Countries With Declining Population 2021

map placeholder

Population decline, also known as depopulation, is a reduction in a human population caused by events such as long-term demographic trends. Population decline can be caused by one or a combination of these trends, including aging, emigration, fertility rates below the population replacement rate, and high death rates due to violence, disease, or other catastrophes.

Population decline has both positive and negative impacts on a nation. A shrinking population can mean more resources can be allocated to the population and per capita wealth could increase. Additionally, a declining population alleviates the problems associated with overpopulation in areas affected by it, such as increased pollution, traffic, real estate and rent prices, and environmental degradation. Population decline, however, can also lead to an aging population if fewer babies are being born, subsequently leading to a shrinking workforce, especially highly-educated, high-skilled workers.

Due to varying demographic challenges around the world, many countries are facing shrinking populations. The United Nations publishes demographic projections regularly, allowing Business Insider to study the fertility, mortality, and international migration projections to determine the 20 countries projected to have the largest percentage population declines over the next three decades (2020-2050).

1. Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s population is expected to decline by 22.5% from 6.9 million in 2020 to 5.4 million in 2050. Mass outbound migration is the largest contributor towards Bulgaria’s population decline.

2. Lithuania

The Lithuanian population is projected to shrink by 22.1% over the next three decades. The population is expected to shrink from 2.7 million to 2.1 million people. Like Bulgaria, Lithuania’s largest population loss is due to mass migration.

3. Latvia

Latvia is expecting a 21.6% population loss between 2020 and 2050. Latvia has lost about one-fifth of its population since joining the European Union in May 2004. Latvia’s population loss is caused by economic migration and low birth rates.

4. Ukraine

Ukraine’s population is projected to drop from 43.7 million in 2020 to 35.2 million in 2050, a 19.5% loss. High emigration rates coupled with high death rates and low birth rates are to blame for Ukraine’s population loss. The country’s birth rate is 9.2 births per 1,000 people and its death rate is 15.2 deaths per 1,000 people.

5. Serbia

The Serbian population is expected to decline from 8.7 million to 7.1 million over the next 30 years. This is a decline of about 18.9%. Many of Serbia’s highly educated and skilled workers have left the country to find better job opportunities since there are very few in Serbia. The high migration rates are coupled with low fertility rates.

6. Bosnia and Herzegovina

The population is projected to decline by 18.2%, shrinking from 3.3 million in 2020 to 2.7 million in 2050. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s fertility rate is well below the population replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman at 1.26 births per woman.

7. Croatia

Croatia’s population is expected to shrink by 18.0%. The population is projected to drop from 4.1 million to 3.4 million over the next 30 years. The population reached its peak in 1991 at 4.78 million but has been declining since because of low birth rates and an aging population.

8. Moldova

Moldova’s population will decline by 16.7% from 2020 to 2050. The population is expected to fall by 600,000 from 4 million to 3.4 million. Poverty and corruption in Moldova have pushed the highly-skilled, young workers away from the country and the aging population has been plagued by poor living standards and high mortality rates.

9. Japan

Japan’s population is projected to lose 20.7 million people between 2020 and 2050. The population is expected to shrink from 126.5 million to 105.8 million, a 16.3% decline. Japan’s population has been falling since 2011 due to very low fertility rates (1.42 births per woman) and an aging population.

10. Albania

The Albanian population is expected to decrease by 15.8% over the next 30 years, falling from 2.9 million people to 2.4 million people. It is estimated that over 38% of the Albanian population lives abroad.

11. Romania

Romania’s population is projected to decline by 15.5% from 2020 to 2050. The population will reduce from 19.2 million to 16.3 million over the next three decades. Between 2007 and 2015, about 3.5 million Romanians have gone abroad to escape poverty and widespread corruption.

12. Greece

The population of Greece is expected to shrink from 10.4 million to 9.0 million, 1 13.4% over the next 30 years. Greece’s population began declining in 2011 when the first negative birth rate was recorded. Greece’s population could decline up to 50% over the next 50 years if nothing is done to combat it.

13. Estonia

Estonia’s population of 1.3 million is projected to decline by 12.7% to 1.2 million by 2050. Compared to other Baltic states, Estonia’s population decline has been relatively slow and stable. Immigration has delayed a quicker population decline in recent years.

14. Hungary

Hungary’s population is projected to drop from 9.7 million in 2020 to 8.5 million in 2050. This is a population decline of about 12.3%. Hungary’s population has fallen by about over 40,000 per year and shows no signs of slowing down. Policies Hungary to help slow the population decline are focused on boosting birthrates.

15. Poland

Poland’s population is predicted to drop by 12.0%. Over the next 30 years, the population will drop from 37.8 million to 33.3 million people. Low birth rates and continued emigration are the two main reasons for Poland’s population decline.

16. Georgia

The population is expected to decline by 11.8%, shrinking from 4.0 million to 3.5 million from 2020 to 2050. The decline in Georgia’s population is caused by the emigration in search of better jobs in other countries.

17. Portugal

The Portuguese population is projected to decline from 10.2 million to 9.1 million over the next three decades, a 10.9% decline. Portugal has made attempts to lure back those who emigrated, whether or not they are highly paid or highly skilled.

18. North Macedonia

North Macedonia’s population is expected to drop by 10.9%, shrinking from 2.1 million to 1.9 million from 2020 to 2050. North Macedonia’s population has fallen by 24.6% since its independence in 1991.

19. Cuba

Cuba’s population of 11.3 million is expected to shrink to 10.2 million by 2050, a 10.3% decline. The young people leaving the country and low birth rates are resulting in an increasingly aging population. Cuba’s population is expected to be the ninth-oldest in the world by 2050.

20. Italy

Italy’s population is projected to shrinking by 10.1% from 2020 to 2050. The current population of 60.5 million people will reduce to 54.4 million over the next 30 years. Births are at an all-time low since the unification of Italy and young people are leaving Italy to other European countries for job opportunities.

Countries With Declining Population 2021

Rank Country 2021 Population
China1,444,216,107
India1,393,409,038
United States332,915,073
Indonesia276,361,783
Pakistan225,199,937
Brazil213,993,437
Nigeria211,400,708
Bangladesh166,303,498
Russia145,912,025
Mexico130,262,216
Japan126,050,804
Ethiopia117,876,227
Philippines111,046,913
Egypt104,258,327
Vietnam98,168,833
Dr Congo92,377,993
Turkey85,042,738
Iran85,028,759
Germany83,900,473
Thailand69,950,850
United Kingdom68,207,116
France65,426,179
Tanzania61,498,437
Italy60,367,477
South Africa60,041,994
Kenya54,985,698
Myanmar54,806,012
South Korea51,305,186
Colombia51,265,844
Uganda47,123,531
Spain46,745,216
Argentina45,605,826
Sudan44,909,353
Algeria44,616,624
Ukraine43,466,819
Iraq41,179,350
Afghanistan39,835,428
Canada38,067,903
Poland37,797,005
Morocco37,344,795
Saudi Arabia35,340,683
Uzbekistan33,935,763
Angola33,933,610
Peru33,359,418
Malaysia32,776,194
Mozambique32,163,047
Ghana31,732,129
Yemen30,490,640
Nepal29,674,920
Venezuela28,704,954
Madagascar28,427,328
Cameroon27,224,265
Ivory Coast27,053,629
North Korea25,887,041
Australia25,788,215
Niger25,130,817
Taiwan23,855,010
Sri Lanka21,497,310
Burkina Faso21,497,096
Mali20,855,735
Malawi19,647,684
Chile19,212,361
Romania19,127,774
Kazakhstan18,994,962
Zambia18,920,651
Syria18,275,702
Guatemala18,249,860
Ecuador17,888,475
Senegal17,196,301
Netherlands17,173,099
Cambodia16,946,438
Chad16,914,985
Somalia16,359,504
Zimbabwe15,092,171
Guinea13,497,244
Rwanda13,276,513
Benin12,451,040
Burundi12,255,433
Tunisia11,935,766
Bolivia11,832,940
Belgium11,632,326
Haiti11,541,685
South Sudan11,381,378
Cuba11,317,505
Dominican Republic10,953,703
Czech Republic10,724,555
Greece10,370,744
Jordan10,269,021
Azerbaijan10,223,342
Portugal10,167,925
Sweden10,160,169
Honduras10,062,991
United Arab Emirates9,991,089
Tajikistan9,749,627
Hungary9,634,164
Belarus9,442,862
Papua New Guinea9,119,010
Austria9,043,070
Israel8,789,774
Switzerland8,715,494
Serbia8,697,550
Togo8,478,250
Sierra Leone8,141,343
Hong Kong7,552,810
Laos7,379,358
Paraguay7,219,638
Libya6,958,532
Bulgaria6,896,663
Lebanon6,769,146
Nicaragua6,702,385
Kyrgyzstan6,628,356
El Salvador6,518,499
Turkmenistan6,117,924
Singapore5,896,686
Denmark5,813,298
Republic Of The Congo5,657,013
Finland5,548,360
Norway5,465,630
Slovakia5,460,721
Oman5,223,375
Palestine5,222,748
Liberia5,180,203
Costa Rica5,139,052
Ireland4,982,907
Central African Republic4,919,981
New Zealand4,860,643
Mauritania4,775,119
Panama4,381,579
Kuwait4,328,550
Croatia4,081,651
Moldova4,024,019
Georgia3,979,765
Eritrea3,601,467
Uruguay3,485,151
Mongolia3,329,289
Bosnia And Herzegovina3,263,466
Jamaica2,973,463
Armenia2,968,127
Qatar2,930,528
Albania2,872,933
Puerto Rico2,828,255
Lithuania2,689,862
Namibia2,587,344
Gambia2,486,945
Botswana2,397,241
Gabon2,278,825
Lesotho2,159,079
North Macedonia2,082,658
Slovenia2,078,724
Guinea Bissau2,015,494
Latvia1,866,942
Bahrain1,748,296
Equatorial Guinea1,449,896
Trinidad And Tobago1,403,375
Timor Leste1,343,873
Estonia1,325,185
Mauritius1,273,433
Cyprus1,215,584
Eswatini1,172,362
Djibouti1,002,187
Fiji902,906
Reunion901,686
Comoros888,451
Guyana790,326
Bhutan779,898
Solomon Islands703,996
Macau658,394
Luxembourg634,814
Montenegro628,053
Western Sahara611,875
Suriname591,800
Cape Verde561,898
Maldives543,617
Malta442,784
Brunei441,532
Belize404,914
Guadeloupe400,020
Bahamas396,913
Martinique374,745
Iceland343,353
Vanuatu314,464
French Guiana306,448
New Caledonia288,218
Barbados287,711
French Polynesia282,530
Mayotte279,515
Sao Tome And Principe223,368
Samoa200,149
Saint Lucia184,400
Guam170,179
Curacao164,798
Kiribati121,392
Micronesia116,254
Grenada113,021
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines111,263
Aruba107,204
Tonga106,760
United States Virgin Islands104,226
Seychelles98,908
Antigua And Barbuda98,731
Isle Of Man85,410
Andorra77,355
Dominica72,167
Cayman Islands66,497
Bermuda62,090
Marshall Islands59,610
Northern Mariana Islands57,917
Greenland56,877
American Samoa55,100
Saint Kitts And Nevis53,544
Faroe Islands49,049
Sint Maarten43,412
Monaco39,511
Saint Martin39,234
Turks And Caicos Islands39,231
Liechtenstein38,250
San Marino34,017
Gibraltar33,698
British Virgin Islands30,421
Palau18,169
Cook Islands17,565
Anguilla15,117
Tuvalu11,931
Wallis And Futuna11,094
Nauru10,876
Saint Barthelemy9,907
Saint Pierre And Miquelon5,766
Montserrat4,977
Falkland Islands3,533
Niue1,619
Tokelau1,373
Vatican City800

Countries With Declining Population 2021