On 1 January 2015, the population of the European Union was estimated at 508.2 million, compared with 506.9 million on 1 January 2014. During the year 2014, 5.1 million babies were born in the EU, while 4.9 million persons died, meaning that the EU recorded a positive natural change of its population of 0.2 million, double that of 2013. The remainder of the change is driven mainly by net migration, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union said.
© Scanpix

Germany (81.2 million residents), France (66.4 million), the United Kingdom (64.8 million) and Italy (60.8 million) are the most populated EU Member States. Together, they are home to more than half of the EU population.

During 2014, the population increased in sixteen EU Member States and decreased in twelve. The largest increase was observed in Luxembourg (+23.9 per 1,000 residents), well ahead of Sweden (+10.6), Malta (+9.3), Austria (+9.1) and Denmark (+7.5). In contrast, the largest decreases were recorded in Cyprus (-12.9 per 1,000 residents), Greece (-8.4), Latvia (-7.7) and Lithuania (-7.6). In total, the population of the EU increased by slightly more than 1 million people (+2.2 per 1,000 residents) during the year 2014.

During 2014, the population in Lithuania decreased from 2,943,500 to 2,921,300.

Accounting for 16.0 percent of total EU population, Germany continues to be the most populated Member State, ahead of France (13.1 percent), the United Kingdom (12.9 pct), Italy (12.0 pct), Spain (9.1 pct) and Poland (7.5 pct).

Compared with 1995, Spain (from 8.2 pct of total EU population in 1995 to 9.1 pct in 2015, or +0.9 percentage points), France (+0.8 pp) and the United Kingdom (+0.7 pp) were the Member States having increased the most their weight in total EU population, while Germany (-0.9 pp), Romania (-0.8 pp) and Poland (-0.5 pp) registered the largest relative falls.

During the year 2014, 5.1 million babies were born in the EU, 33,000 more than the previous year. Across Member States, the highest crude birth rates in 2014 were recorded in Ireland (14.4 per 1,000 residents), France (12.4), the United Kingdom (12.0) and Sweden (11.9), while the lowest were registered in Portugal (7.9), Italy (8.3), Greece (8.5) and Germany (8.6). At EU level, the crude birth rate was 10.1 per 1,000 residents.

There were 4.9 million deaths registered in the EU in 2014, 46,600 less than the previous year. Bulgaria (15.1 per 1,000 residents) had in 2014 the highest crude death rate, followed by Latvia (14.3), Lithuania (13.7), Hungary (12.8) Romania (12.7) and Croatia (12.0). At the opposite end of the scale, Cyprus (6.2 per 1,000 residents), Ireland (6.4) and Luxembourg (6.9) recorded the lowest. The crude death rate was 9.7 per 1,000 residents in the EU.

Consequently, the highest positive natural change of the population (the difference between live births and deaths expressed per 1,000 residents) was registered by far in Ireland (+8.1). Cyprus (+4.7), France and Luxembourg (both +4.0) and the United Kingdom (+3.2) had also notable positive natural change of their population in 2014. Among the eleven EU Member States which registered a negative natural change in 2014, the largest were to be found in Bulgaria (-5.7 per 1,000 residents), Romania (-3.5), Latvia and Lithuania (both -3.4) and Hungary (-3.3). It should also be noted that though total population increased in 2015 in Germany and Italy, the natural change was negative in both Member States, meaning that the population growth recorded in 2014 was driven by net migration.

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