As a demographer specialising in fertility and population trends in Europe I find it unsettling that so much attention is paid to overblown claims of the continent’s population demise. Yes, Europe as a whole is projected to experience a gradual decline of its population, from 732 million now to 691 million in 2050 according to the United Nations. But, although further decline after 2050 will most probably follow, this gets nowhere close to a collapse.
In addition, fertility rates in Europe are currently above 1.5 children per woman. As a rate of 2.1 is needed in the long run to replace population in the absence of migration, each European generation is reproducing about three-quarters of its number, not a half. In some of the richer countries – such as France, the UK and Sweden – the fertility rate is around 2.