Eurostat: EU population increased again after two years of decreases

After a decline in population in 2020 and 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union’s population increased in 2022, from 446.7 million on January 1 2022 to 448.4 people on January 1 2023, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on July 11.

The negative natural change (more deaths than births) was outnumbered by the positive net migration, Eurostat said.

The population growth can be largely attributed to the increased migratory movements post-Covid-19 and to the mass influx of displaced people from Ukraine who received temporary protection status in EU countries, as a consequence of the Russian invasion in February 2022, the statistics agency said.

Over a longer period, the population of the EU grew from 354.5 million in 1960 to 448.4 million on January 1 2023, an increase of 93.9 million people.

The rate of population growth has slowed gradually in recent decades: for example, the EU population increased, on average, by about 0.8 million people a year during the period 2005–2022 compared with an average increase of about three million people a year during the 1960s.

While the EU population shortly declined in 2020 by about half a million people and in 2021 by almost 0.3 million people due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has started to regain its growth as the new figures show, Eurostat said.

The population of individual EU countries on January 1 2023 ranged from 0.5 million in Malta to 84.4 million in Germany. Germany, France and Italy together comprised almost half (47 per cent) of the total EU population on 1 January 2023.

While the overall EU population increased in 2022, population increases were not observed in every EU country.

In total, seven countries – among them Bulgaria – recorded a decrease in population between January 1 2022 and 2023, with the largest decrease reported in Italy (-179 419 people) and the smallest in Slovakia (-5920).

Increases were observed in the other 20 countries, with the largest in Germany (1 121 721) and the smallest in Latvia (7251), Eurostat said.

(Photo: Donna Adenine)

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