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The demographic decline of the EU: an inflexion point

    In 2015 more people died in the EU that were born – for the first time ever, according to Eurostat. These data confirm projections made in the CPS report The Great Overtake, which highlighted that demographic and economic projections make the UK better equipped for upcoming challenges compared to the rest of the EU. Highlights include:

    • 135,000 more people died in the EU than were born during 2015. This is the first ever time that the “natural change in population” (ie excluding net migration) has been negative in the EU.
       
    • of the five biggest countries in the EU, France and the UK saw a positive natural change in the population (of +201,000 and +174,000 residents respectively). Germany saw the biggest negative natural change of any Member State (of –187,000 residents)
       
    • if the UK were excluded, the negative natural change for the whole of the EU would more than double (from 135,000 to 309,000)
       
    • over the last decade, the median age of the EU population increased by almost 3 years, rising from 39.5 years in 2005 to 42.4 years in 2015
       
    • in 2015, the highest proportion of young population (under 14 years) was observed in Ireland (22.1 %) while the lowest was recorded in Germany (13.2 %)
       
    • the four countries of EFTA all reported a positive natural change in their population

    Tim Knox, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, comments:

    “The EU’s demography has hit an inflexion point: from now on, the profile of the EU is set to age significantly – and will do so even faster given the UK is set to leave the EU. While the UK’s demographic projections are relatively healthy, these long-term projections for the EU Member States will have inevitable economic consequences. Yes, the immediate economic uncertainty in the UK over Brexit is concerning. But we can be comparatively optimistic over the longer-term demographic and economic outlook."

    ”the four countries of EFTA”

    Date added: Monday 11th July 2016