In 2022, the EU population grew to more than 448 million people. The European Commission’s statistical organisation attributes the growth to an increase in migrant movements due to Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine and the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is stated in a statement by Eurostat.
“After a decline in population in 2020 and 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2022, the EU population increased from 446.7 million people as of 1 January 2022 to 448.4 million people as of 1 January 2023,” Eurostat said.
Experts attribute these figures to positive, sustainable migration. In particular, the population growth is attributed to the increase in migration movements after COVID-19 and the massive influx of citizens from Ukraine who have been granted temporary protection status in the EU due to Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.
Over a more extended period, the EU’s population grew from 354.5 million in 1960 to 448.4 million on 1 January 2023, an increase of 93.9 million people.
In recent decades, the rate of population growth has gradually slowed down. For example, the EU population grew by an average of around 0.8 million people per year between 2005 and 2022, compared to an average increase of about 3.0 million people per year in the 1960s.
“Even though the EU population declined by about half a million people in 2020 and by almost 0.3 million people in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has begun to resume its growth, as the new figures show,” Eurostat said.
It is noted that the population of individual EU countries as of 1 January 2023 ranged from 0.5 million in Malta to 84.4 million in Germany. As of 1 January 2023, Germany, France and Italy together accounted for almost half (47%) of the total EU population.
At the same time, the total EU population grew in 2022, but despite this, not every Member State experienced population growth. Seven countries recorded a decrease in population from 1 January 2022 to 2023, with the most significant reduction in Italy (-179,419 people) and the smallest in Slovakia (-5,920).
Increases were observed in the other 20 countries, with the largest in Germany (1,121,721) and the smallest in Latvia (7,251).
On 5 June, the Ukrainian Institute for the Future reported that around 8.6 million Ukrainians have not returned home from abroad since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion.