EU population up to nearly 500 million
It was the fourth year in a row that the population had risen and comes despite a drop in the birthrate in Germany, the EU's most populous country.Brussels -- The European Union's population is on course to break through the 500 million mark in 2009, new figures from the bloc's statistics agency indicated Monday.
The total number of people living in the European Union's 27 states rose by 2.1 million, or 0.4 percent, over 12 months to January and now stands at 499.8 million people, the latest figures from Eurostat showed.
It was the fourth year in a row that the population had risen and comes despite a drop in the birthrate in Germany, the EU's most populous country.
The increase was down to a moderate rise in the birth rate while the death rate had remained relatively constant, said Eurostat.
For while 5.4 million babies had been born across the EU 27 nations, up 0.3 percent on the previous year, 4.8 million people died over the same period -- the same rate as the previous year.
Germany bucked the trend, recording 675,000 births against 844,000 deaths, which meant Germany's total population dropped 168,000 in 2008 to 82.1 million people.
The highest increase in the birthrate was an 0.8 percent jump recorded in Lithuania, which amounted to 35,000 births. But its population continued to fall because the country recorded 44,000 deaths.
In contrast, France's population increased 368,000 to 64.4 million people; in Spain by 545,000 to 45.8 million; and in Italy by 434,000 to 60.1 million.
Britain's population increased 441,000 to 61.6 million.
AFP / Expatica