SWINDON residents are divided over figures which suggest the town’s population size will increase by over 13,000 over a ten-year period.

Number-crunchers at the ONS say the population of Swindon was 218,600 in 2016 and is set to rise to 231,700 by 2026, an increase of 6%.

The office estimates population growth every two years. Within the predicted expansion, the number of elderly people is also expected to rise from 15.4% to 18.9% over the same period.

By 2036 the ONS predicts over-65s will make up almost a quarter of the area’s residents.

Resident Matthew Pearce said: “Great for leisure, business and the local economy. Many of us who have chosen this place as home are pleased to see its continued success.”

Sonia Adameke also welcomed the news: “Good. The more the merrier. Create more fun activities that would improve integration perhaps.”

Others were concerned about the swell in numbers. Stuart Chrisp said: “We barely have enough homes for who we have now.”

Among other calls for improvements to infrastructure, Mez Jones said: “Time for a second hospital.”

Statisticians at the ONS study birth and death rates to look at how the population is aging. When calculating population estimates for Swindon the office expects the birth rate to outstrip the death rate.

People in the country are living longer due to improvements in healthcare and technology, which puts greater pressure on the NHS and social care.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: "The fact there are growing numbers of older people is a cause for real celebration, but these figures underline, once again, the need to ensure that our health and social care system is fit for the future.

"The Government's decision to produce a social care green paper was welcome but realistically it will be years before its proposals impact in local areas, so action is needed now to shore up what remains of our care system."

Immigration is another major factor contributing to the rise in numbers. The stat producer estimates there will be an overall net increase of 4,300 of migrants coming to Swindon from abroad by 2026.

Swindon’s population boom reflects the national picture, with every region due to see an increase in population over the next decade. Reasons for the increase vary greatly between areas.