Wales will top 3 million residents within two years

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The population of Wales is a whisker away from reaching the three million mark, official figures show.

The country is predicted to reach the landmark figure within two years.

An influx of Eastern European workers is expected to boost the figures, which had been starting to show signs of a slowdown in the continuous population increase.

The population of Wales stood at 2,958,600 in May 2005 - a rise of 0.2% or around 6,000 on the previous year, says the Office for National Statistics.

And across the UK the population has topped 60 million for the first time, primarily because of the increase in migration following the expansion of the EU when 10 new states joined in 2004.

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