On 1 January 2019, Croatia had 4,076,200 inhabitants, 29,300 fewer than a year before and is among the European Union countries with the highest population decreases, Eurostat said earlier this week.
The largest population decrease was recorded in Latvia (-7.5‰), followed by Bulgaria and Croatia (both -7.1‰), Romania (-6.6‰) and Lithuania (-5.3‰).
In 2018, the population increased in 18 member states and decreased in ten.
On 1 January 2019, the population of the EU was estimated at almost 513.5 million, compared with 512.4 million on 1 January 2018. During 2018, more deaths than births were recorded in the EU (5.3 million deaths and 5 million births). The population change (positive, with 1.1 million more inhabitants) was due to nett migration.
During 2018, five million babies were born in the EU, almost 118,000 fewer than the previous year. The highest birth rates were recorded in Ireland (12.5 per 1,000 residents), Sweden (11.4‰), France (11.3‰) and the United Kingdom (11.0‰), while the lowest were registered in Italy (7.3‰), Spain (7.9‰), Greece (8.1‰), Portugal (8.5‰), Finland (8.6‰), Bulgaria (8.9‰) and Croatia (9.0‰).
At EU level, the crude birth rate was 9.7 per 1,000 residents.
In the meantime, 5.3 million deaths were registered, almost 46,000 more than the previous year.
Ireland (6.4 per 1,000 residents), Cyprus (6.6‰) and Luxembourg (7.1‰) had in 2018 the lowest crude death rates, followed by Malta (7.6‰), the Netherlands (8.9‰), Spain and Sweden (both 9.1‰).
At the opposite end of the scale, Bulgaria (15.4‰), Latvia (15.0‰), Lithuania (14.1‰), Romania (13.5‰) and Hungary (13.4‰) recorded the highest.
Consequently, Ireland (with a natural change of its population of +6.1‰) remained in 2018 the member state where births most outnumbered deaths, ahead of Cyprus (+4.1‰), Luxembourg (+3.2‰), Sweden (+2.3‰), and France (+2.2‰).
In contrast, among the 15 member states which registered a negative natural change in 2018, deaths outnumbered births the most in Bulgaria (-6.6‰), followed by Latvia (-4.9‰), Lithuania (-4.1‰), Croatia, Hungary and Romania (all -3.9‰).
With 83 million residents, Germany is the most populated member state, ahead of France (67 million), the United Kingdom (66.6 million, Italy (60.4 million), Spain (46.9 million) and Poland (38.0 million).
Malta is the least populated member state (493,600), followed by Luxembourg (613,900) and Cyprus (875,900).