Statistics in Focus: Population and social conditions. First demographic estimates for 2005.
Based upon monthly data available at the end of 2005, latest forecasts and expert opinion, the net inflow of international migrants (immigration minus emigration) to the European Union is expected to show a decrease in 2005 to a level of around 1 691 000 persons, against 1 852 000 persons in 2004. The number of live births is expected to increase slightly from 4.80 million in 2004 to 4.82 million in 2005. The total number of deaths is also expected to increase from 4.35 million in 2004 to 4.49 million in 2005. Natural population change (live births minus deaths) is therefore forecast to show a significant decrease from 447 000 in 2004 to 327 000 in 2005. Consequently, total population increase is estimated to reach a level of around 2.0 million (compared to 2.3 million in 2004), bringing the EU population on 1 January 2006 to 461.5 million. The increase in population is mainly due to net migration of which more than half (1 million) is accounted for by Italy and Spain (the highest net migration figure in the EU). However, for both countries the figures are inflated by regularisation programmes, thus including persons who may have arrived before 2005. The population of the Candidate Countries amounts to 106.3 million people on 1 January 2006. This is an increase of 803 000 compared with 1 January 2005, due to positive natural growth (live births outnumbering deaths).