Europeans are faced with an aging population and ultimately with Demographic Decline
In 2018, nearly one fifth of the EU population was aged 65 and more. And the share of people aged 80 years or more should double by 2100 to reach almost 15% of the whole population (Re.Eurostat). The European continent must already struggle with shrinking workforce. This explains, at least in part, the stagnation of the European economy. On 1 January 2019, the population of the EU-28 was estimated at 513.5 million inhabitants. This is almost 1.5 million more than the previous year. But it is necessary to specify that in recent years, more than three quarters of the EU’s total population growth has resulted from net inward migration (Re.EPRS). Germany followed by the UK were the top destinations for migration. At the same time, the population of 12 EU Member States including many countries of Eastern and Central Europe is declining. The reasons to explain this phenomenon are well known: low birth rates and mass emigration mainly in other EU countries. Here are a few significant examples. First, Bulgaria: the population is projected to drop from 6.9 million in 2020 to 5.4 million in 2050, a 22.5% decline (Re.UN). And it must be highlighted that Germany’s birthrate is equivalent to Bulgaria’s. Germany has one of the oldest population in Europe and a low fertility rate of just 1.5 births per woman. In Italy the population is projected to drop from 60.5 million in 2020 to 54.4 million in 2050, a 10.1% decline (Re.UN). Finally, the numbers speak for themselves. The EU represents an-ever decreasing proportion of the world population at just 6.9% today and is projected to fall further to just 4.1% by the end of this century (Re.EPRS). Such figures could have far-reaching consequences for the future of the European continent in a rapidly changing world.