Eurostat: EU population continued to decrease for a second year in 2021

After a first decline in population growth in 2020 because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union’s population decreased again in 2021, from 447 million on January 1 2021 to 446.8 million on January 1 2022, European Union statistics agency Eurostat said on July 11.

The negative natural change (more deaths than births) outnumbered the positive net migration for a second year, most likely because of the impact of the pandemic.

In the EU, there were 531 000 more deaths in 2020 than in 2019 to be compared to 113 000 more deaths in 2021 than in 2020.

Over a longer period, the population of the EU grew from 354.5 million in 1960 to 446.8 million on January 1 2022, an increase of 92.3 million people, Eurostat said.

The rate of population growth has slowed down gradually in recent decades: for example, the EU population increased, on average, by about 0.7 million people a year during the period 2005–2022, compared with an average increase of about three million people a year during the 1960s.

According to Eurostat, Bulgaria’s population as at January 1 2022 was estimated at 6 916 548.

Bulgaria had a negative natural change – again, meaning more deaths than births – in population numbers of 90 317, while the figure for net migration plus statistical adjustments saw a population reduction of 77 611.

According to Eurostat, 148 995 deaths and 58 678 live births were registered in Bulgaria in 2021.

Eurostat said that the population of individual EU countries on January 1 2022 ranged from 0.5 million in Malta to 83.2 million in Germany.

Germany, France and Italy together comprised almost half (47 per cent) of the total EU population on January 1 this year.

While the overall EU population declined for a second straight year, population declines were not reported in every EU country.

In total, 10 countries recorded a decrease in population between January 1 2021 and 2022, with the largest decrease reported in Italy (-253 100) and the smallest in Slovenia (-1 800).

Increases were observed in the other 17 countries, with the largest in France (185 900) and the smallest in Estonia (1700), Eurostat said.

(Photo: Abdulhamid AlFadhly/

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