New Delhi: While the curse of overpopulation looms large over the world, surprisingly there are also a few countries faced with a demographic decline, where less population is a cause of major concern. Also Read - World Population Day 2020: History, Significance of The Day And Theme For This Year

Notably, these countries are experiencing what’s called a Negative Natural Population Growth which means that these countries have more deaths than births or an even number of deaths and births.

According to the United Nations, 48 countries around the world are expected to see their populations decline by 2050. And the top 10 countries among those 48, are all in Eastern Europe!

Low birth rates and immigration rates are touted as the major factors behind this worrying decline.  Other factors include an ageing population, lack of skilled labour, economic decline, restrictive immigration policies. Let’s have a look at 5 such countries:

Bulgaria

Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest state is the world’s fastest shrinking nation, as per UN estimates. The population is projected to drop from 6.9 million in 2020 to 5.4 million in 2050. (22.5% decline).

Again, low birth rates and massive outbound migration are the biggest factors for such steep decline, as per a BBC report.

Lithuania

The population of the country is projected to drop from 2.7 million in 2020 to 2.1 million in 2050 (22.1% decline). Official statistics say that since 1990 the number of residents living in Lithuania has dropped by 24 per cent of the entire population.

“What is most worrying, it is the decreasing number of people of reproductive age. At present, the most populous population is aged 53-57 in Lithuania,” Boguslavas Gruzevskis, director of Lithuania’s Labour Market Research Institute, was quoted as saying, as per Xinhua.

Latvia

Latvia’s population is projected to drop from 1.9 million in 2020 to 1.5 million in 2050 (21.6% decline). The decline is caused by both negative natural population growth and a negative net migration rate.

According to a January report by the Central Statistical Bureau, the number of children born in Latvia has declined for the fourth year in a row.

Ukraine

Facing a massive depopulation crisis, the population of the country is projected to drop from 43.7 million in 2020 to 35.2 million in 2050. (19.5% decline).

Millions of people have left the country, fleeing poverty and war in search of better prospects. With low employment rates, deteriorating social and medical services, and the ever-present fear of full-scale war with Russia, many Ukrainian workers have fled the country, with no plans to return.

The birth rate is decreasing constantly, and the life expectancy is also much lower than in developed countries, especially among men.

Serbia

The population is projected to drop from 8.7 million in 2020 to 7.1 million in 2050 (18.9% decline). As per an AP report, the Serbian government said that the Balkan country is effectively losing a town each year, and that as many as 18 municipalities have fewer than 10,000 people, “We are 103 people less each day.”

Just like the above countries, Serbia has a low fertility rate and high migration rates but takes in a small number of immigrants, contributing to the crisis.