A surge in the number of the elderly will push the U.K.'s population significantly higher by 2030, according to a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research.
"The U.K. will be the fastest growing major country in Europe, overtaking France by 2030," IPPR said in its report, "Future proof: Britain in the 2020s." More specifically, the number of people aged 65 and over will increase by 33 percent between now and 2030 while those aged over 85 will nearly double in the next decade.
However, the U.K.'s working population will rise by only 2 percent in the same period. This is set to deteriorate public finances further, with a structural deficit expected to re-emerge by mid-2020s, IPPR added in the report.
In June, the U.K. voted to quit the European Union (EU) with immigration and the free movement of people cited as one of the main reasons for the anti-Europe feelings.
Surprisingly, even in a post-Brexit outlook – with constraints on migration, which should lead to a fall in net migration over the short-term – the number of migrants are nonetheless set to represent nearly half of the increase in the population in the 2020s.
"While immigration is expected to be lower and more controlled after Brexit, economic and social demand are likely to continue to drive relatively high levels of immigration to the UK," IPPR said in its report. The research group showed that the non-white population is seen increasing from 14 percent in 2011 to 21 percent by 2030.
IPPR also estimated the costs of a "hard Brexit" - the U.K. going it alone without any access to the European Union's single market and open trade agreements - as high as £55 billion ($67.43 billion).
"It will be a fundamental break in the existing political-economic order. Painful trade-offs are almost certain. Growth is expected to be lower, investment rates worse, and the public fi¬nances weaker as a result of Brexit," the report stated.
Furthermore, the gap between the richest and the poorest is set to widen in the coming decade. According to IPPR, high-income households should see their income going up 11 times faster than low-income families.
"The cost of living, especially housing, will rise faster than income for many. The ¬fiscal direction of the U.K. will accentuate trends towards inequality, with relative poverty rates rising and the working poor losing ground," IPPG said in its report. It concluded that: "wealth inequalities, already high, will increase due to technological, demographic and economic trends."