EU citizens are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, but without immigration the over...
EU citizens are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, but without immigration the overall population would have contracted again during the past year, according to the latest population figures from Eurostat covering 2001.
The average EU female can now expect to live more than 81 years, and the average male more than 75 years.
Fertility has not changed, registered as 1.47 births per woman compared to 1.48 the previous year.
The two factors taken together mean that without net immigration last year, the population would have contracted and aged even faster.
As it is, the EU added about 1.5 million people, to 379.6 million, but three-quarters of that 0.4% increase was due to net immigration.
And more worrying than that, many of the countries lined up to join the EU in the next two rounds of enlargement experienced a fall in their populations - led by Bulgaria, which experienced a whopping 2.7% fall in its population.
Of the world's major regions or countries only Japan managed a lower population increase than the EU, equivalent to 0.2% of its roughly 127 million people.
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