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

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:09 Jun 2020
Date published:21 Dec 2021
Word count:8811
Keywords:migration, population projections
Additional files:readme.45-44 (text file, 2 kB)
 demographic-research.45-44 (zip file, 8 MB)


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

Michaela Potančoková - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria [Email]
Marcin Jan Stonawski - Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny w Krakowie, Poland [Email]
Nicholas Gailey - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria [Email]

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

» Non-zero trajectories for long-run net migration assumptions in global population projection models
Volume 38 - Article 54    | Keywords: migration, population projections

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

» Culture portability from origin to destination country: The gender division of domestic work among migrants in Italy
Volume 47 - Article 20    | Keywords: migration

» Endogamy and relationship dissolution: Does unmarried cohabitation matter?
Volume 47 - Article 17    | Keywords: migration

» The ethnic wage penalty in Western European regions: Is the European integration model confirmed when differences within countries are considered?
Volume 46 - Article 23    | Keywords: migration