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2001 U.K. Census – 1M people “disappeared”

From http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/oct/01/britishidentity.johncarvel

Len Cook, the registrar general for England and Wales, said the census found 900,000 fewer people than there were in the last official estimate for the UK in mid-2000. This might have been partly due to errors in the last census in 1991, establishing a false basis for later calculations. But he said the main reason was an exodus of young people, especially men aged 25 to 39.

A departure of this many of the UK’s young men means it doesn’t look good for the UK’s young women looking for a husband:

In past censuses males outnumbered females in all age ranges up to the late-40s, after which women became a majority. This time the crossover point was the age of 22. The emigration of men in their 20s and 30s may also have helped to explain the changed gender balance.

The significance of this age group of men going “missing” is 25-39 is when couples get married, start a family, get established in their careers, and produce (taxable) income, which the state depends on to execute it’s plans.  With so many young men gone, a larger proportion of the remaining women will have trouble finding husbands, and if a significant portion of the remaining men “go their own way”, then the future base of population – and economic activity – will also shrink. This is of alarming significance when the remaining population base is aging. From the article:

For the first time there were more over-60s (21% of the population) than children under 16 (20%). And there were 1.1m over 85 – five times more than in 1951, the office for national statistics said.

A government spending money on benefits to maintain an aging populace with an insufficient worker base to tax to support those expenditures is a recipe for economic disaster. While the UK’s attracting enough immigrants to maintain it’s population base, only time will tell the cost the UK will pay for this form of growth.

Note: Updated to reflect that this was based on the 2001 UK Census. Some notes on the 2011 UK Census can be found here, with long-term immigration and emigration numbers here.

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