Migration fuelled a population increase of more than 1million across the EU last year, with Britain seeing the sixth largest relative increase.
By – David Churchill
The rise in numbers across the bloc came despite there being more deaths than births, a report revealed yesterday.
The figures show there were around 513.6million people living in the EU’s 28 member states on January 1 this year, compared with 512.5million on the same day last year – a rise of 1.1million.
During 2017, there were 5.3million deaths recorded, compared with 5.1million births, meaning the increase was down to net migration, according to the report compiled by Eurostat, the EU statistics office.
Nineteen member states saw population increases, with the biggest relative increase in Malta at 3.3 per cent. The archipelago has been at the forefront of migrant arrivals in recent months and, along with Italy last month, began refusing boats carrying migrants to allow to dock.
Luxembourg saw the second biggest relative increase at 1.9 per cent followed by Sweden with 1.2 per cent.
The UK saw the sixth largest with 0.5 per cent, meaning the population surged by 377,871. Of this, 230,000 was down to net migration.
Unlike the rest of the EU, there were more births (755,000) than deaths (607,200) in the UK.
Germany, which opened its doors to more than 1million migrants at the height of the migration crisis in 2015/16, remains the most populated member state, with 82.9million residents or 16.2 per cent of the total EU population.
France is second with 67.2million and 13.1 per cent of the total, and the UK third with 66.2million, or 12.9 per cent.
The figure of 5.1million births across the bloc last year was almost 90,000 less than the previous year.
Ireland recorded the highest ‘crude’ birth rate – the number of births per 1000 residents – at 12.9, with Sweden the second highest at 11.5.
The number of new Swedish citizens continues to increase at a rapid pace: so far this year, 25,000 cases of Sweden citizenship have already been distributed. As of today, the largest groups being granted citizenship are Syrias, “stateless” and Somalis, followed by minority groups from other Muslim countries.
The UK and France were joint third, both at 11.4 per 1000.
These figures were issued ahead of World Population Day today.
Read more: From 2018/06/16