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Migration helps boost EU population to 507.4 million

The population of the European Union stood at 507.4 million people on January 1, official EU data showed, with a significant boost from immigration.

BRUSSELS: The population of the European Union (EU) stood at 507.4 million people on January 1, official EU data showed on Thursday, with a significant boost from immigration.

According to the Eurostat agency, the EU's population grew by 1.7 million people over a 12-month period.

Since 1960, the population across the 28 countries making up the EU has grown by 100 million, Eurostat added.

By comparison, the population of the United States is estimated to be about 317 million, up from about 180 million in 1960, while China has about 1.35 billion people.

Overall, the EU population last year grew by 80,000 on a natural basis, the net of births and deaths, and added 700,000 people through migration.

The rest of the change was due to statistical adjustments.

Immigration was proportional highest in the smaller countries of Luxembourg, Malta and Sweden. In absolute numbers, Germany saw a big boost of 437,300 residents while Italy's immigrants rose by 181,700 people.

In Spain, a net 257,000 people left the country. Crisis-hit Portugal lost 36,000 residents, Greece dropped 52,000, Ireland 26,000 and Cyprus 12,000.

In 2013, 5.1 million babies were born in the EU at a lower rate of 10.0 births per 1,000 people from 10.4 babies a year earlier.

The highest birth rates were seen in Ireland, with 15 births per 1,000 people, France, at 12.3, and Britain with 12.2 births.

The weakest birth rate was logged in Portugal, with 7.9 births, followed by a 8.5 birth rate in Germany, Greece and Italy.

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