New York: More people in Europe are dying than are being born, in contrast to the US where births are exceeding deaths with significant margins, says a new study.
While 17 European nations have more people dying in them than are being born (natural decrease), including three of Europe's more populous nations Russia, Germany and Italy, births are exceeding deaths by a substantial margin in the US and in the state of Texas, the findings showed.
"Natural decrease is much more common in Europe than in the US because its population is older, fertility rates are lower and there are fewer women of childbearing age," said Dudley Poston, professor at Texas A&M University in US.
The study revealed that 58 percent of the 1,391 counties of Europe had more deaths than births compared to just 28 percent of the 3,141 counties of the US.
In Europe, deaths exceeded births in most of the counties of Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, as well as in Sweden and the Baltic states, the researchers said.
Further south, natural decrease is found occurring in the majority of the counties of Greece, Portugal and Italy, they added.
The research focuses on the prevalence and dynamics of natural decrease in the counties and county-equivalents of Europe and the United States in the first decade of the 21st century (2000-2009).
"Natural decrease is a major policy concern because it drains the demographic resilience from a region diminishing its economic viability and competitiveness," Poston explained.
In Texas, just 24 percent of the state's 254 counties had more deaths than births. And in Texas between 2010 and 2014, 27 percent of the 254 counties had more deaths than births, the findings, published in the journal Population and Development Review, showed.