(Brussels) The population of the European Union on January 1st 2018 had increased to 512.6 million from last year’s 511.5: this has been certified by Eurostat in a survey of last year’s birth rates. “More deaths than births were recorded in 2017”: 5.3 million people died, 5.1 million children were born. The population growth (+1.1 million people) “is therefore due to migration”. Germany with a population of 82.9 million is still the largest country (over 16% of the EU’s total population), followed by France (67.2), the UK (66.2), Italy (60.5), Spain (46.7) and Poland (38.0). Countries with few births and above all with a zero or negative net migration rate are losing part of their population: above all, Lithuania (-13.8 per mille), Croatia, Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania. A negative rate goes to Italy (-1.7 per mille, from a population of 60 million 589 thousand to one of 60 million 484 thousand), Greece, Latvia, Hungary and Portugal too. The member state with the highest birth rate is Ireland (12.9 per mille). “The lowest birth rates are in Southern Europe: Italy (7.6 births per mille), Greece, Portugal, Spain and Croatia”.