What is Russia or Spain more developed


In 2017, a good 511 million inhabitants lived in the 28 member states of the European Union (EU). With 82.5 million inhabitants, Germany was the most populous EU state - followed by France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Poland. In relation to the European non-EU countries, Russia with 143.7 million inhabitants was well ahead of Germany, Turkey was clearly ahead of France (79.8 million / 67.0 million) and Ukraine was ahead of Poland (42.4 million). / 38.0 million). According to projections, the population will decrease in 24 European countries between 2017 and 2050 and increase in 23. According to Eurostat, the population of the 28 EU members will increase from 512 to 529 million over the same period.


In 2017, around 511.5 million people lived in the 28 member states of the European Union (EU). The five most populous EU countries were Germany (82.5 million), France (67.0 million), the United Kingdom (65.8 million), Italy (60.6 million) and Spain (46, 5 million). In 2017, these five countries had a total of 322.4 million inhabitants, according to Eurostat. This corresponded to a share of 63.0 percent of the total population of the EU. If the next five most populous countries - Poland, Romania, the Netherlands, Belgium and Greece - are added, the proportion of the EU population rises to 82.0 percent and the population to around 419 million.

The population of all 48 European countries for which Eurostat provides data (see table below) was 839.1 million in 2017. The ten most populous countries had a share of 77.0 percent of the total population of Europe - including three non-EU countries: Russia (143.7 million inhabitants), Turkey (79.8 million) and the Ukraine (42nd , 4 million). The share of the 20 most populous European countries was only 4.3 percent of the total European population in 2017.

According to the population projections of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN / DESA), the world population will increase by 32.4 percent between 2015 and 2050. Europe is the only region in the world for which a population decline is assumed during this period (minus 3.4 percent). From 1960 to 2015, Europe had the lowest growth rate of all world regions at 22.3 percent. For comparison: the population of Africa increased by 319 percent between 1960 and 2015, that of Asia by 160 percent and the population of North America by 74 percent (for the UN / DESA definition of Europe, see "Terms, methodological notes or reading aids" below).

In 24 of the countries considered here, the population will decrease between 2017 and 2050. In terms of absolute numbers, especially in Russia (minus 10.9 million), Ukraine (minus 6.0 million), Poland (minus 3.6 million), Romania (minus 3.3 million) and in Greece (minus 1.9 million). Relative to their own population, the decline is in Lithuania (minus 31.3 percent), Latvia (minus 22.8 percent), Bulgaria (minus 21.7 percent), Greece (minus 17.2 percent) and Romania (minus 16.9 percent Percent) are the highest.

On the other hand, the population in 23 European countries will increase in the years 2017 to 2050. In relation to the absolute figures, especially in Turkey (plus 15.8 million), the United Kingdom (plus 11.8 million), France (plus 7.4 million), Spain and Sweden (plus 2.7 million) .) and in the Netherlands (plus 2.2 million). The highest relative increases in the same period are in Luxembourg (plus 58.9 percent), Sweden (plus 26.9 percent), Norway (plus 24.9 percent), Turkey (plus 19.8 percent), Ireland (plus 19.8 percent) .0 percent) and the United Kingdom (plus 17.9 percent).

Between 1960 and 2017, the population of the 28 EU member states increased from 407 to 512 million (plus 25.8 percent) and, according to Eurostat, it will increase further to 529 million (plus 3.3 percent) by 2050. The population development is determined by two factors: On the one hand, the natural change in the population, i.e. the difference between the number of live births and the number of deaths. On the other hand, the migration balance, i.e. the number of people who immigrate and emigrate. Until the late 1980s, the natural change in population was the most important component of population growth in the EU. However, there has been a sustained decline here since the early 1960s. In contrast, international migratory movements have gained in importance. Since the early 1990s, these have become the main driving force behind population growth.

Data Source

Eurostat: online database: population (05/2018); United Nations - Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017). World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision

Terms, methodological notes or reading aids

Together with the natural population development (Difference between live births and deaths) determine the Migratory movements the Population level a total of. The proportion of both factors has changed significantly over time and also differs from country to country. Information on this topic can be found here ...

In contrast to the European Commission, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN / DESA) does not include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Cyprus in Europe. You can find an overview of this topic here ...

Some of the data from the UN / DESA differ from those of other institutions. A brief explanation can be found here: https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/General/FAQs.aspx