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Europeans: Not Populating Too Much; Travelling Both Near and Far

  • May 4th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

png-landscape.jpgRevised figures have delivered a fresh answer to that question: how many people in the European Union? The EU agency Eurostat says it was 494.7-million on 1 January this year.


The agency’s First Demographic Estimates for the year 2006 say there was an increase of 1.8 million during that year, a growth rate of 0.37%, smaller than in most recent years, reflecting a slight drop in immigration.

In 19 of the 27 countries, including the larger countries Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, immigration was a key factor in growth.

Ten countries including Poland saw a decline in population growth rates.


A review of tourism based on accommodation figures shows that most tourists in the area are “locals” – 88% being domestic travellers in their own countries or ones from other parts of the EU.

The traditional Summer holiday countries continue to take the largest numbers of visitors, especially France, Italy and Spain.

Leading travellers are from Germany, the Netherlands or the United Kingdom.

The 2006 report, Inbound and Outbound Tourists in Europe, studies the 25 member countries before admission of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU, and finds “tourist receipts and expenditure in the EU-25 are nearly in balance.”

Despite stories this year of more German holiday makers staying home, the country remains both a leading destination and place of origin.

Principal outside markets sending people to the EU for holidays are the United States (going to the UK, Germany, Italy and Poland), Norway (travel in Scandinavia), and Russia (Cyprus, Latvia and Finland).


Europeans travelling outside the EU are not covered in this survey.

With a base of 494.7-million, impacts can be large.

IN AUSTRALIA two EU countries, Germany and the United Kingdom, are in the top ten visitors’ list for last February.

They accounted for 73 500 arrivals, put together ranking second after New Zealand and ahead of Japan.

What about the backpackers?

The Brussels based European Travel Commission suggests in a current report that globalisation of trade in goods and services is having an expanding effect, with more travel abroad – and that particularly affects the young.

Travel has been changed and expanded by people living outside their countries of origin, and existing in dispersed “neo tribes” with members affiliated by travel and other means.


Eurostat, First demographic estimates for 2006: EU population expected to continue to grow, Brussels, 2007, 21/2007

Eurostat, Inbound and outbound tourism in Europe, Brussels, 2007, 52/2007

ABS, Australian short term visitor arrivals, February 2007;

European Travel Commission, Tourism Trends for Europe, Brussels, September 2006;