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The UK population rose by 400,000 last year but the growth rate stalled, official estimates show.

There were about 66.4m people in the country in June 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

But the annual growth rate of 0.6% was the same as the previous year and is slower than any year since mid-2004.

The figures also showed that the number of births was the fewest in over a decade, while the number of deaths was the highest since the year 2000.

Net migration of 275,000 was “broadly in line” with the average of the last five years, the ONS said.

Central London had the four local authorities with the fastest-growing population – the City of London, Westminster, Camden and Tower Hamlets.

That growth between mid-2017 and mid-2018 was “partly a reflection of the increase in net international migration” in those areas, the report said.

“For the fifth year in a row, net international migration was a bigger driver of population change than births and deaths,” said Neil Park, head of the ONS population estimates unit.

However, he added that overall population change “remained fairly stable” as the increase in net migration had been “roughly matched” by the decrease in births and the increase in the number of deaths.

Graphic showing UK population growth rate

The number of births was 744,000 – the fewest since 2006, and a 2% decrease on the previous year.

However, the number of deaths increased 3% to 623,000 – the most since the year 2000. Read more

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