Demographic: The population decreased by 0.37% annually in the five years 2014-2019


The population in Greece is declining at a much faster rate than in EU countries, where the influx of immigrants outweighs the decline in the indigenous population.

It is one of the findings of a special study by Demography professor at Panteion University Christos Bagavos, published recently in the latest issue of a new series of digital bulletins created with funding from the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (ELIDEK).

As pointed out in the conclusions of the study, “the contraction of the total population is one of the most important demographic dimensions in Greece. It is characteristic that in the five years 2014-2019 the total population in Greece is decreasing by 0.37% per year (37 people per year for every 10,000 inhabitants), while the natives are declining at a rate of 0.62% per year.

At the same time, the total The population of the 27 EU countries is growing by 0.13% per year (13 people per 10,000 inhabitants) due to the influx of immigrants.

This publication analyzes the distinct role of immigrants and natives for the recent changes in the total population in Greece and the European Union of 27 Member States. In particular, according to Mr. Bagavos, the decrease of the population of Greece in the six years 2014-2019 is due to the natives, the reduction of which (-62 people on average per 10,000 inhabitants per year, ie -0.62%) was clearly faster than the decline of indigenous peoples in the EU (-33 / 10,000).

At the same time, at the same time the increase in foreigners it was noticeable highest in Europe (+46 people per 10,000) than in Greece (+ 24 / 10,000). Thus, while in the European Union migration overcomes the shrinkage of the indigenous population leading to an increase in the total population (+ 13 people per 10,000 inhabitants), migration in Greece only slows down the decrease in the total population. It should also be noted, explains Mr. Bagavos that despite the aforementioned differences, the percentage of immigrants in the total population is about the same in Greece and Europe of 27 (11.7% and 11.3% respectively).

The difference between births and deaths in the migrant population, according to the publication, is of equal importance in Greece and the EU27, as the Natural Balance of the migrant population does not differ between Greece and the EU27 (9 and 10 / 10,000 respectively on average in the period 2014-2019). On the contrary, the Immigration Balance differs significantly as the predominance of inputs over the outputs of migrants is more than double in the EU27 (+36 compared to 15 / 10,000 in Greece).

Mr. Bagavos emphasizes in the study that any differences between the Natural Balance of immigrants and natives do not depend so much on the differences in fertility and mortality rates but mainly on the differences between the age distribution of these two populations (immigrants are much younger) as the differential mortality and fertility of the two groups do not play a significant role. Corresponding findings emerge for the EU27, although the positive contribution of mortality and fertility to population changes is higher than that in Greece.

In conclusion, both in Greece and in the European Union, although immigrants have a positive effect on the change of the total population (more births than deaths), the natives negatively (more deaths from births) not because the former have higher fertility or lower mortality than the latter, but because the immigrant population is younger than the native (much lower rates of older people in the foreign population than those in the native population and higher rates of women of childbearing age than immigrants).  

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