Bulgaria with Largest Fertility Rate Increase in EU

Bulgaria in EU | April 1, 2011, Friday // 15:01|  views

Since 2003, the fertility rate rose in all EU Member States, except Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal, according to Eurostat data. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria has registered the largest increase of its fertility rate in the EU for the 2003 – 2008 period, according to a Friday publication of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union.

The data trend from the third Demography Report is published jointly with the Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission.

The aim of the third report is to provide the latest facts and figures needed for an informed debate on the demographic challenges.

The European Union, with a population of half a billion, is facing important demographic changes. While the population is getting older, fertility has begun to increase again, life expectancy keeps growing and the EU continues to attract a large number of immigrants, the report points out.

After falling sharply between 1980 and the early 2000s, the fertility rate in the EU started to increase again in 2003, when it stood at 1.47 children per woman, to reach a level of 1.60 in 2008.

The fertility rate rose in all Member States, except Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal.

The largest increases over this period were observed in Bulgaria (from 1.23 children per woman in 2003 to 1.57 in 2009), Slovenia (from 1.20 to 1.53), the Czech Republic (from 1.18 to 1.49) and Lithuania (from 1.26 to 1.55).

In 2009, the Member States with the highest fertility rates were Ireland (2.07), France (2.00), the United Kingdom (1.96 in 2008) and Sweden (1.94), all approaching the replacement3 level of 2.1. The lowest rates were observed in Latvia (1.31), Hungary and Portugal (both 1.32) and Germany (1.36).

Over the last 50 years, life expectancy at birth in the EU has increased by around 10 years for both women and men, to reach 82.4 years for women and 76.4 years for men in 2008.

The life expectancy at birth rose in all Member States, with the largest increases for both women and men recorded in Estonia and Slovenia.

In 2009, the highest life expectancies at birth for women were observed in France (85.1), Spain (84.9), Italy (84.5 in 2008) and Cyprus (83.6), and for men in Sweden (79.4), Italy (79.1 in 2008), Spain and the Netherlands (both 78.7).

Having reached the age of 65, women in the EU could expect to live an additional 20.7 years and men an additional 17.2 years.

In recent years, immigration has been the main driver behind population growth in most Member States: between 2004 and 2008, 3 to 4 million immigrants settled in the EU each year.

In 2010, a breakdown of the population by citizenship showed that there were 32.4 million foreigners living in an EU Member State (6.5% of the total population), of those, 12.3 million were EU nationals living in another Member State and 20.1 million were citizens from a non-EU country.

In 2010, the largest numbers of foreign citizens were recorded in Germany (7.1 million persons), Spain (5.7 million), the United Kingdom (4.4 million), Italy (4.2 million) and France (3.8 million). Almost 80% of the foreign citizens in the EU lived in these five Member States.

Among the EU Member States, the highest percentage of foreign citizens in the population was observed in Luxembourg (43% of the total population), followed by Latvia4 (17%), Estonia and Cyprus (both 16%), Spain (12%) and Austria (11%).

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Tags: Bulgaria, immigrants, EU, life expectancy, demographic changes, fertility rate, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, Directorate General Employment, Demography Report, eurostat, immigration


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