The world’s population is booming. There are currently almost 7.4 billion people on Earth and there’s a high chance it could reach 11 billion by 2100. However, people on Earth aren’t just uniformly breeding like rabbits. In fact, more Europeans are dying than being born, according to a recent study.
Looking at statistics from 2000 to 2009, researchers from Texas A&M University studied the extent of “natural decreases” in the population of Europe and the United States. Natural decrease simply means that a population’s death rate is higher than their birth rate. They published their results in Population and Development Review last month, complete with some informative maps.
The researchers found that 58 percent of the 1,391 counties in Europe had more deaths than births. As for whole countries, they found that Germany, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Greece, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic States all had a natural decrease in the majority of their counties.
On the flip side, they found that only 28 percent of 3,141 counties in the United States had a natural decrease.
“Natural decrease is much more common in Europe than in the U.S because its population is older, fertility rates are lower and there are fewer women of child-bearing age,” Dudley Poston and his colleagues said in a statement. “Natural decrease is a major policy concern because it drains the demographic resilience from a region diminishing its economic viability and competitiveness.”
Image credit: Kenneth M. Johnson, Layton M. Field and Dudley L. Poston Jr.