Brie 2019

Population Ageing. A Demographic Vulnerability of the European Union

Mircea Brie

Article information

Volume: XIII Issue: 2, Pages: 53-66
Mircea Brie,
University of Oradea, Department of International Relations and European Studies,
1 University Street, 410087, Oradea, Romania,


For centuries, important geopolitical, social-economic or scientific factors have contributed to the progress of European societies. An important effect of this progress was the improvement of the perspectives and the demographic context. The positive evolution of important demographic indicators, including population growth, urbanization, decreased mortality (including infant mortality), increased life expectancy, population mobility, etc. have contributed to Europe’s success worldwide. Europe proved to be an important demographic source that allowed for the golden era of colonialism when the Christian-European civilization spread across the globe.
However, the trends have changed in the meantime. If during the period of sharp increase in the birth rate in the years after the Second World War, the European population reached up to 22.8% of the world’s population, Europe subsequently experienced a reduction down to zero of the population growth. Today, the European population represents only 9.6% of the world’s population. In the current geopolitical and economic context, this tendency of population decline is an important demographic vulnerability of the European space, and particularly of the European Union. The internal market, European affairs, but also social services are affected by this evolution of the population.
Methodologically, without analysing the full range of demographic vulnerabilities that the European Union is facing, we intend to monitor the main demographic indicators that refer to the age group structure of the population of the 28 EU Member States. This paper aims to capture the phenomenon of population ageing in Europe, with its various regional peculiarities. To carry out this analysis we propose to use the data provided by Eurostat for the past 10 years.
As the phenomenon of population ageing has different causes and different degrees of expression in the Western states compared to the Eastern ones, we intend to highlight the trends recorded from this regional perspective throughout this analysis.

Keywords: The European Union, population ageing, demographic vulnerability, societal security



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