Annual Population Change in Europe

Which areas in Europe see the largest increase and decrease in population?


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Map of the annual population change in Europe

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Europe is often referred to as the ‘Old Continent’. Not just because of its long history, but also because of its ageing population. An ageing population will/can eventually result in a decline in the overall population. On this map we can see which regions in Europe are experiencing an increase or decline in population.

The numbers on this map represent the annual population change. This number was calculated by using the population data from 2014 to 2019.

We can see that Eastern Europe and Portugal, but in particular South Eastern Europe, experience the largest decreases in population. The areas with the biggest decreases are located in Croatia and Albania. In most of these countries, almost the whole country experiences a decrease, except the capital and maybe some other large cities.

In Turkey, Malta, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Iceland, Switzerland and Ireland we can see that almost every part of the country experiences an increase in population.

How does this compare to the annual population change for the whole country? The following countries experience a decrease in population: Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. Lithuania (-1.04%), Bosnia (-1.06%) and Moldova (-1.49%) are the only European countries to have an annual population change lower than -1% on the national level.

The countries with the fastest growing populations are Malta (2.82%), Luxembourg (2.23%), Iceland (1.85%), Turkey (1.35%) Sweden (1.19%) and Ireland (1.12%). All other countries have an annual population change between 0% and +1%.

Comparing these national number to the map, we can see that countries with a lot of pink areas usually have a decreasing change. Whereas the countries that are largely green, do experience a growth in population.

The data for this map comes from Eurostat and The World Bank. For this map, I decided to use the years 2014 to 2019, because there is incomplete data for both 2020 and the years preceding 2014.

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