Urbanisation in the UK

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Approximately 90% of the UK population lives in a city or a town.  This is a much higher than the rest of the world where 50% of the population lives in cities, according to the United Nations.

The urban population of the UK has risen by 15% since the 1970’s and is expected to continue to rise, along with the rest of the world’s urban population.

The UK also reached it’s highest ever population figure in 2016 – 65.6 million people now live in the UK.  This is an increase of 538,000 from 2015 – which is the equivalent to a city the size of Bradford.

The reason for this increase is simple – there are more births than deaths, and there is also the effect of net migration which has been ongoing since the 1990’s.

The number of houses needed in the UK is increasing, and this not just as a result of a rising population.  The structure of UK households is changing resulting in an increased number of non-family households.  See The Structure of Families and Households in the UK

So out of necessity we are being squeezed into smaller and smaller living spaces – according to RIBA (the Royal institute of British Architects) our new-builds are only half the size of those built in the 1920’s and we are living in the smallest houses in Europe.

And yet, the way we build our houses and the structure of our new-builds isn’t changing in-line with our lack of space.

And this begs the question – How much living space do we really need?

And how do we change the way our houses are built to accommodate this lack of space?

These were the questions being addressed at London Design Week in September 2017 by a collaboration between the car brand, Mini, and architect Sam Jacobs – see How Much Living Space Do We Really Need?


Categories: Demographic / UK