There were 605,479 live births in England and Wales last year, according to the Office for National Statistics, the lowest number of births since 2002 and a 3.1 per cent drop from 2021. Why it matters: it will mean an even more significant decrease in the working age population (15-64), which is essential to supporting the economy and will be needed to care for the growing number of retirees. The ONS also forecasted yesterday that the working age population will drop as a proportion from 63 per cent now to less than 60 per cent by 2077. The fall in births is attributed to the high cost of housing, childcare and food. The solution: family-friendly policies and immigration, Jonathan Portes, professor of economics and public policy at King’s College London tells the FT.
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