Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 01/04/2011

EU population older and more diverse – new demography report says

The third Demography Report published in cooperation with Eurostat reveals Europeans are living longer and healthier lives.

Young girl walking with her parents

A positive trend in the report is that fertility continues to rise slowly. It has increased from below 1.45 children per women to 1.6. However, for a population to be self-sustaining, 2.1 children per woman would be required. The report points to modern family policies as a good way to improve employment through better reconciliation between paid work and family commitments.

Life expectancy has also been increasing in an almost continuous and uniform trend at the rate of 2-3 months every year, and is the main driver behind the population ageing. At the same time, the demographic challenge is geographical with populations in four Member states (Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania) decreasing rapidly under the effects of natural growth (more people die than are born) and outward-migration.

The report also shows how Europe's population growth is still fuelled mainly by immigration. Non-EU citizens have been joining EU countries at a rate of 1 to 2 million per year and intra-EU mobility has also increased. By 2060 the proportion of migrants and their descendants will double. Although net immigration to the EU halved following the crisis the total number of non-EU nationals within EU borders still continued to rise.

In terms of intra-EU mobility, the new Eurobarometer survey shows that one in five of the EU-27 respondents has either worked, or studied in another country, lived with a partner from another country or owns property abroad. One in ten of the respondents plan to move to another Member State in the next ten years.

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