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Europe's Demographic Future

Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises (2017)

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Europe looks back on a turbulent decade in which the financial, economic and debt crises led to mass unemployment and brought entire states to the brink of insolvency. As hundreds of thousands of refugees made their way to Europe, many people showed a great willingness to help them, but at the same time, this mass migration movement led to new conflicts. All of this has also had a major impact on population development. New migration patterns have emerged while old ones have changed, and in many places, fewer people want to start families in the face of economic insecurity. So where do Europe’s regions stand today and what are their long-term prospects? The Berlin Institute for Population and Development has examined these questions using a large number of demographic and socio-economic indicators.

The Berlin Institute would like to thank the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions (formerly GfK Verein) for supporting this research projec

Themes: Demographic change, Immigration and labour market, International population policies
published: 10th August 2017
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Selected Figures

Overview over different regions in Europe
Demographically speaking, Europe is a divided continent. In the northern, western and central parts of the continent high fertility and immigration ensure population growth in the foreseeable future while dampening the aging of society at the same time. On the contrary, many regions in the eastern and southern parts of Europe suffer from emigration and low fertility rates, which is to some extent a result of the difficult economic conditions.© Berlin-Institut
Total Fertility Rates in Europe 2015
Although nowhere in Europe are women having sufficient numbers of children to keep the population stable in the long term without immigration, there are nevertheless marked regional differences: there is a relative abundance of children in the north and west, while in the German-speaking regions and in southern and Eastern Europe the fertility rates are below 1.6 children per woman almost everywhere. There are historical reasons for these differences: particularly in Scandinavia and France, politicians recognised early on that in order to encourage people to have families, they would have to take measures to make having a family and a career more compatible.© Berlin-Institut
Annual net migration 2011-2015
The most popular immigration destinations in Europe in recent years have been the regions along the Alps, Central Italy, Southern France, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. Many of these regions number among the richest on the continent. By contrast, in the emigration regions of southern and Eastern Europe, only the areas including and surrounding the capital cities have been able – if at all – to achieve stability through migration. This is mainly because of internal migrants. However, the large number of refugees has played a decisive role in the fact that two thirds of all European NUTS 2 regions have recorded migration gains over the past five years.© Berlin-Institut


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