Europe's demographic crisis

Ageing and falling

As the post-World War II baby boom generation retires, the demographic dividend which has been positive for the last 40 years will turn negative for at least as long, according to projections by Eurostat.

Germany's 82 million residents will dwindle to 74.7 million by 2050, while Britain will have overtaken the Germans by then as the EU's most populous nation, if it stays in the bloc.

Population projections

In millions

United Kingdom
85.1 mln
France
78.8 mln
Germany
65.4 mln
Italy
65.1 mln
Spain
47.6 mln
Poland
29.6 mln
Sweden
14.1 mln

Median age over time

1960-2013

United Kingdom
39.8
Germany
45.3
Italy
44.4
Spain
41.3
Poland
38.7
Sweden
40.9

Fewer working-age people to more seniors

At present, the age dependence rate is 27.5 on average in the 28-nation EU, but Germany and Italy are well above that level. Projections indicate there will be only two people of working age for every retiree by 2050.

Old-age dependency ratio projections - selected European countries vs. EU average

The bigger the ratio, the fewer working people to every retiree EU average

Germany
Poland
Italy
Spain
France
UK
Sweden

Migration flows within the EU in 2012

2012 is latest OECD data available. Figures are from national sources, which include short-term movements. Number of migrants into Denmark, Estonia, France and Greece not available.

ORIGIN
DESTINATION

Sources: Eurostat; OECD International Migration Database
Graphics by Monica Ulmanu and Vincent Flasseur/Reuters. Photo by Christian Charisius/Reuters.