Saturday. 18.01.2020
El tiempo

EU population increased by 1.1 million due to net migration

The natural population change was negative for a second consecutive year in the EU as a whole. Finland is once more among the Member States with the lowest birth rates (8.6‰).

EU population increased by 1.1 million due to net migration

The EU gained more than 1 million inhabitants during the last year, despite the fact that again more people died than they were born.

According to the latest figures published by the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat), on 1 January 2019, the population of the European Union (EU) was estimated at almost 513.5 million, compared with 512.4 million on 1 January 2018.

During 2018, 5.3 million deaths were recorded in the 28 Member States while 5 million persons were born in the same period, meaning that the natural change of the EU population was negative for a second consecutive year. The population growth -1.1 million more inhabitants- "was therefore due to net migration", remarked Eurostat on a press release.

The most populated

With 83.0 million residents (or 16.2% of the total EU population at 1 January 2019), Germany is the most populated EU Member State, ahead of France (67.0 million, or 13.1%), the United Kingdom (66.6 million, or 13.0%), Italy (60.4 million, or 11.8%), Spain (46.9 million, or 9.1%) and Poland (38.0 million, or 7.4%).

For the remaining Member States, fourteen have a share of between 1% and 4% of the EU population and eight a share below 1%.

During 2018, the population increased in eighteen EU Member States and decreased in ten.


Image source: Eurostat

The largest population increase was observed in Malta (+36.8 per 1,000 residents), ahead of Luxembourg (+19.6‰), Ireland (+15.2‰), Cyprus (+13.4‰), Sweden (+10.8‰), Slovenia (+6.8‰), Belgium (+6.1‰), Spain and the Netherlands (both +5.9‰) and the United Kingdom (+5.6‰).

In contrast, the largest population decrease was recorded in Latvia (-7.5‰), followed by Bulgaria and Croatia (both -7.1‰), Romania (-6.6‰) and Lithuania (-5.3‰). The population of the entire EU increased by 1.1 million people (+2.1‰) during 2018.

Finland, among the lowest birth rates

During the year 2018, five million babies were born in the EU, almost 118 000 fewer than the previous year. Across Member States, the highest crude birth rates in 2018 were recorded in Ireland (12.5 per 1,000 residents), Sweden (11.4‰), France (11.3‰) and the United Kingdom (11.0‰), while the lowest were registered in Italy (7.3‰), Spain (7.9‰), Greece (8.1‰), Portugal (8.5‰), Finland (8.6‰), Bulgaria (8.9‰) and Croatia (9.0‰).

At EU level, the crude birth rate was 9.7 per 1,000 residents.


Image source: Eurostat.

In the meantime, 5.3 million deaths were registered in the EU in 2018, almost 46 000 more than the previous year. Ireland (6.4 per 1 000 residents), Cyprus (6.6‰) and Luxembourg (7.1‰) had in 2018 the lowest crude death rates, followed by Malta (7.6‰), the Netherlands (8.9‰), Spain and Sweden (both 9.1‰).

The highest death rates

At the opposite end of the scale, Bulgaria (15.4‰), Latvia (15.0‰), Lithuania (14.1‰), Romania (13.5‰) and Hungary (13.4‰) recorded the highest.

For the EU as a whole, the crude death rate was 10.4 per 1,000 residents.

Consequently, Ireland (with a natural change of its population of +6.1‰) remained in 2018 the Member State where births most outnumbered deaths, ahead of Cyprus (+4.1‰), Luxembourg (+3.2‰), Sweden (+2.3‰), France (+2.2‰), the United Kingdom (+1.7‰) and Malta (+1.6‰).

In contrast, among the fifteen EU Member States which registered a negative natural change in 2018, deaths outnumbered births the most in Bulgaria (-6.6‰), followed by Latvia (-4.9‰), Lithuania (-4.1‰), Croatia, Hungary and Romania (all -3.9‰).