Volume 45 - Article 44 | Pages 1317–1354  

Migration and demographic disparities in macro-regions of the European Union, a view to 2060

By Michaela Potančoková, Marcin Jan Stonawski, Nicholas Gailey


Background: Migration has become one of the most salient policy areas in the European Union. In response, the European Commission established a research team with the task of investigating a range of possible demographic futures.

Objective: This paper explores the demographic effects of migration on eastern, southern, and western EU regions, using different scenarios to see the extent population size, working-age population, education composition, and total age dependency can be influenced.

Methods: We use a deterministic cohort-component projection model that (a) incorporates improving levels of educational attainment in the population and (b) explicit consideration of migration between EU member states (MS) and migration between EU MS and the rest of the world. Eight stylised what-if scenarios are developed around a medium assumption projection.

Results: Although migration can have a large effect on total and working-age population size, the EU population will continue to age and see a rise in age dependency regardless. Despite depopulation occurring in many eastern MS, the region is and should remain in a better position than the south and on par with the west in terms of age dependency.

Conclusions: While both the south and east provide large demographic subsidies of working-age people to the EU’s west, the south is less prepared to cope with the losses due to an already older population, lower labour force participation, and lower education levels.

Contribution: We report demographic consequences of contrasting migration scenarios for the EU-28 (now EU+UK) based on multidimensional projections by age, sex, and educational attainment.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

The future size of religiously affiliated and unaffiliated populations
Volume 32 - Article 27

Is Buddhism the low fertility religion of Asia?
Volume 32 - Article 1

Slovakia: Fertility between tradition and modernity
Volume 19 - Article 25

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

Migration, daily commuting, or second residence? The role of location-specific capital and distance to workplace in regional mobility decisions
Volume 50 - Article 33    | Keywords: commuting, location-specific capital, migration, multilocality, regional mobility, second residence, Sozio-oekonomisches Panel (SOEP), spatial mobility

Fertility decline, changes in age structure, and the potential for demographic dividends: A global analysis
Volume 50 - Article 9    | Keywords: age structure, demographic dividend, demographic transition, fertility, migration, population momentum, working-age population

War and mobility: Using Yandex web searches to characterize intentions to leave Russia after its invasion of Ukraine
Volume 50 - Article 8    | Keywords: Brain drain, migration, Russia, search trends, Ukraine, Yandex

How do environmental stressors influence migration? A meta-regression analysis of environmental migration literature
Volume 50 - Article 2    | Keywords: environmental, instrumental variables, meta analysis, migration, partial correlation coefficient, weighted regression

Migration’s contribution to the urban transition: Direct census estimates from Africa and Asia
Volume 48 - Article 24    | Keywords: migration, population growth, urbanization