Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Eurostat Population Data

Something I forgot to link to last week, the latest Eurostat data on European population. Most notable here are the figures for the 'acceding' or 'transition' countries:

On 1st January 2003 the population of the EU was 379.0 million and that of the euro zone 305.6 million, far behind China (1 283 million) and India (1 042 million) but in front of the US (289.0 million). The EU population increased by 1 290 000 in 2002, an annual rate of 0.3%1. The rise in the EU population was around 2% of the 74 million increase in the world's population in 2002. The main contributors to world population growth were India (with an increase of 15.6 million, or 21% of the total world increase), China (+7.9 million or 11%) and other developing countries (+47.3 million or 63%).

Net migration accounted for almost a million, or three-quarters, of the EU population increase in 2002, with natural increase accounting for the rest. Natural increase has been below net migration since 1989. The United States recorded a population increase of 0.9%, three times higher than in the EU, with natural growth accounting for nearly two-thirds of the increase. Japan, with 127.1 million people, recorded an increase of 0.1%, due solely to natural growth.

The population increased in all the EU Member States in 2002. Largest increases were recorded in Ireland (15.2 per 1000) and Luxembourg (9.5‰) and lowest in Germany (1.2‰) and Italy (1.4‰). On the other hand, the Acceding countries4 recorded a drop in population of 0.1%. Six out of 10 recorded a fall with the biggest declines in Latvia (-6.1‰) and Hungary (-2.2‰). The population increased in Cyprus (+14.5‰), Malta (+6.7‰) and Slovenia (+0.5‰), and remained stable in the Slovak Republic.

Within the EU, the highest natural increase rates (difference between the number of births and deaths per thousand inhabitants) were observed in Ireland (+7.9 per 1000), France and the Netherlands (+3.7‰ each) whereas the rate was negative in Germany (-1.5‰), Italy (-0.5‰) and Greece (-0.2‰). The population would have fallen in these three Member States without positive net migration. Net migration was higher than natural increase in every Member State in 2002, apart from France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Finland. Positive net migration was recorded in 7 out of 10 Acceding countries. The exceptions were Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The total fertility rate5 in the EU in 2002 remained virtually unchanged at 1.47 children per woman compared with 2001 and 2000. However there were some notable increases in Germany from 1.35 in 2001 to 1.40 in 2002, and in Sweden, up from 1.57 to 1.65, with the highest value recorded by Ireland (2.01) and the lowest by Greece, Spain (1.25 each) and Italy (1.26). Among the Acceding countries fertility rates only ranged between 1.17 in Czech Republic and 1.57 in Cyprus (2001 data). In the US the fertility rate in 2002 was 2.06, in Japan 1.37 and in India 2.98.

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