Pop­u­la­tion growth a ‘chal­lenge to be met’

Latest fig­ures re­veal ex­pan­sion of 1.1% in 2014

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

THE POP­U­LA­TION of Buck­ing­hamshire rose by 16 peo­ple ev­ery day last year.

Fig­ures re­leased by the Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics show that the county had a pop­u­la­tion of 521,922 in 2014, up 1.1 per cent from the pre­vi­ous year, mean­ing an in­crease of 5,183 peo­ple in 12 months. The causes of the in­crease were split be­tween peo­ple mov­ing in from other ar­eas of the UK as well as from abroad, and nat­u­ral growth, with the num­ber of births out­num­ber­ing the amount of deaths.

The fig­ures show that 2,087 more peo­ple moved to the county from other parts of the coun­try than went in the op­po­site di­rec­tion, while there were 1,629 more peo­ple mov­ing to Bucks from abroad than there were peo­ple mov­ing from the area to other coun­tries. There were also 1,913 more births than deaths.

It has led to con­cern that if the pat­tern con­tin­ues in years to come, the county will strug­gle to cope with the pop­u­la­tion ex­pan­sion.

Chris Brown, chair­man of Ger­rards Cross Parish Coun­cil said: “Bucks is a very pop­u­lar place to live and it’s good that peo­ple want to come and live here. The prob­lem is that the area can only take so many peo­ple. The schools are fill­ing up all the time and there is a lim­ited amount of hous­ing.”

Both Chiltern and South Bucks saw a 0.8 per cent in­crease in their pop­u­la­tion, with Ayles­bury Vale see­ing the largest growth with 1.9 per cent. The fig­ures show that the na­tional pop­u­la­tion also in­creased by 0.8 per cent, with it now stand­ing at just over 65.5 mil­lion peo­ple.

Che­sham Town coun­cil­lor Noel Brown said: “On the one hand we don’t want to be­come an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and we need an in­flux of younger peo­ple. The other side is that it of course brings chal­lenges in terms of school­ing and hous­ing. But it’s a chal­lenge that we have to meet.”

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