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 1 January 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 113 000 more deaths in 2021 than in 2020.
Among the other data, it is confirmed that Latvia's 1.9 million population (or 1,893,223 to be precise) accounts for only 0.42% of the EU's total population.
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).
During 2021, the highest crude rate of natural increase of population was registered in Ireland (5.0 per 1 000 persons), followed by Cyprus and Luxembourg (both 3.4). A total of 18 EU Member States had negative rates of natural change, with deaths outnumbering births the most in Bulgaria (-13.1 per 1 000 persons), Latvia (-9.1), Lithuania (-8.7) and Romania (-8.2). In relative terms, a total of 22 EU Member States had positive rates of net migration (and statistical adjustment): Luxembourg (13.2 per 1 000 persons), Lithuania (12.4) and Portugal (9.6) had the highest crude rates of net migration in 2021, while Croatia (-33.1 per 1 000 persons), Greece (-1.6), Slovakia (-1.5), Romania (-0.4) and Latvia (-0.2) recorded negative crude net migration rates.