Geografie 2018, 123, 37-62

Growing gap in population dynamics, closing the gap in population size: the European Union and the United States compared

Jiřina Kocourková1, Luděk Šídlo1, Martin Novák1, Luděk Sýkora2

1Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Demography and Geodemography, Prague, Czechia
2Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Prague, Czechia

Received January 2017
Accepted July 2017

This paper investigates differences in population development in the European Union and the United States. The population projections recently published by the United Nations forecast expected a slowdown in growth and a shrinking of the EU population and a continued growth in the US. Therefore, the paper aims to find out which components of population change are primarily responsible for the different population dynamics. The article first explores the role of population change and migration in total population growth. Then it investigates fertility and mortality patterns, focusing on demographic behaviour of ethnic/racial groups in the US and regional disparities in Europe. The paper documents that fertility differences primarily cause the different population dynamics in the EU and the US. This is reflected in the forecast convergence towards the same population size.


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