On 1 January 2020, the population of the European Union (EU) with 27 Member States was estimated at 447.7 million, down by 12.8% as compared with 513.5 million in 28 Member States on 1 January 2019. This decrease is mainly due to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (on 1 February 2020), which led the population of the EU to decrease by 13%. The total EU27 population change was positive with 0.9 million more inhabitants during 2019, due to net migration.
The natural change of the EU population has been negative since 2012, with more deaths than births recorded in the EU (4.7 million deaths and 4.2 million births in 2019).
These figures were issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, just before the World Population Day (11 July).
Largest population size in Germany, smallest in Malta
Among the EU Member States, Germany has the largest population (83.2 million residents) accounting for 18.6% of the total EU population at 1 January 2020, followed by France (67.1 million or 15.0%), Italy (60.2 million or 13.5%), Spain (47.3 million or 10.6%) and Poland (38.0 million or 8.5%). Fourteen Member States have a share of between 1% and 5% of the EU population, while eight have a share below 1%.
Increase in population in eighteen Member States
The population increased in eighteen EU Member States and decreased in nine. Malta recorded by far the highest population increase (+41.7‰), followed by Luxembourg (+19.7‰), Cyprus (+13.7‰), Ireland (+12.1‰), and Sweden (+9.5‰). The largest population decreases were recorded in Bulgaria (-7.0‰), Latvia (-6.4‰), Romania (-5.0‰), Croatia (-4.4‰), and Italy (-1.9‰).
Highest birth rate in Ireland, lowest in Italy
4.2 million babies were born in the EU in 2019, 2.2% fewer than in the previous year. The highest crude birth rates in 2019 were recorded in Ireland (12.1 per 1 000 residents), France (11.2‰), Sweden (11.1‰), Cyprus (10.9‰) and Greece (10.6‰). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest birth rates were registered in Italy (7.0‰), Spain (7.6‰), Greece (7.8‰), Finland (8.3‰) and Portugal (8.4‰). At EU level, the crude birth rate was 9.3 per 1 000 residents.
Highest death rate in Bulgaria, lowest in Ireland
4.7 million deaths were registered in the EU in 2019, 0.9% fewer than the previous year. The lowest crude death rate was recorded in Ireland (6.3 per 1 000 residents). Low rates were also recorded in Cyprus (6.8‰), Luxembourg (6.9‰), Malta (7.3‰), and Sweden (8.6‰). In contrast, the highest death rate was recorded in Bulgaria (15.5‰), followed by Latvia (14.5‰), Lithuania (13.7‰), Romania (13.4‰) and Hungary (13.3‰).
At EU level, the crude death rate was 10.4 per 1 000 residents.
Consequently, Ireland (with a natural change of its population of +5.8‰) remained in 2019 the Member State where births most outnumbered deaths, followed by Cyprus (+4.1‰), Luxembourg (+3.1‰), Sweden (+2.5‰) and France (+2.1‰). Among the EU Member States which registered a negative natural change in 2019, deaths outnumbered births the most in Bulgaria (-6.7‰), followed by Latvia (-4.7‰), Lithuania, Greece and Croatia (each -3.9‰), Hungary and Romania (each -3.8‰) and Italy (-3.6 ‰).
At EU level, eleven Member states registered a positive natural change and sixteen Member States registered a negative natural change in 2019.