MaltaToday | 27 August 2008

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NEWS | Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Malta to face sheer drop in population by 2060

Malta’s population will drop by 5,000 by 2060, down to 405,000, a Eurostat report on the projected population of EU member states claims.
The projections for Malta put the island’s population, currently at 410,000, rising to a peak of 429,000 by 2035 – an increase of 4.5%. The population will then face a massive 1.4% drop back to 405,000, according to the study.
Luxembourg on the other hand, with the second smallest population in the EU at 485,000, will see its population rise by 250,000.
The population projections for the period 2008-2060 come from a report issued by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities.
The report predicts that from 2015, deaths will outnumber births in the EU’s 27 member states, with almost three times as many people aged 80 or more in 2060. The EU27 population is projected to increase from 495 million on 1 January 2008 to 521 million in 2035, and thereafter gradually decline to 506 million in 2060.
The annual number of births is projected to fall over the period 2008-2060, while at the same time the annual number of deaths is projected to continue rising.
From 2015 onwards deaths would outnumber births, and positive net migration would be the only population growth factor. However, from 2035 this positive net migration would no longer counterbalance the negative natural change, and the population is projected to begin to fall.
The EU27 population is also projected to continue to grow older, with the share of the population aged 65 years and over rising from 17.1% in 2008 to 30.0% in 2060, and those aged 80 and over rising from 4.4% to 12.1% over the same period.
The strongest population growth is projected to be found in Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Sweden, and the sharpest declines in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Poland.
In 2060, the Member States with the largest populations would be the United Kingdom (77 million), France (72 mn), Germany (71 mn), Italy (59 mn) and Spain (52 mn).
The EU27 population is projected to become older throughout the projection period, due in particular to persistently low fertility and an increasing number of survivors to higher ages. This ageing process would occur in all Member States. In 2060, the share of the population aged 65 or more is projected to range from 23.6% in Luxembourg, 24.7% in the United Kingdom and 25.0% in Denmark to 36.2% in Poland, 36.1% in Slovakia and 35.0% in Romania.
In consequence, the population aged 65 years and older divided by the working age population, is projected to increase from 25% in 2008 to 53% in 2060. In other words, there would be only two persons of working age for every person aged 65 or more in 2060, compared with four persons to one today.

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