The population of the UK is projected to rise by three million over the next decade and reach almost 70 million, according to official statistics.

The number of people living in the country will rise by 4.5% over the next 10 years, from an estimated 66.4 million in mid-2018 to 69.4 million in mid-2028, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

This means the population is projected to pass 70 million by mid-2031, reaching 72.4 million by mid-2043.

But, according to the projections, which are published every two years, the UK population growth rate is slower than in the projections made in 2016, with the expected population anticipated to be 0.4 million less in mid-2028 and 0.9 million less in mid-2043.

The proportion of over-85s will increase, according to the projection. Credit: PA

There is expected to be a growing number of older people, with the proportion aged 85 and over projected to almost double over the next 25 years.

The ONS said: “The UK population is projected to grow by three million people by 2028.

“This assumes migration will have a greater impact on the size of the population than the combination of births and deaths.

“Although migration declines at first and the number of births is stable, the number of deaths is projected to grow as those born in the baby boom after World War Two reach older ages.

“The population is increasingly ageing and this trend will continue.

“However, because of the expected rise in the state pension age to 67 years, it is projected that slightly fewer than one in five people will be of pensionable age in 2028, a similar proportion to today.”