With 9,200 births and 5,900 deaths, Cyprus, after Ireland, was the EU member state where births most outnumbered deaths in 2015, a Eurostat report said.
While the figure for deaths in Ireland was 7.7 per thousand residents, it was 3.9 for Cyprus. Deaths outnumbered births the most in Bulgaria (-6.2 per thousand residents), Croatia and Hungary (both -4)
The Eurostat report was published on Friday ahead of World Population Day on July 11.
There were slightly over 5.2 million deaths registered in the EU in 2015, some 286,000 more than the previous year. Bulgaria (15.3 per 1 000 residents) had the highest crude death rate in 2015, followed by Latvia and Lithuania (both 14.4). At the opposite end of the scale, Ireland (6.4) and Cyprus with 6.9 per 1000 residents recorded the lowest death rate. The crude death rate was 10.3 per 1,000 residents in the EU.
On January 1, 2016, the population of the EU was estimated at 510.1 million, compared with 508.3 million on January 1, 2015. During the year 2015, almost 5.1 million babies were born in the EU, while more than 5.2 million people died, meaning that the EU for the first time ever recorded a negative natural change of its population. The remainder of the change (positive) is driven mainly by net migration.
During 2015 the population increased in 17 EU member states and decreased in eleven. The largest increase was observed in Luxembourg (+23.3 per 1 000 residents), ahead of Austria (+14.4) In contrast, the largest decreases were recorded in Lithuania (-11.3) and Latvia (-8.7). In Cyprus, there has been a slight increase of 1.5 per 1000 residents, from 847,000 people on January 1, 2015 to 848,300 to January 1, 2016.