Statistics in Focus: Population and social conditions. Slightly fewer births and deaths in 1998.
After five years of decline, the number of babies born in the European Union increased somewhat in 1996 and remained stable in 1997. Based upon monthly data available at the beginning of 1999, the number of live births in 1998 is estimated to decrease again, from 4.05 to around 4.01 million. The number of deaths is expected to decrease from 3.71 to around 3.69 million. This will result in a probable decrease in natural population growth (live births minus deaths) within the EU from 336 000 in 1997 to 319 000 in 1998. When related to the total population, natural growth would amount to nearly 0.1 %. In 1995 a post-war low was recorded of 278 000. This bulletin provides 'best guestimates' or 'now-casts' on live births and deaths for the calendar year just finished. Provisional birth and death counts for the year 1998 are due in mid-1999. At the same time, 1998 estimates will become available for the total fertility rate and life expectancy at birth as well as for the total number of the other component of population growth, net international migration (immigration minus emigration).
Number of pages4p.
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