Increase driven by migration
On 1 January 2018, the population of the European Union (EU) was estimated at 512.6 million, compared with 511.5 million on 1 January 2017. During the year 2017, more deaths than births were recorded in the EU
(5.3 million deaths and 5.1 million births), meaning that the natural change of the EU population was negative. The population change (positive, with 1.1 million more inhabitants) was therefore due to net migration.
With 82.9 million residents (or 16.2% of the total EU population on 1 January 2018), Germany is the most populated EU Member State, ahead of France (67.2 million, or 13.1%), the United Kingdom (66.2 million, or 12.9%), Italy (60.5 million, or 11.8%), Spain (46.7 million, or 9.1%) and Poland (38.0 million, or 7.4%). For the remaining Member States, nine have a share of between 1.5% and 4% of the EU population and thirteen a share below 1.5%.
These figures are issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, just before the World Population Day (11 July).
Population increase in nineteen Member States
During 2017, the population increased in nineteen EU Member States and decreased in nine. The largest relative increase was observed in Malta (+32.9 per 1 000 residents), ahead of Luxembourg (+19.0‰), Sweden (+12.4‰), Ireland (+11.2‰) and Cyprus (+11.0‰). In contrast, the largest decrease was recorded in Lithuania (-13.8‰), followed by Croatia (-11.8‰), Latvia (-8.1‰), Bulgaria (-7.3‰) and Romania (-6.2‰). In total, the population of the EU increased by 1.1 million people (+2.1 per 1000 residents) during the year 2017.