New Demographic Report from European Commission

European Commission has lately published Demographic Report - an analytical web-note which contains an extensive update of the main demographic trends for the EU and a labour-market supplement which outlines the potential consequences of the forthcoming demographic change (declining working-age population) on the EU's growth perspective. It also focuses on childbirths and fertility rates across the EU's Member States, making it clear that the obtained results are deeply alarming. 

In order to provide a complex report, a wide range of demographic data was analysed, including national and regional statistics on populations and various demographic factors such as births, deaths, marriages and divorces, immigration and emigration, asylum and residence permits. The research proved that population ageing affects the entire EU, due to increasing life expectancy and consistently low levels of fertility over recent decades. What’s worrying is that the trend is expected to continue in the coming decades.

Since a total fertility rate considered to be the replacement level is 2.1 live births per woman, the research shows that it has declined to well below this number, with rates even below 1.3 in Spain, Poland and Portugal. This could be partly explained by the decision of many parents to delay having children - the mean age of women at childbirth continued to rise in the last 10 years (between 2003 and 2013), when it stood at 30.3 years. But the result is clear: in 2013 over 80% of live births in the EU were first and second children. 

When it comes down to large families, the figures for the births of third children were above 15% in five Member States, with a maximum of 17.6% of total live births in Ireland. However, in seven countries it was below 10%, with the minimum in Bulgaria (7.8%). Across the Member States, the highest proportion of fourth or subsequent births out of total births was recorded in Finland, United Kingdom, Romania and Ireland, reaching around 9% in each of these countries.

The Demography Report, was jointly produced by DG Eurostat and DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, with its data extracted from Eurostat online database in May 2015. The report is available in English.

Click here to download the report [PDF]

Source: European Commission