Bulgaria’s population dropped by more than 51 000 in a year – Eurostat
January 1 2017 found Bulgaria with a population of 7 101 900, a decrease of 51 900 people in a year, according to figures released by EU statistics agency Eurostat to mark World Population Day on July 11.
The decrease in Bulgaria’s population, by about 7.3 per cent, was the fourth-largest drop among the 28 member states of the EU.
In 2016, Bulgaria had the fifth-lowest birth rate in the EU, according to Eurostat. At the same time, Bulgaria had the highest rate of deaths outnumbering births.
In all, Bulgaria’s population made up 1.4 per cent of the total population of the EU – and while the country’s population decreased, that of the EU as a whole went up, by 1.5 million people.
The increase of the population of the EU was attributed to net migration. In 2016, there was a balance in the numbers of births and deaths in the EU in total.
On January 1 2017, the population of the EU was estimated at 511.8 million, compared with 510.3 million on January 1 2016.
With 82.8 million residents (or 16.2 per cent of the total EU population at January 1 2017), Germany is the most populated EU member state, ahead of France (67 million, or 13.1 per cent), the United Kingdom (65.8 million, or 12.9 per cent), Italy (60.6 million, or 11.8 per cent), Spain (46.5 million, or 9.1 per cent) and Poland (38.0 million, or 7.4 per cent).
For the remaining EU countries, nine have a share of between four per cent and 1.5 per cent of the EU population and 13 a share below 1.5 per cent.
During 2016, the population increased in 18 EU member states and decreased in 10.
The largest relative increase was in Luxembourg (+19.8 per 1000 residents), ahead of Sweden (+14.5‰), Malta (+13.8‰), Ireland (+10.6‰), Austria (+9.5‰), Germany and Cyprus (both +7.6‰), Denmark (+7.2‰), the United Kingdom (+6.5‰) and the Netherlands (+6.0‰).
In contrast, the largest decrease was recorded in Lithuania (-14.2‰), followed by Latvia (-9.6‰), Croatia (-8.7‰), Bulgaria (-7.3‰) and Romania (-6.2‰).
During the year 2016, 5.1 million babies were born in the EU, 11 000 more than the previous year.
Across EU countries, the highest crude birth rates in 2016 were recorded in Ireland (13.5 per 1000 residents), Sweden and the United Kingdom (both 11.8‰) and France (11.7‰), while the lowest were registered in southern member states: Italy (7.8‰), Portugal (8.4‰), Greece (8.6‰), Spain (8.7‰), Croatia (9.0‰) and Bulgaria (9.1‰).
At EU level, the crude birth rate was 10 per 1000 residents. In the meantime, 5.1 million deaths were registered in the EU in 2016, almost 91 000 fewer than the previous year.
Ireland and Cyprus (both 6.4 per 1 000 residents) as well as Luxembourg (6.8‰) had in 2016 the lowest crude death rate, followed by Malta (7.6‰), the Netherlands (8.7‰), Spain and France (both 8.8‰).
At the opposite end of the scale, Bulgaria (15.1‰), Latvia (14.6‰), Lithuania (14.3‰), Romania and Hungary (both 13.0‰) recorded the highest.
The crude death rate was 10 per 1000 residents in the EU. Consequently, Ireland (with a natural change of its population of +7.1‰) remained in 2016 the EU country where births most outnumbered deaths, ahead of Cyprus (+4.7‰), Luxembourg (+3.6‰), France (+3.0‰), Sweden and the United Kingdom (both +2.7‰) and Malta (+2.6‰).
In contrast, among the 13 EU member states which registered a negative natural change in 2016, deaths outnumbered births the most in Bulgaria (-6.0‰), followed by Lithuania (-3.7‰), Romania (-3.5‰), Croatia and Latvia (both -3.4‰) and Hungary (-3.2‰), Eurostat said.
(Photo: A traditional January ritual in Kalofer, Bulgaria: Balkanregion)