Fertility rate drop will see EU population shrink 13% by year 2100

(By Euronews)

There will be approximately 449.271 million people living in the European Union by 2100, 13% fewer than today’s population.


The World Population Prospects analysed the change in each country’s population since 1950 to make their predictions. The predictions for the future do not take into account the coming decrease in the EU’s population due to the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU.

Population in nearly all EU member states grew in the past seventy years with just two countries showing population reduction. The populations of Bulgaria and Latvia are expected to have fallen by 303,000 and 41,000 respectively since 1950.

Europe’s growth is predicted to peak as early as 2021 however. The increasing median age, coupled with lower fertility rates of EU citizens means that the the population is in fact set to decrease by 67.76 million before 2100.

In 1960 the fertility rate of the average European woman was 2.6, by 2015, this number had fallen to 1.6. UN spokesperson told Euronews that although Europe is experiencing positive migration (more entering the EU than leaving) these figures will not be sufficient to counter-balance the low fertility rates.

Compared to 1950, when the median age for these countries was 28.9, the average median for 2020 is predicted to be more than a decade older at 43. By 2100, this figure will have risen to 49.3.

Currently, one in four Europeans is aged 60 years or older, with ever-rising health standards pushing this figure even higher. 

According to these figures, the oldest country in the EU in 2020 is expected to be Italy, with a median age of 47. The youngest country in the union will be Cyprus, with a median age of 37. By 2100 however, Cyprus’s median age is predicted to have caught up with European counterparts, and even surpass the average age with a median age of 50.

The rates of change of these figures are complicated by the fact that 1950s Europe was a wholly different landscape than today’s Europe.

At this time, just six founding members Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were beginning to unite in order to secure lasting peace following the end of World War Two.

The EU of today is comprised of 28 member states and has grown exponentially since 1950. This trend in Europe is far from unique, says the data. According to the report, every populated continent has undergone a significant population growth since 1950.

By mid-2020, it is predicted that approximately 7.79 billion people will be living on this planet. By 2100, there could be as many as 10.87 billion.

Africa and Asia are currently home to more than twice the total population of the remaining four regions combined. In eighty years time, the two continents are predicted to be consist of over 80% of the world’s population.

The issue of population increases on these continents is raising concern from humanitarian groups and environmentalists alike.

The World Bank has estimated that over 140 million people will be displaced due to climate change by 2050. Other organisations, however, predict even higher rates of forced migration. ReliefWeb, for example, estimates that as many as one billion or, one-in-nine people will be displaced by environmental causes by 2050.

Leave a comment