According to Reuters,
« While membership in the European Union has brought prosperity to many, it has also made it easier to emigrate, drawing young people out of the east, especially rural areas, and leaving behind an ever older and poorer population.
Romania, the EU’s second-poorest member with an average monthly wage of $450, is one of the worst affected, with a 12 percent population drop in a decade, according to census data.
At the other end of the continent, the census in Latvia - a Baltic state which was seen as a great success story until the current financial crisis sent its economy into freefall - showed it lost 13 percent of its people, mostly to emigration.
Both countries have had to impose harsh austerity programs under the terms of International Monetary Fund-led bailouts.
Censuses conducted across the continent in 2011 showed Lithuania has lost 12 percent of its population in a decade, Bulgaria 7 percent and Serbia, still outside the EU, 5 percent. Hungary had 10.4 million people just after the 1989 fall of communism, but statistics office data show that slipped below 10 million last year.
Wealthy Germany’s population, by contrast, rose last year for the first time since 2002 thanks to immigration from the EU’s new members, despite the fact deaths were projected to exceed births, according to its statistics office. »