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People in the EU - statistics on demographic changes


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This is one of a set of statistical articles that forms Eurostat’s flagship publication People in the EU: who are we and how do we live?; it presents a range of statistics that cover the characteristics of the demographic situation in the European Union (EU).
A paper edition of the publication was released in 2015. In late 2017, a decision was taken to update the online version of the publication (subject to data availability). Readers should note that while many of the statistical sources that have been used in People in the EU: who are we and how do we live? have been revised since its initial 2015 release, this was not the case for the population and housing census, as a census is only conducted once every 10 years across the majority of the EU Member States. As a result, the analyses presented often jump between the latest reference period — generally 2015 or 2016 — and historical values for 2011 that reflect the last time a census was conducted.

Main statistical findings. Statistics on the structure of the EU’s population and those measuring the change in the number of inhabitants have received growing attention from policymakers in recent decades, as it has become apparent that demographic developments — such as increasing life expectancy, falling fertility and migration — will play an increasing role in political, economic and social life.

Global population developments: setting the scene. The world’s population has grown considerably in the last 60 years: according to the United Nations, the number of inhabitants increased from 2.5 billion in 1950 to pass 7 billion at the end of October 2011. As of mid-2017, the world’s population was estimated to be 7.6 billion inhabitants, and is forecast to continue rising, albeit at a slower pace, with the number of global inhabitants projected to top 10 billion by 2055, rising to 11 billion by 2088. China and India are the two most populous countries in the world, each accounting for slightly less than one fifth of the total number of inhabitants. The United Nations’ projections foresee the population of India surpassing that of China by 2024. More generally, the vast majority of the world’s population growth over the next 30 years is expected to take place in just nine (mainly poor and developing) countries — ordered by their expected contribution — India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States of America, Uganda and Indonesia.

EU population structure and historical developments. Against this background of rising global population, there has been a considerable slowdown in the pace of population expansion within the EU, a pattern that has been repeated in many other developed world economies. Aside from Japan, the EU is the world’s most rapidly ageing region in the world.
There were 511.8 million inhabitants in the EU-28 as of 1 January 2017. This equated to just less than 7 % of the world total, compared with a share that was almost twice as high some five decades earlier. The pace of population growth in the EU-28 is expected to slow further, such that within the next 30-40 years the total number of inhabitants in the EU-28 is projected to stagnate and is projected to decline after 2045. For more information on future demographic developments in the EU, please refer to an article on Demographic challenges — population projections.
The population of the EU-28 on 1 January 2017 was 1.5 million higher when compared with a year before. Population growth in the EU-28 during 2016 was slower than in 2015, when the EU-28’s population had increased by 1.8 million inhabitants. [...]

In Statistics Explained (2017), 41896 
Key: INRMM:14587446



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Archived at:,_EU-28,_1960-2017_(millions)_PITEU17.png
Total population, EU-28, 1960-2017 (millions). Source: Eurostat. [Note: this text is excerpted or adapted from the Source URL: please, refer to the Source for any detail.]

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