A study by a consortium of utility companies has estimated the population of the UK to be between 73 and 77 million.
Whilst the official consensus of 2001 puts the figure at 61.5 million, critics have derided this as miles off the mark saying that 'if you don't want to be counted, you won't be'. The last reliable census is said to be in 1991 of 58 million.
The survey was centred on the use of resources - telephone, transport passenger numbers, water usage, waste, electricity, gas and so on and compared the rise to other countries.
A scientist explained - "We compared electricity usage over the past 19yrs in Sweden and Australia - two of the few countries who keep an accurate census. Populations increased by an average of 20% in that period and electricity by 40%. In the UK usage also increased by 40%, but because of our milder climate - less demand for heating and cooling applications, we think the population here has gone up by about 30%."
A similar pattern was found in water and phone usage. There are for example currently 70 million phones in use in the UK - although some drug dealers own 3 or 4.
A spokesperson for Heathrow airport commented "We tried to keep a log of numbers coming in and out but as soon as the Labour government got wind of it, staff started to go missing."