The number of elderly people in Cyprus rose 4.6 per cent and the number of children under 15 dropped by 16 per cent over the past 17 years as the island’s fertility rate continues to remain under population replacement levels, a demographic report from the statistical service Cystat revealed on Friday.
At the same time, it showed that life expectancy for both men and women in Cyprus dropped last year over 2016 figures to 80 years for men and 84.1 years for women, from 80.3 and 84.7 respectively in 2016. The majority in the 80+ group were women.
The report put the fertility rate at 1.32 last year, well below the replacement level of 2.1 even though the population grew overall by 1.1 per cent last year, as women wait even longer to have a child and migration grows.
According to Cystat, the population in the government-controlled area stood at 864,200 at the end of 2017, compared with 854,800 at the end of 2016, recording an increase of 1.1%.
“The proportion of children below 15 was 16.2 per cent while the proportion of persons aged 65 and over increased to 15.9 per cent in 2017, compared with 22.3 per cent and 11.3 per cent respectively in 2000,” Cystat said.
“There was therefore a gradual increase in the proportion of old-aged persons and a decrease in the proportion of children, demonstrating the ageing process of the population.”
In 2017 the number of births decreased to 9,229 from 9,455 the year before, giving a crude birth rate of 10.7 per 1,000 population. The total fertility rate for 2017 decreased to 1.32 from 1.37 in 2016. The total fertility rate has decreased gradually over the years, from its peak of 2.46 between 1982 and 1985.
Since 1995 the total fertility rate has remained below the replacement level of 2.10.
The mean age at which women bore their first child was 29.2 years, while the mean age of women at childbirth (for all births) stood at 30.8 in 2017.
The number of deaths reached 5,996 in 2017 and the corresponding crude death rate was 7.0 deaths per 1,000 population.
Infant mortality reached a very low level of 1.3 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017.
The total number of marriages in 2017 decreased to 13,062 from 13,558 the year before. Church marriages showed a slight increase from 2016 (3,942 to 3,926) and civil marriages dropped from 9,632 in 2016 to 9,120 in 2017.
A large number of foreigners who married in Cyprus by civil marriage were not residing in Cyprus. Civil marriages of residents of Cyprus stood at 1,940 in 2017 from a total of 9,120. Thus the total number of marriages of residents totalled 5,882.
Divorces in 2017 stood at 1,932, with the crude divorce rate estimated at 2.25 per 1,000 population.
Net migration in Cyprus has been positive between 1983-2011. Between 2012-2015, net migration has been negative. As from 2016 net migration became positive again. In 2017, it was estimated at 6,201.
Long-term immigrants (Cypriots and foreigners arriving for settlement or for temporary employment for one year or more) were 21,306 in 2017, compared with 17,391 in 2016.
Emigrants (Cypriots and foreigners who had resided in Cyprus for at least one year) were 15,105 in 2017 compared with 14,892 in 2016.