The depopulation of European countries
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic depopulation of some regions in Europe, intense declines, particularly in Eastern and Southern Europe, because of the combination of intra-European Union migration from these regions and low fertility rates.
The pandemic accelerated mortality growth in 2020 and subsequent years of a magnitude not seen since WWII in Western Europe or the partition of the USSR in Eastern Europe.
As a result, life expectancy at birth dropped from 2019 to 2020 in 27 out of 29 nations. Males in the United States and Lithuania had the most significant losses in life expectancy at birth during 2020 (2.2 and 1.7 years, respectively).
The pandemic had an impact by increasing mortality, decreasing the birth rate, and decreasing the influx of immigrants.
The map below shows the depopulation processes in European countries, years when each country’s population in the past first reached the 2021 population.
This map clearly illustrates that most countries in Europe now have populations below their former historical highs.
For example, Ireland’s population has fallen to the 1825 population. Latvia and the Czech Republic have also taken the lead in Europe in population decline.
Nevertheless, there are several countries in Europe where depopulation has stopped, and population growth has continued.