Latvia's population decline this century set to be EU's steepest

Take note – story published 1 year ago

As previously reported by LSM, Latvia is on track to be the least populous of the Baltic states by 2060 and to have a population of little more than one million by the century's end, according to recently-released Eurostat figures.

Supplementary data published by Eurostat April 18 makes the demographic challenge even clearer, with Latvia expected to suffer the steepest population decline of any EU or EEA state. 

The number of inhabitants is projected to fall between 2022 and 2100 in 15 EU Member States. Among these, there will be a relatively modest decline in the total number of people living in Estonia, Spain, Hungary and Slovenia, where the population is expected to contract by less than 10 %.

Larger declines in the population, within the range of 10-20 %, are projected for Portugal, Finland, Italy and Slovakia, while large reductions of 20-30 % are projected for Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece. The largest losses — with the total number of inhabitants between 2022 and 2100 falling by more than 30.0 % — are projected for Lithuania (-36.7 %) and Latvia (-37.8 %).

In 2100 the most populous EU Member States will be Germany (84.1 million inhabitants), France (68.0 million), Italy (50.2 million), Spain (45.1 million) and Poland (29.5 million), the same ranking as in 2022.

An increase in the number of inhabitants is projected for 12 EU Member States and for all three EFTA countries considered here. Population numbers are projected to rise by more than 25.0 % in four countries: Iceland (with an increase by 66.0 %), Luxembourg (+54.5 %), Malta (+45.7 %) and Sweden (+27.0 %). The rapid population increases in Iceland, Luxembourg and Malta are largely due to the assumption that the relatively high levels of immigration seen in the last decade will be sustainable. Of the remaining countries, growth by more than 10.0 % is projected for Norway, Ireland, Switzerland and Cyprus.

EU/EEA population trends to 2100
EU/EEA population trends to 2100


In parallel data, Latvia's median age is set to rise from under 45 at present to over 50 by 2100. By 2100, the populations of all EU Member States will be ageing, although the rate of change will vary considerably.

Median ages in EU at 2100
Median ages in EU at 2100

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