Eurostat: EU population increases again in 2024

After a decline in 2020 and 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the population of the European Union has increased for the second consecutive year, rising from 447.6 million on January 1 2023 to 449.2 million people on January 1 2024, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on July 11 in a report to mark World Population Day.

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

“The observed population growth can be largely attributed to the increased migratory movements post-Covid-19 and to the influx of displaced persons from Ukraine who received temporary protection status in EU countries, as a consequence of the Russian war of aggression in February 2022,” Eurostat said.

When considering a longer time frame, the population of the EU grew from 354.5 million in 1960 to 449.2 million on January 1 2024, an increase of 94.7 million people, the statistics agency said.

The rate of population growth has gradually slowed down in recent decades: the EU population increased on average by about 0.6 million people a year during the period 2015–2024, whereas the average increase in the 1960s was 2.9 million people a year.

While the EU population briefly 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.

The population of individual EU countries on January 1 2024 ranged from 0.6 million in Malta to 83.4 million in Germany. Germany, France and Italy together comprised almost half (47 per cent) of the total EU population on January 1 2024.

While the overall EU population increased in 2024, not all EU countries registered population increases. In total, seven countries recorded a decrease in population between January 1 2023 and January 1 2024, with the largest decreases reported in Poland (-132 800 people), Greece (-16 800) and Hungary (-15 100).

Increases were observed in the other 20 countries, with the largest in Spain (+525 100), Germany (+330 000) and France (+229 000), Eurostat said.

(Photo: Donna Adenine)

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