Ageing and immigration: a key challenge for Europe (Myria – Federal Migration Centre)
The Belgian Federal Migration Centre Myria, published a statistical paper on the issue of the ageing of the population and the role of immigration, a major demographic challenge for European societies.
The main components of population change are births, deaths, and migration.The natural increase – defined as births minus deaths – of the population of the European Union went down in recent years. The year 2015 is a turning point, because for the first time, the number of registered deaths was higher than the number of births, resulting in a negative natural increase.
Today, the population of the European Union is still growing, but this growth is only due to increasing net migration (immigration minus emigration). When looking at the age structure of the population, the number of dependent and older persons is growing while the number of young persons is decreasing. At the same time, the age structure of migrants is younger compared to the age structure of the population of EU-origin. Therefore the question comes up if migration can play a part to counter back the process of an increasingly older population structure in the EU. Reality is complex, and answers are not straightforward. However, this paper presents a number of key data on the issue of ageing and immigration with the aim to enable readers to better understand the phenomenon.
The paper is available in Dutch and French, and on the website of Myria.