75m of us will mean death of NHS, benefits…and your dining room

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This week Oxford University demographics professor David Coleman predicted that the UK’s population would soar to 75 million by 2050, 15 million higher than it is today.

UK co-founder Graeme Codrington has pulled off a ‘first’ for TomorrowToday by having his comments surrounding this prediction published in the UK’s top-selling newspaper. The Sun has a daily circulation of around 2.8m people and a readership of many more. But in case it doesn’t reach you, the full article is reproduced here:

SHOCK figures show the UK’s population will soar to 75million by 2043, making us the EU’s most densely populated country and dramatically changing how we live.

Here an expert reveals what that will mean in practical terms for Britain in 2050.

IN 2050 we will see a large number of refugees coming here because of climate change.

Britain will be a winner as temperatures around the world rise.

There will be olive groves and vineyards in the south and the Midlands and Scotland will have a much more temperate climate than they do currently.

I expect to see massive migration into the UK’s major cities, which will become much hotter, busier places.


There are huge implications for the UK’s infrastructure. Roads will be busier than ever.

One hundred years ago the average journey across London on horse and cart was at 10km per hour.

A century later the average speed has DROPPED a little to 8km per hour.

In 2050, although the road network will be greatly expanded and probably crowded, I don’t expect the speed to be much different.

I expect to see a boom in the population along the south coast as elderly people abandon sticky, overcrowded cities for the more relaxed outdoor lifestyle offered in parts of Wales, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

Naturally, rail links between major cities will be vastly improved.

Every major urban centre will be linked thanks to a network of express trains.

There will also be a second channel tunnel, cementing the UK’s place as an important trading post with mainland Europe. With so many more old people with complex medical needs, there is no way the NHS will survive. By 2020 there will be a realisation that comprehensive health care for all citizens cannot be provided under the NHS model.

Likewise, the benefits system will be gone.

It will be overwhelmed and bankrupt.

One of society’s most pressing issues will be youth unemployment. It is already the single biggest issue we will face in the developed world. The young people on the streets now are never going to get a break and will find they have to re-skill to find work.

The situation is not a new one — it happened when machinery impacted farming, then manufacturing. Now the power of computers is hitting middle management roles.

Between now and 2030 we will lose about 25 per cent of white collar jobs.

Undoubtedly there will be great upheaval by 2050 as a result. Our houses will change. Dining rooms will become obsolete and changed into bedrooms as families expand and the tradition of eating together dies out.

Most homes will also own a 3D printer, which can manufacture anything at all.

If you don’t have enough glasses, you’ll be able to print off the ones you need.

I’m not a doom-monger. In fact I’m positive about the UK’s future.

There will be challenges in 2050 but also huge leaps forward in technology.

I don’t regard the UK’s future in 2050 with fear, but with excitement.

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0 thoughts on “75m of us will mean death of NHS, benefits…and your dining room”

  1. Andrew Munro says:

    Thought-provoking stuff, thank you.

    it’s hard not to interpret this as somewhat dystopian, unless your view of heaven is a blue-rinse invasion of the olive groves of Bournemouth. However, it is persuasive. There are only two predictions I am less convinced of.

    Will roads will be busier than ever in 2050? Or will the combination of higher fuel prices (green taxes and shorter supply) combined with better broadband infrastructure and flexible working models reduce the amount of road travel overall?

    Also, regarding the death of the dining room, I can see the arguments but wonder whether larger families (stay-at-home adult offspring driven by economic circumstance, and live-in grandparents driven by the collapsing NHS) combined with a more thrifty mind-set will increase, rather than decrease the amount of home-dining. If there are also more people working from home, family meals may make a come-back.

    Fantastic food for thought.

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