be more people living in Suffolk over the next seven years than previously thought, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The projections, taken before the merging of West Suffolk Council, predicted that by 2026, the population of St Edmundsbury may climb to 117,848, 1,098 more than previous projections, in Forest Heath it could climb to 70,221, 864 more than before and in Mid Suffolk it could be 107,293, 655 higher than previously thought.

The ONS produced the new figures using a different formula to calculate levels of migration - from overseas, and people moving between different areas within England.

Population predicted to rise in Suffolk Picture by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire (8683867)
Population predicted to rise in Suffolk Picture by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire (8683867)

Researchers looked at migration trends over a 10-year period rather than the data previously studied.

The projections look at past trends and do not attempt to predict the consequences of future events, such as the impact of Brexit on international migration levels.

Across England, the greatest increase in population in the new figures is in Ealing where there may be 13,166 more residents by 2026. Liverpool, on the other hand, may have 17,900 fewer than indicated in previous projections.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils, said that local authorities used ONS projects to help them understand how the population in their area may change. Most councils use their own data alongside the projections.

A spokesperson said: "Population projections are an important tool in planning for the delivery of future services, such as education or social care.

“However, councils know that projections are not precise forecasts and that planning for future provision of services always needs to cover a range of scenarios.”

Looking further ahead, the population of St Edmundsbury is projected to be 118,954 in 10 years time, the population of Forest Heath- 71,861 and Mid Suffolk could be 108,945 in a decade's time.