Bulgaria had among the largest decreases in population in the European Union, EU statistics agency Eurostat said, citing estimates for EU country populations as at January 1 2016.
Ahead of World Population Day on July 11, Eurostat released statistics on the populations of the EU as a whole and of its member states.
On January 1 2016, the population of the EU was estimated at 510.1 million, higher than the 508.3 million of January 1 2015.
No one could escape noting, however, that in time, Eurostat could be recording a substantial decrease in the EU population – because of Brexit. The United Kingdom’s 65.3 million population would depart from the charts. Unless, of course, Scotland’s stays.
That said, Eurostat noted that in the year 2015, almost 5.1 million babies were born in the EU, while more than 5.2 million people died. This means that for the first time, the EU recorded a a negative natural change of its population.
On the other hand, the remainder of the change of the population figure was driven mainly by net migration, Eurostat said.
The most populated EU member states continued to be Germany (82.2 million residents), France (66.7 million), the United Kingdom and Italy (60.7 million). Together, they are home to more than half of the EU population.
Bulgaria was one of 11 EU countries where the population decreased in 2015, from 7 202 200 to 7 153 800, a drop of 6.7 per cent, the fourth-largest decrease in population in an EU country.
Bulgaria (15.3 per 1 000 residents) had in 2015 the highest crude death rate in the EU, Eurostat said.
In contrast, among the thirteen EU Member States which registered a negative natural change in 2015, deaths outnumbered births the most in Bulgaria (-6.2‰), Croatia and Hungary (both -4.0‰), Romania (-3.8‰), Lithuania (-3.5‰) and Latvia (-3.3‰).
(Photo: Anton Lefterov)