With the population of the world increasing at such an astounding rate, it is quite a shock to learn about these top 12 countries with declining population.
The latest population report issued by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat titled “World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision” expects the number of people in the world to increase to 9.7 billion by 2050. Admittedly, that is a huge number, but when we look deeper into population statistics, the fact that reveals itself is that the rate of population growth has decreased over the years. About a decade ago, the population was showing a steady increase of 1.24% annually, while this percentage has now dropped to 1.18% per year.
The main reason for the decrease in the global population growth rate is the decline in birth rates in almost every nation. Birth or fertility rates refer to the number of offspring that an average woman gives birth to in her lifetime. In some countries, the drop in these rates has been more drastic than others. So much so that their population has decreased over the past few years instead of increasing which is the normal trend. Not surprisingly, almost all these countries are in Europe.
The average birth rate in Europe is 1.55 babies per woman, and that has some people quite worried. Since birth rates are declining, the average age of citizens in these nations is increasing. Due to this phenomena, there are hoards of retired people in these areas who are unable to work, which may hinder economic growth. Some sources even went as far as to say that Europe may be dying down completely with its population graph plummeting. While that is a little too extreme, it is true that a population decline can be problematic sometimes because of the fact mentioned above that the working class may dwindle.
There are various situations that cause the decline in a population. The major ones are emigration in search of higher education and low birth rates like in European countries. However, the rise in emigration due to wars and instability can also cause the number of people in an area to go down. Nations with this problem usually have a high orphan population, as is evident in another of our lists: 11 countries with the highest orphan population.
To compile these countries with a declining population, we once again referred to the United Nations. Their report on overall population growth, which compiles the annual rate of population change of every country, starts from the year 1950. We took the most recent figures, though that is the percentage of change from 2010 to 2015. We excluded places that were not sovereign states: for example Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory and not a nation on its own. Now let’s get down to business and begin with the list.