EU population grows to 508.2 million, new data reveals
LUXEMBOURGJul 10, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Jul 10, 2015 12:00 am
The population of the European Union has grown to 508.2 million, data released on Friday showed, with both demographic factors and migration contributing to the increase.
The number, estimated on January 1, was up from 506.9 million a year earlier, according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat.
Germany remains the most populated country in the 28-member bloc, with 81.2 million residents - followed by France, Britain and Italy. The four countries' combined populations account for more than half of the EU total.
Across the bloc, 5.1 million babies were born last year, while 4.9 million people died, Eurostat said.
The highest birth rates continued to be found in Ireland, France, Britain and Sweden, while the lowest were again registered in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Germany.
Germany and Italy saw their populations increase only thanks to migration, as both countries registered more deaths than births, Eurostat said.
The highest death rates were reported in Bulgaria, Latvia and Lithuania, while the lowest were registered in Cyprus, Ireland and Luxembourg.
Migration is a sensitive issue in the crisis-battered EU, with migrants often seen to be competing for limited jobs and welfare benefits.