EU – Population rose by 1.7 million during 2013 with net migration as the main driver

The current demographic situation in the EU-28 is characterised in general by population growth.3 However, while the population of the EU-28 as a whole increased in 2013, the population in 13 EU-28 Member States declined.

The EU-28 population rose by 1.7 million during 2013

On 1 January 2014 the population of the EU-28 was estimated at 506.8 million, up by 1.7 million people from 1 January 2013. The growth was faster than the year before, when the population increased by 1.1 million. The number of inhabitants in the EU-28 increased from 406.7 million in 1960 by more than 100 million up to 2014. However, the rate of population growth has been gradually slowing down in recent decades. Between 1994 and 2014, the EU-28 population increased on average by about 1.3 million a year compared to an annual average of around 3.3 million a year in the 1960s.

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Net migration as the main driver of population growth in the EU-28

In 2013, natural increase (the positive difference between live births and deaths) contributed 5% (0.08 million) to population growth in the EU-28. This means that 95% of the growth came from net migration4, which continued to be the main determinant of population growth, accounting for 1.6 million in 2013.

Compared to 2012, the natural change halved and net migration doubled. In terms of crude rates5, the population growth of 2.1 per 1000 persons in 2012 was due to a natural increase of 0.4 and net migration of 1.7. In 2013, natural increase accounted for 0.2 and net migration for 3.2 of the total population growth of 3.4 per 1000 persons.

The contribution of net migration plus statistical adjustment to total population growth has exceeded the proportion of natural increase since 1992 (see Chart 2). It peaked in 2003 (95% of total population growth), decreased to 57% in 2009 and peaked again at 95% in 2013. Conversely, the proportion of natural change in total population growth declined from 43% in 2009 to 5% in 2013.

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Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Demography report – 2015 edition – Product – Eurostat.


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