European Population Growth Continues to Be Driven by Mass Migration

Around 2000 migrants who arrived by train, walk near the border town of Kljuc Brdovecki, on October 24, 2015, to cross the Croatia-Slovenia border. Crowds of refugees and other migrants camp by roads in western Balkan countries in worsening autumn weather after Hungary sealed its borders with Serbia and Croatia, …
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Despite there being more deaths than births across the continent, Europe saw population growth over over one million in 2018 largely driven by continued mass migration.

The European Union statistics agency Eurostat confirmed that the population within Europe had increased from 512.4 million to 513.5 million in 2018, the second year in a row the population of the continent has increased despite lower birthrates than death rates, Il Giornale reports.

Ireland continues to have one of the strongest birthrates in the European Union with 12.5 births per thousand inhabitants, while Italy, with 7.3 births per thousand inhabitants, ranked among the lowest in Europe. Five million children were born in Europe in 2018, down by around 118,000 from the previous year.

France, like Ireland, has a much higher birthrate than the European average, but according to a report from French newspaper Le Figaro, there is a disparity between the birthrates of native French and migrants.

Data from a study by the Institut national d’études démographiques (INED) claims that the native French birthrate is around 1.8 children per woman, much higher than the 1.59 average across the EU, but the birthrate for migrants is 2.6 children per woman, well above average.

Information from the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (INSEE) also used in the study reveals that around 18.8 per cent of the births in France in 2017 are to migrants, despite immigrant mothers making up around 12 per cent of the French population.

“If France is at the forefront of fertility rates in Europe, it does not come so much from immigration as the high fertility of natives,” the study claims, with native French defined as anyone born in the country.

While France’s birthrate remains high in comparison to other European countries, it has also seen two straight years of record-breaking numbers of asylum claims. Last year alone the country saw 123,625 individuals apply for asylum, up 22.7 per cent from the previous year.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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