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Population rises due to immigration, but birth rate remains very low

The population in the government controlled areas at the end of 2019 had risen by 1.4 per cent to 888,000, compared with 875,900 at the end of 2018, but life expectancy dropped for both men and women in the same period, figures released on Monday by the statistical service Cystat showed.

At the same time, the island’s fertility rate last year stood at 1.3, the same as 2018, which remains below the replacement level of 2.1. In 1982, the fertility rate was 2.5 but has steadily declined since, dropping to 2.1 by 1995 and further declining since.

Contributing to the increase in population last year was net migration, which stood at 26,170, up from 23,442 in 2018.

Also indicative of the ageing population is the fact that the percentage of children under the age of 15 was estimated at 16 per cent in 2019 and the percentage of older people aged 65 and over stood at 16.3 per cent, compared with 22.3 per cent and 11.3 per cent respectively in the year 2000.

“There was a gradual increase in the percentage of the elderly and a decrease in the percentage of children, indicative of the aging trend of the population,” Cystat said.

In 2019 the number of births in the government-controlled areas increased to 9,548 from 9,329 the previous year and the gross birth rate was estimated at 10.8 per 1,000 inhabitants.

The average age of a mother giving birth to her first child in Cyprus in 2019 was 29.6 years.

The total number of deaths in 2019 was 6,239 compared with 5,768 in 2018 – or 7.1 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants, up from 6.6 per 1,000 in 2018.

Life expectancy at birth in 2019 was estimated at 80.1 years for men and 84.2 years for women, compared with 80.7 years for men and 84.6 years for women for 2018, dropping visibly for both. Infant mortality was 2.6 deaths per 1,000 births in 2019.

The total number of weddings in 2019 increased to 14,854 from 13,783 the previous year. Church weddings increased from 3,918 in 2018 to 4,173 in 2019 and civil weddings from 9,865 in 2018 to 10,681 last year.

From a total of 10,681 civil marriages that took place, only 3,673 were marriages between residents of Cyprus. Thus, the total number of marriages of the inhabitants of Cyprus amounted to 7,846.

In 2019 the number of divorces increased to 2,308, from 2,114 in 2018. The gross divorce rate was estimated at 2.62 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2019, compared with 2.43 in 2018.

The total rate divorce rate, which shows the percentage of marriages expected to end in divorce, reached 361.7 per 1,000 marriages in 2019, up from 41.6 in 1980.

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