Expats And Migrants Push EU Population To 505m

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The European Union population is growing fast – and most of the increase is explained by more expats moving in.

On January 1, 2013, the EU population numbered 505.7 million – 1.1 million increase year-on-year, according to official figures from Eurostat.

Although 5.2 million babies were born, most of the increase in population was cancelled out by 5 million deaths, leaving a 0.9 million increase in migrants and expats and a 0.2 million natural increase to boost the population.

As the number of migrants and expats swelled, the countries with the influx of outsiders were Luxembourg (+18.9%), Malta (+7.4%), Italy (+6.2%), Sweden (+5.4%) and Austria (+5.2%).

Those with the highest outflow were Ireland (-7.6%), Lithuania (-7.1%), Latvia (-5.8%), Estonia (-5.7%), Greece (-4.0%), Portugal (-3.6%) and Spain (-3.5%).

Expats on the move

Much of this movement out can be explained by economic problems in Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain, where anecdotal evidence suggests many retired expats moved back to their home nations to avoid financial difficulties and falling property prices.

The Baltic State decline could be explained by workers moving to other EU countries for higher paid jobs.

The countries recording the most births were Ireland (15.7%), the United Kingdom (12.8%), France (12.6%), Sweden (11.9%) and Cyprus (11.8%), while the lowest were Germany (8.4%), Portugal (8.5%), Greece and Italy (both 9.0%) and Hungary (9.1%).

The death rate shows an east-west divide – with Bulgaria (15.0%), Latvia (14.3%),

Lithuania (13.7%), Hungary (13.0%), Romania (12.7%) and Croatia (12.1%) all in double figures, while Ireland (6.3%), Cyprus (6.6%), Luxembourg (7.3%), Malta (8.1%) and the Netherlands (8.4%) were the lowest.

Rises and Falls

The largest population changes were noted in Ireland (+9.5%), Cyprus (+5.2%), Luxembourg (+4.0%), France and the United Kingdom (both +3.8%), while 12 countries had negative growth with the largest decreases in Bulgaria (-5.5%), Latvia (-4.5%), Hungary (-3.9%), Lithuania (-3.5%), Romania (-2.7%) and Germany (-2.4%).

However, the most rapid population growth was in Luxembourg (+23.0%), Malta (+9.1%), Sweden (+7.7%), the United Kingdom (+6.2%), Belgium (+6.0%) and Austria (+5.2%), and the biggest falls were in Lithuania (-10.6%), Latvia (-10.3%), Estonia (-6.8%), Bulgaria (-5.8%), Greece (-5.5%) and Portugal (-5.2%).

The statistics showed 17 states recorded population increases and 11 saw their numbers fall.

The largest relative increases showed a population shift west and north, with Luxembourg (+23.0‰), Malta (+9.1‰), Sweden (+7.7‰), the United Kingdom (+6.2‰), Belgium (+6.0‰) and Austria (+5.2‰) reporting the largest rises, while the Lithuania (-10.6‰), Latvia (-10.3‰), Estonia (-6.8‰), Bulgaria (-5.8‰), Greece (-5.5‰) and Portugal (-5.2‰) had the largest decreases.

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