The population of Europe seems set to become smaller, older and, because of immigration, less ethnically cohesive in the future. These trends are generally viewed with anxiety in Europe, though it is not self-evident that they are as negative or as inevitable as they are often portrayed. Having first briefly outlined some of the ambiguities that arise in defining the boundaries of Europe for demographic purposes, the chapter provides a general account of these trends and of the major components of population change − births, deaths and migration − that make them up. It also pays some attention to internal diversity within Europe, since that diversity may prove great enough to amount to a new force for division between European regions, not least between the demographically stronger and weaker states within the European Union. It concludes with some comments on how the European Union might respond to the current demographic situation.


Total Fertility Rate Fertility Decline European State European Migration Elderly Share 


  1. Ahn, N. and M. Pedro (2002) ‘A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries’ Journal of Population Economics 15: 667–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Billari, F. (2005) ‘Europe and its fertility. From low to lowest low’ National Institute Economic Review, 194.Google Scholar
  3. Birg, H. (2001), ‘Auswirkungen und Kosten der Zuwanderung nach Deutschland’, Gutachten im Auftrag des Bayerischen Staatsministeriums des Innern, Bielefeld, Institut für Bevölkerungsforschung und Sozialpolitik (mimeo).Google Scholar
  4. Boeri, T. and H. Brücker (2005) ‘Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?’ Economic Policy 44 (October): 629–677.Google Scholar
  5. Boeri, T., G. Hanson, and B. McCormick (2002) (eds.) Immigration Policy and the Welfare System. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brewster, K.L. and R.R. Rindfuss (2000) ‘Fertility and women’s employment in industrialized nations’, Annual Review of Sociology 26: 271–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bucher, H. and R. Mai (2005) Depopulation and Its Consequences for the Regions of Europe. DG3/CAHP10(2005) 7, Council of Europe. http://www.coe.int/population accessed November 2007. (accessed November 2007).
  8. Carone, G., D. Costello, N. Diez Guardia, G. Mourre, B. Przywara, and A. Salomaki (2005) ‘The economic impact of ageing populations in the EU25 Member States’. European Economy No 236 (December 2005).Google Scholar
  9. Castles, F. (2003) ‘The world turned upside down: Below replacement fertility, changing preferences and family-friendly public policy in 21 OECD countries’ Journal of European Social Policy 13, 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chesnais, J. (1992) The Demographic Transition. Stages, patterns and economic implications. Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  11. Coleman, D. (2006) ‘Immigration and ethnic change in low-fertility countries: A third demographic transition’ Population and Development Review 32, 3: 4–1–466.Google Scholar
  12. Council of Europe (2006) Recent Demographic Developments in Europe 2005.Council of Europe.Google Scholar
  13. D’Addio, A.C. and M. Mira d’Ercole (2005) Trends and Determinants of Fertility Rates: the Role of Policies.OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  14. Demeny, P. (2003) ‘Population policy dilemmas in Europe at the dawn of the twenty-first century’ Population and Development Review 29, 1: 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Demeny, P. (2007) ‘A clouded view of Europe’s demographic future’ Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2007.Google Scholar
  16. European Commission (2005) Confronting Demographic Change: A new solidarity between the generations. Green Paper, Communication from the Commission, Com (2005) 94. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  17. European Commission (2006) Employment Outlook in Europe 2006. Luxembourg: Commission of the European CommunitiesGoogle Scholar
  18. Fahey, T. and Z. Spéder (2004) Fertility and Family Issues in an Enlarged Europe. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities http://www.eurofound.eu.int/publications/Living%20Conditions.htm
  19. Ferguson, N. (2006) The War of the Worlds. History’s Age of Hatred.London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  20. Frejka, T. and J.-P. Sardon (2004) Childbearing Prospects in Low-fertility Countries: A Cohort Analysis. Dordrecht: Kluwer AcademicGoogle Scholar
  21. Funck, B. and L. Pizzati (eds) (2003) European Integration, Regional Policy and Growth. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  22. Gellner, E. (1997) Nationalism.London.Google Scholar
  23. Gellner, E. (1983) Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University PressGoogle Scholar
  24. Hobsbawm, E. (1990) Nations and Nationalism since 1780. Programme, Myth, Reality. Cambridge: Canto.Google Scholar
  25. Kaiser, R.J. (1994) The Geography of Nationalism in Russia and the USSR. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Krieger, H. (2008) ‘Migration and mobility culture: an analysis of mobility intentions’, in J. Alber, T. Fahey and C. Saraceno (eds.) Handbook of Quality of Life in the Enlarged European Union. London: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  27. Kroehnert, S., F. Medicus, and R. Klingholz (2006) The Demographic State of the Nation. How sustainable are Germany’s regions? Berlin: Berlin Institute for Population and Development http://www.berlin-institut.org/pdfs/Kurzfassung_demografische%20LAge_englisch.pdf. (accessed October 2007)
  28. Lemaitre, G., T. Liebig, C. Thoreau, and P. Fron (2007) Standardised statistics on immigrant inflows, results, sources and methods. Mimeo, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentGoogle Scholar
  29. Lewis, M.W. and K.E. Wigen (1997) The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography.Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  30. Lutz, W. (2006) ‘Alternative paths for future European fertility? Will the birth-rate recover or continue to decline?’, in Wolfgang Lutz, Rudolf Richter and Chris Wilson (eds.) The New Generations of Europeans. Demography and Families in the Enlarged European Union.London & Sterling VA: Earthscan, pp. 83–100.Google Scholar
  31. OECD (2006) International Migration Outlook 2006. Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pearse, D. (1999), ‘Changes in fertility and family size in Europe’, Population Trends, No. 95, London, Office for National Statistics.Google Scholar
  33. Prskawetz, A., T. Fent, W. Barthel, J. Crespo-Cuaresma, T. Lindh, B. Malmberg, and M. Halvarsson (2007) The Relationship Between Demographic Growth and Economic Change in the EU. European Commission, Directorate for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/spsi/demo_impact_studies_en.html (accessed January 2008)
  34. Ruiz-Jimenéz, A.M. and Torreblanca, J.I. (2007) ‘European Public Opinion and Turkey’s Accession: Making Sense of Arguments For and Against’ European Policy Institutes Network, Working Paper No. 16, May 2007. http://www.epin.org (accessed August 2007)
  35. Said, E. (1979) Orientalism. New York: Vintage PressGoogle Scholar
  36. Sanderson, W.C. and S. Scherbov (2005) ‘Average remaining lifetimes can increase as human populations age’ Nature 435: 811–813 (June 9, 2005)Google Scholar
  37. Sleebos, J.E. (2003) Low Fertility Rates in OECD Countries: Facts and Policy Responses. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers No. 15. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  38. Smil, V. (2005) ‘The next 50 years: unfolding trends’ Population and Development Review 31, 4: 605–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sobotka, T. (2004) ‘Is lowest-low fertility in Europe explained by the postponement of childbearing’ Population and Development Review 30, 3: 195–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sobotka, T. (2008) ‘The rising importance of migrants for child bearing in Europe.’, in.: T. Frejka, J. Hoem, T. Sobotka and L. Toulemon (eds.) Child bearing trends and policies in Europe. Forthcoming in Demographic Research, 2008.Google Scholar
  41. Sobotka, T., W. Lutz, and D. Philipov (2005) ‘Missing Births: Decomposing the declining number of births in Europe into tempo, quantum and age structure effects’ European Demographic Research Papers 2.Google Scholar
  42. Testa, M.R. (2007) ‘Childbearing preferences and family issues in Europe: evidence from the 2006 Eurobarometer survey’ Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2007: 357–379.Google Scholar
  43. Therborn, G. (2005) Between Sex and Power. Family in the World, 1900-2000. London: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  44. Toulemon, L. (2004) “Fertility among immigrant women: New data, a new approach,” Population & Societies no. 400.Google Scholar
  45. United Nations (2006) World Population Prospects. The 2006 Revision. United Nations: New York.Google Scholar
  46. Westoff, C.F. and T. Frejka (2007) ‘Religiousness and fertility among European Muslims’ Population and Development Review 33, 4: 785–809CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. World Bank (1994) Averting the Old Age Crisis: Policies to Protect the Old and Promote Growth.New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  48. World Bank (2005) Dying Too Young. Addressing Premature Mortality and Ill Health Due to Non-communicable Diseases and Injuries in the Russian Federation. Washington DC: The World BankGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor of Social PolicyUniversity CollegeDublinIreland

Personalised recommendations