Median age of the population (years) in each of the EU-28 Member States in 1970 and 2017, and projected median age in 2070

Figure 4 above shows the median age of the population in each of the EU-28 Member States in 1970 (where data is available) and in 2017, and the baseline projections for the median age in 2070. This shows the rather different starting points in 1970, ranging from Ireland with a median age of just 27.4 years, to the comparatively old – 35.5 years – median age in Sweden. By 2017, the median age of the population had increased in all Member States. Ireland’s population remains the youngest in the EU 28, at 36.9 years, despite having aged substantially. However, Italy and Germany now have the highest median age at 45.9 years, having both seen a substantial increase in the median age of their populations (13.2 and 11.9 years respectively) since 1970. In contrast, Sweden, having seen an increase in the median age of just 5.3 years, now has the eighth-youngest median age in the EU 28, at 40.8 years. These variations in ageing between Member States will continue in the future. Eurostat projects that Italy will be the first to reach a median age of 50, in 2029, followed closely by Greece and Portugal, in 2031. Indeed, in 2050 Portugal is projected to have the oldest median age in the EU 28 at 52.4 years, with Greece just behind at 52.3; the two countries will maintain this position in 2070. These past and (projected) future differences are the product of the varying starting points and evolutions of fertility rates, life expectancy and migration in the Member States.

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