The EU has significant religious diversity, mirroring its diverse history and culture. The largest religious group professes "Christianity account 72% of "EU population, predominantly Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Several EU nations do not have Christian majorities for example (in the Czech Republic, Estonia, and The Netherlands, the majority has no religious affiliation).
Today, theism is losing prevalence in Europe in favour of atheism and agnosticism, and religion is losing prevalence in favour of secularism. European countries have experienced a decline in church attendance, as well as a decline in the number of people professing a belief in a god. The Eurobarometer Poll 2005 found that, on average, 52% of the citizens of EU member states state that they believe in a god, 27% believe there is some sort of spirit or Life Force while 18% do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god or Life Force, and 3% declined to answer.
A decrease in church membership and/ or church attendance in Europe (especially Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden) has been noted, church attendance (percentage wise of the total population by country) in Northern and western Europe is typically in the single digits.
The recent influx of immigrants to the affluent EU nations has brought in various religions of their native homelands, including Islam, "Hinduism, "Buddhism, "Sikhism and "Bahá'í Faith. Judaism has had a long history in Europe and has coexisted with the native populations for centuries, despite centuries of discrimination against Jewish people and several attendant periods of persecution or genocide by European rulers. "Islam too has had a long history in Europe with Spain and Portugal at one time having a Muslim majority. Large Muslim population also exists in Balkans and parts of Eastern Europe, a legacy of centuries of Ottoman rule.
The first official languages of each of the 28 member countries has the status of an official language of the European Union. In total there are 24, with "Irish, "Bulgarian and "Romanian gaining official language status on 1 January 2007, when the last two countries joined the union, and "Croatian becoming official in 2013.
English is the most spoken language in the EU, being spoken by around 51% of its population. This high proportion is because 38% of EU citizens speak it as a language other than their mother tongue (i.e. "second or "foreign language). German is the most spoken "first language, spoken by more than 18% of the population.
The EU faces challenges in its demographic future. Most concerns center around several related issues: an ageing population, growing life expectancy and immigrant flow.
After hitting a historical low of 1.47 children born per female, the total fertility rate of the EU started to increase again, to reach a level of 1.60 in 2008. The positive trend was observed in all member states with the exception of Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal. The largest increases over this period were observed in Bulgaria (from 1.23 children per woman in 2003 to 1.57 in 2009), Slovenia (from 1.20 to 1.53), the Czech Republic (from 1.18 to 1.49) and Lithuania (from 1.26 to 1.55). In 2009, the Member States with the highest fertility rates were Ireland (2.06), France (2.00), Sweden (1.94), and the United Kingdom (1.90), all approaching the replacement level of 2.1 children born per female. The lowest rates were observed in Latvia (1.31), Hungary and Portugal (both 1.32) and Germany (1.36). The increasing fertility rate has also been accompanied by an upward trend in the natural increase of the population which is due to the moderate increase of the crude birth rate that reached 10.9 births per 1000 inhabitants in 2008, an increase of 0.3 compared with 2007. The increase was observed in all member countries except Germany. The EU crude death rate remained stable at 9.7 per 1000 inhabitants. The relatively low fertility rate means retirement age workers are not entirely replaced by younger workers joining the workforce. The EU faces a potential future dominated by an ever-increasing population of retired citizens, without enough younger workers to fund (via taxes) retirement programs or other state welfare agendas.
A low fertility rate, without supplement from immigration, also suggests a declining overall EU population, which further suggests economic contraction or even a possible economic crisis. Some media have noted the 'baby crisis' in the EU, some governments have noted the problem, and the UN and other multinational authorities continue to warn of a possible crisis. At this point however such a decrease in the population of the EU is not observed as the overall natural growth remains positive and the EU continues to attract large numbers of immigrants. In 2010, a breakdown of the population by citizenship showed that there were 20.1 million foreign citizens living in the EU representing 4% of the population.
Over the last 50 years, life expectancy at birth in the EU27 has increased by around 10 years for both women and men, to reach 82.4 years for women and 76.4 years for men in 2008. The life expectancy at birth rose in all Member States, with the largest increases for both women and men recorded in Estonia and Slovenia.
In 2008, EUROPA released projections for 2035 and 2060. Overall the population of the EU would increase to 520 million then decrease to 505 million in 2060.
The table figures below are in thousands.
There is no precise or universally accepted definition of the terms "ethnic group" or "nationality". In the context of European ethnography in particular, the terms ethnic group, people (without nation state), nationality, national minority, ethnic minority, linguistic community, linguistic group and "linguistic minority are used as mostly synonymous, although preference may vary in usage with respect to the situation specific to the individual "countries of Europe.
The largest groups that account for about 450 million people in the European Union are:
- "Germany (c. 82 million)
- "France (c. 60 million)
- "United Kingdom (c. 60 million) (includes "English 48 million, "Scots 5 million, "Welsh 3 million and "Northern Irish 1.7 million)[a]
- "Italy (c. 55 million)
- "Spain (c. 47 million)
- "Poland (c. 46 million)
- "Romania (c. 16 million) (not counting "Moldovans and "Aromanians)
- "Greece (c. 15 million)
- "Netherlands (c. 13 million)
- "Portugal (c. 11 million)
The rest are various smaller ethnic groups include "Czechs (c. 9,5 million), "Hungarians (c. 8 million), "Swedes (c. 7 million), "Austrians (c. 6 million), "Bulgarians (c. 6 million), "Flemish, "Croats, "Slovaks, "Silesians, "Danes, "Finns, "Irish, "Walloons, "Lithuanians, "Slovenes, "Latvians, "Estonians, "Russians, "Maltese, "Moravians, "Frisians and "Basques.
On current trends European populations will become more ethnically diverse, with the possibility that today's majority ethnic groups will no longer comprise a numerical majority in some countries.
In 2011, almost a quarter of new EU citizens were "Moroccans, "Turks, "Ecuadorian or "Indians. The new citizens in the EU27 in 2011 came mainly from Africa (26% of the total number of citizenships acquired), Asia (23%), non-EU27 Europe (19%), North and South America (17%) or another EU27 Member State (11%). In 2011, the largest groups that acquired citizenship of an EU27 Member State were citizens of Morocco (64 300 persons, of which 55% acquired citizenship of France or Spain), Turkey (48 900, 58% acquired German citizenship), Ecuador (33 700, 95% acquired Spanish citizenship) and India (31 700, 83% acquired British citizenship).
In 2012, 34.3 million foreign citizens lived in the 27 European Union member states, accounting for 6.8% of the European Union population, of whom 20.5 million were third country nationals (i.e. nationals of non-EU countries). The number of foreign-born (which includes those who have naturalised or are dual nationals) was 48.9 million or 9.7 per cent of the total population.
A total of 8.0 million citizens from European countries outside of the EU-27 were residing in the EU at the beginning of 2012; among these more than half were citizens of Turkey, Albania or Ukraine. The next biggest group was from Africa (24.5%), followed by Asia (22.0%), the Americas (14.2%) and Oceania (0.8%). Romanians (living in another EU Member State) and Turkish citizens made up the biggest groups of non-nationals living in the EU-27 in 2012. There were 2.4 million Romanian citizens living outside of Romania within the EU-27 and 2.3 million Turkish citizens living in the EU-27; each of these two groups of people accounted for 7.0% of all foreigners living in the EU-27 in 2012. The third largest group was Moroccans (1.9 million people, or 5.6% of all foreigners).
Approximately 20 million non-Europeans live in the EU, 4% of the overall population.
Age structure: (2006 est.)
- 0–14 years: 16.03% (male 37,608,010/female 35,632,351)
- 15–64 years: 67.17% (male 154,439,536/female 152,479,619)
- 65 years and over: 16.81% (male 31,515,921/female 45,277,821)
"Birth rate: 10.9 births/1,000 population (2008)
"Death rate: 9.7 deaths/1,000 population (2008)
"Net migration rate: 3.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008)
"Marriage rate: 4.9 marriages/1,000 population (2007)
"Divorce rate: 2.0 divorces/1,000 population (2005)
"Sex ratio: (2006 est.)
- at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
- under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
- 15–64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
- 65 years and older: 0.69 male(s)/female
- total population: 0.96 male(s)/female
"Infant mortality rate: (2005)
- total: 4.5 deaths/1,000 live births
- male: N/A
- female: N/A
"Life expectancy: (2005)
- total population: 78.9 years
- male: 75.8 years
- female: 81.9 years
Total "fertility rate: 1.59 children born/woman 2009
Live Births outside marriage: 40% of total live births in 2012
- "Demography of Europe
- "List of European Union member states by population
- "Population Europe
- "Latin Americans in Europe
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