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EU population growth driven by immigration

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Eurostat, the European Union statistics agency, reports that the population of the Union grew by 1.7m over the year to January 1st 2014. The population of the union rose to 507.4m, up from 505.7m a year earlier.

Eurostat reports that the population of the 28 countries that make up the current European Union has risen by 100m since 1960.

The population rose slightly because of a greater birth rate than death rate. Eurostat says that about 4,999,200 people died in the EU in 2013 while 5,075,700 were born. This caused the population to grow by a mere 76,500.


Net immigration caused the EU population to grow by nearly ten times that much. According to Eurostat, the EU's population grew by 653,000 because of immigration.

The rest of the increase, about 1m people, has been caused by 'statistical adjustments' particularly in Italy. Eurostat explains 'census data have been compared with existing data in municipalities during 2013. The result is an increase of the population data of approximately 1 million'.

The figures show that the populations in 13 EU states actually fell. These countries tend to be in the south and east of the continent. The populations in wealthier countries in the west of the continent have tended to rise. These western countries have also generally experienced the highest levels of immigration.

Population growth

Countries with high rates of net immigration (over 3 people gained per 1,000 of the population) were

Denmark 5.3
Germany 5.4
Italy 3.0
Luxembourg 19.0
Malta 7.6
Austria 6.5
Finland 3.3
Sweden 6.8
United Kingdom 3.3

Population decrease

Countries with the highest levels of net emigration (over 3 people lost per 1,000 of the population) were

Ireland 5.6
Greece 4.7
Spain 5.5
Cyprus 13.9
Latvia 7.1
Lithuania 5.7
Portugal 3.5

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