Europe at the crossroads: demographic challenges and international migration

N. van Nimwegen, R.F. van der Erf

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Two demographic challenges confront Europe today: population ageing and population decline. These challenges are two sides of the same demographic coin. While low fertility and increasing longevity cause populations to rapidly grow older, low fertility also leads to population decline. This paper describes recent and expected changes in the size and composition of the European population and the underlying demographic trends in fertility, mortality and migration. Although international migration is now the major cause of European population growth, it is questionable whether migration can prevent population decline. International migration spurs population diversity in different ways across Europe and is the most volatile demographic phenomenon as it depends on both push and pull factors that are difficult to manage. From a demographic perspective the challenges of international migration for citizenship, both from intra-European migration and more particularly from migration from outside Europe, are likely to increase in the near future. Keywords: population ageing; population decline; Europe; international mdgration; Demographic trends; population diversity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1379
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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