EU population continues to decrease for a second year

On the occasion of World Population Day, we take the opportunity to highlight the data published today on EU population.

After a first decline in population growth in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU’s population decreased again in 2021, from 447 million on 1 January 2021 to 446.8 on  January 1, 2022. The negative natural change (more deaths than births) outnumbered the positive net migration for a second year, most likely due to the impact of the pandemic. In the EU, there were 531 000 more deaths in 2020 than in 2019 to be compared to 113000 more deaths in 2021 than in 2020.

This information comes from data on population published by Eurostat today. This article presents only a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article on population and population change statistics.

New estimates on household distributional accounts


Eurostat publishes experimental statistics on household distributional accounts for income and consumption. This release includes national data by income quintile for a number of countries and years, and centralised estimates by income decile for income for 2015-2019 and consumption for 2015.

The graph below presents the distribution of household income and consumption by income quintile, aligned with macroeconomic totals, for the latest available year for countries that provided their estimates.

The population of individual EU Member States on 1 January 2022 ranged from 0.5 million in Malta to 83.2 million in Germany. Germany, France and Italy together comprised almost half (47%) of the total EU population on 1 January 2022.

While the overall EU population declined for a second straight year, population declines were not reported in every Member State. In total, 10 countries recorded a decrease in population between 1 January 2021 and 2022, with the largest decrease reported in Italy (-253 100) and the smallest in Slovenia (-1 800). Increases were observed in the other 17 countries, with the largest in France (185 900) and the smallest in Estonia (1 700).

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