During 2017, the population increased in nineteen EU member states and decreased in nine, according to Eurostat.
The largest relative increase was observed in Malta (+32.9 per 1,000 residents), ahead of Luxembourg (+19.0 per 1,000 residents), Sweden (+12.4 per 1,000 residents), Ireland (+11.2 per 1,000 residents) and Cyprus (+11.0 per 1,000 residents).
In contrast, the largest decrease was recorded in Lithuania (-13.8 per 1,000 residents), followed by Croatia (-11.8 per 1,000 residents), Latvia (-8.1 per 1,000 residents), Bulgaria (-7.3 per 1,000 residents) and Romania (-6.2 per 1,000 residents).
In total, the population of the EU increased by 1.1 million people (+2.1 per 1000 residents) during the year 2017.
There were slightly more deaths than births recorded in the EU during this period, (5.3 million deaths and 5.1 million births), meaning that the natural change of the EU population was negative. The population change (positive, with 1.1 million more inhabitants) was therefore due to net migration.
With 82.9 million residents (or 16.2 per cent of the total EU population on 1 January 2018), Germany is the most populated EU Member State, ahead of France (67.2 million, or 13.1 per cent), the United Kingdom (66.2 million, or 12.9 per cent), Italy (60.5 million, or 11.8 per cent), Spain (46.7 million, or 9.1 per cent) and Poland (38.0 million, or 7.4 per cent).
Malta accounts for just 0.1 per cent of the EU’s population.