Demographic trends

  • Demography
    a stylised image of two older people on a tandem bicycle
    In 2018, life expectancy at birth increased to 78.2 years for men and 83.7 for women. This growth is projected to continue: men born in 2070 are expected to live 86 years, and women 90
  • Demography
    6 windows show glimpses of people at home. A man and woman hug, a man sits alone at a screen, a woman plays the violin, two people share a drink, a man reads in an armchair, a woman serves food to a child.
    In the EU as a whole, the composition of our households is changing – households composed of two parents with children are being joined by households consisting of people living alone, single parents or couples without children.
  • Demography
    a stylised image of two women beside a pram, one is pregnant. A man cycles past with a child in a child-seat
    In 2018, the average number of childbirths per woman was 1.55 and their median age at childbirth was 31.3.
  • Demography
    A man carries a box, a child and a woman empty another box.
    Some of us opt to move around or live abroad, but the size of these flows is volatile and can change quickly.
  • Demography
    Two older people stand with a surfboard, taking a selfie
    By 2070, 30.3% of the population is projected to be aged 65 years or older (compared to 20.3% in 2019) and 13.2% is projected to be aged 80 years or older (compared to 5.8% in 2019)
  • Demography
    An image of a multi-ethnic group of people walking from left to right.
    The share of Europe’s population in the world is shrinking and by 2070 it will account for just under 4% of the world’s population.



Impacts of demographic change


Europe’s working-age population is shrinking and we need to find ways to sustain economic growth by bringing more people into jobs and increasing productivity.


To deal with Europe’s ageing society, our health and care systems will have to adapt further and we will have to consider how to fund higher age-related public spending.


Demographic challenges often vary significantly between different parts of the same country. With some regions likely to experience rapid population change, this will lead to new opportunities and challenges, from investment to infrastructure and accessibility to access to services. Finding new solutions to support people through change will be essential.


Demographic change can also impact Europe’s position in the world. It’s share of global population and GDP will become comparatively smaller. This makes the need for Europe to be united, stronger and more strategic all the more important.


Demographic change and the twin green and digital transitions often affect, support or accelerate each other - strategic foresight will therefore be an essential tool to predict and prepare policies to address these issues.


The findings of the Commission’s Demography Report show that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Policymaking needs to zoom into the reality on the ground. The European Union, Member States and regions have a shared interest in responding to demographic change for the benefit of all Europeans. Demographic change will affect everybody and must be a factor that helps steer Europe’s recovery from the crisis and provide us with insights as we build a more resilient, sustainable and fair Union.

Click on a country or region in the map below to access demographic statistics for that area.

The NUTS classification (Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics) is a hierarchical system for dividing up the economic territory of the EU.

  • NUTS 1 represents major socio-economic regions
  • NUTS 2 represents basic regions for the application of regional policies

See more demographic statistics for individual EU countries


Next steps

The next steps are:

  • 2020

    Report on the impact of demographic change

  • Early 2021

    Green Paper on ageing

  • 2021

    Long-term vision for rural areas


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