Polish population drops 1% in a decadeReading Time: < 1 minutes
The population of Poland has fallen 1% in the last ten years, according to the country’s 2021 census data, which was released on Thursday. The number of people living in Central and Eastern Europe’s most populous country was 38,510,000 in 2011, but by 2021 that figure had dropped to 38,179,800, a fall of over 330,000.
Not only is Poland’s population shrinking, it is also becoming older, despite “family friendly” government measures including financial incentives and allowances for housing costs and child care. In 2021, some 21.8% of Poland residents were of retirement age – that is at least 60 for women and 65 for men – almost a 5-percentage-point rise from 16.9% ten years earlier.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki responded to the census data by unveiling a number of measures aimed at reversing this demographic decline, including job protection for women on maternity leave. A failure to “strengthen state support for families” could result in “a paralysis of the pension system, a slowdown of economic growth and a situation where Poles will be unable to fulfil their ambitions and aspirations in Poland”, Morawiecki added.
Poland has in recent years seen an unprecedented wave of inward migration, with 2 million foreigners now making up 5% of the population. Meanwhile an all-time high of over half a million Poles died last year, according to the census data collected by official state body Statistics Poland. The country’s population could have shrunk to 34.1 million by 2050, the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat found in a separate survey.