Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The population of the European Union fell by 265,257 people during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the EU's statistacal agency reported Tuesday.
Eurostat said the pandemic played a role in the decline, with the EU reporting more deaths than births between Jan. 1, 2021 and Jan. 1, 2022. Migration was positive during the time, with more people entering the EU than leaving it.
Overall the EU saw a population decrease of 2.7 per 1,000 people, with 980 regions seeing a drop in population, 173 regions registering population growth and 11 showing no change.
Bulgaria registered the greatest decline, down 25.7 per 1,000 people. Declines were reported in every region of Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Portugal and Romania and almost every region of Czechia, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.
The highest population growth was reported in France, with the Mayotte area registering a gain of 32.2 per 1,000 people and Guyane up 23.1 per 1,000 people. Population growth was registered in every region of Ireland and in a high number of regions in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden.
The European Union reported the COVID-19 pandemic led to 872,000 excess deaths between March 2020 and July 2021, a 13% increase over the average number of deaths during the five previous years.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported earlier this month that the U.S. population is projected to peak at almost 370 million people in 2080 before declining to 366 million by 2100. The Census Bureau attributed the slower pace of population growth to an aging population, higher mortality rates, declines in fertility, and international migration.