The population in Europe has increased by 1 million people per year, according to the figures published by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat). As of the first January 2018, the inhabitants of the old continent are 512.6 million people compared to 511.5 million last year.

The population increased in 19 EU member states in 2017 and decreased in nine. The largest relative growth is achieved by Malta – 32.9 promille, followed by Luxembourg with 19 promille, Sweden with 12.4 promille, Ireland with 11.2 and Cyprus with 11 promille.

The biggest drop in population was registered in Lithuania (-13.8), followed by Croatia (-11,8), Latvia (-8.1), Bulgaria (-7.3) and Romania (-6,2). The highest mortality rate per 1000 inhabitants was registered in Bulgaria – 15,5, Latvia – 15 in 1000, Lithuania – 14 per 1000.

Last year, Bulgaria was ranked first in regards to deaths in the EU and sixth regarding lowest birth rate, according to Eurostat figures. This means that our country remains in the trap of the demographic crisis.

The population of Bulgaria will be less than 7 million in just a few months, showing an estimate based on an analysis of the official data of the National Statistical Institute. The official number of Bulgarians at the beginning of 2019 must be 6 998 000 if the sustainable trend so far persists. A new population census is forthcoming in 2021.

According to the latest figures, the population in our country has decreased by average of 40-50,000 people annually, or twice as much as the city with the size of New Zagora. The share of young people by age of 20 will be maintained while older people over 65 will grow significantly. This determines and predicts a reduction in the number and share of the population in active age.

In a pan-European plan, Bulgaria is not the only country with a projected declining population, it became clear from the study in early 2018. This is expected to happen in 11 more countries in the EU – Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Greece, Croatia, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Italy and Slovakia. They could eventually be joined by Slovenia and the Czech Republic, in which the population is expected to remain unchanged until 2040. This leads to the conclusion that in almost half of EU countries a reduction in population numbers is expected.

As of 10 July 2018, the world’s population is estimated at 7.635 billion. It is expected to reach 8 billion in 2040 and 10.5 billion in 2050. Most of the expected increase will be in Africa and South Asia.