The Demography of Europe

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To date most of the focus with respect to the greying of Europe from a public health and health systems perspective has been on the health care needs of the elderly population and the challenges that this will pose in terms of financing and provision of health services, 7 particularly with a focus on long-term care. This needs to be targeted through multiple approaches, such as family related benefits which support couples wishing to have children as well as facilitating increase female employment and the Nordic countries are a good example of this.

The effects of demographic aging on health care expenditure have often been overestimated as for example in the area of pharmaceutical expenditure where innovation seems to be a more important driver. Furthermore, ageing per se is not sufficient to determine health needs. The concept of healthy ageing and the evolution of frailty are important aspects to take into account. Preventive actions that seek to improve the health of the working age population can have a significant effect on the health profile of the new elderly population in Europe in the coming years.

Whilst most countries in Europe have experienced improvements in longevity and healthy life expectancy over the past decades, increasing health inequalities and data on stagnation as well as mild reversal of life expectancy are beginning to emerge. The above arguments are only a very limited perspective and the public health impacts of demographic change will be far wider. For example, in planning for strategies such as sexual health, the need to move away from focussing only on young people and addressing the unmet needs among older people has been highlighted.

However, demography will also affect areas of public health planning and practice such as communicable disease. It has been shown that there are clear, but diverging effects of an ageing population on the estimated disease burden of influenza and HBV in the Netherlands. Factoring in a dynamic demographic approach is important for planning communicable disease control strategies in the future. Migration and changing ethnic composition is also a very important factor which may have an impact on population growth and structure in Europe. While the European population is shrinking, that in Africa is increasing rapidly 1 and poor and unstable political conditions in these countries results in an emigration flux which is being disproportionately distributed in Europe.

Some European countries, mainly in Eastern and Southern Europe are experiencing outbound migration often of their working young population with little or no influx of migrants from other countries. Migrant health has become a priority discussion topic. However public health practice goes beyond addressing the health of migrants to including the need for specific attention to changing ethnic composition when planning health strategies and health services.

Indeed, increasing attention to racial and ethnic composition and how this affects health and well being is likely to be one of the key challenges facing public health leaders in the next decades in Europe. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

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Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Article Contents. Data sources. Fertility trends in Europe. Migration trends in Europe. Old age dependency ratio.

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Total population projections. The public health impact of changing demography in Europe. Annex 1.

Demographic trends and public health in Europe Kathleen England. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions.

Spain has more deaths than births each year, and some towns are already nearly abandoned.

Abstract Demographic trends in Europe are currently being shaped by an ageing population, falling fertility rates and diverse migration flows. Figure 1. Open in new tab Download slide.

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Figure 2. Figure 3. Net migration rate per population by European Country for the period —15 2. Figure 4. Figure 5. Search ADS. EU demographic indicators Situation, trends and potential challenges. The sustainability of European health care systems:beyond income and aging.

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Google Preview. Pharmaco-economic impact of demographic change on pharmaceutical expenses in Germany and France. The impact of demographic change on the estimated future burden of infectious diseases: examples from hepatitis B and seasonal influenza in the Netherlands. Open in new tab. All rights reserved.

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European Doctoral School of Demography

You must accept the terms and conditions. Add comment Cancel. Submit a comment. Comment title. While Western European population continues to grow, many countries of Eastern and South-eastern Europe are shrinking at an alarming rate.

"Europe 1/3 MUSLIM?" Tucker Carlson discusses the changing demographics of Europe

These divides in population trends between major European regions have widened in the past two decades, according to the European Demographic Data Sheet The differences in population growth are mainly due to two factors: natural population increase resulting from the balance of births and deaths, and international migration.

Low fertility rates in combination with large-scale outmigration drive the population decline in most countries of Eastern and South-eastern Europe.

MPIDR - European Doctoral School of Demography

In contrast, continuing population growth in Western, Southern and Northern Europe was mostly due to immigration. This increase was particularly strong in Ireland, Switzerland, Norway and Spain, where the population has grown by more than one-fifth compared to While fertility rates in Eastern Europe have now reached similar levels as in Western European countries, the migration of people has divided the continent into two parts—and thus also determines the divide in population trends between these two parts of the continent.

Europe continues to age Caution is needed when drawing conclusions about long-term population trends and their social and economic consequences for the future. The total population of the European Union in its current boundaries has surpassed the million milestone in and is expected to expand more in the coming decades.