By Olivier Sorgho
(Reuters) – The European Union’s population rose for the first time in three years in 2022, boosted by migration into the bloc even as more people died than were born, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said on Tuesday.
The political alliance’s population rose from 446.7 million on Jan. 1, 2022 to 448.4 million people a year later. The figure had declined for two consecutive years before this due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The observed population growth can be largely attributed to the increased migratory movements post-COVID-19 and to the mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine who received temporary protection status in EU countries,” Eurostat said.
Many European countries face declining or ageing populations due to a mix of lower fertility rates and higher life expectancy, a process that weighs on the demographic make-up of the economy as the proportion of working-age people shrinks. Proponents say migration is a key solution to this problem.
Eurostat said only seven countries recorded a drop in their populations in 2022, including Italy whose population fell by nearly 180,000 people.
The twenty remaining countries within the bloc saw their populations rise. The biggest increase was recorded in Germany with a rise of more than 1.1 million people.
(Reporting by Olivier Sorgho in Gdansk; Editing by Milla Nissi and Christina Fincher)
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