World Population Day was established in 1989 by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme, aiming to highlight global population issues.
Back then the total combined population of the current 28 EU member states was 474 million people — 30 years on the population has increased by over 8%, according to the statistical office of the EU, Eurostat.
The population of the EU is now over 513 million, an increase of 1.1 million from 2017.
The population increase comes from net migration, as there were more deaths than births in the bloc in 2018, it added.
This was the second consecutive year when records showed there were more deaths than births.
The EU's population, however, increased by about the same amount in 2017. Roughly 2.4 million people immigrated to the EU from non-member countries that year.
The countries in 2018 with the highest death rates included Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania, whereas Ireland, Sweden, France, and the UK had the highest birth rates.
The country in which births most outnumbered deaths was Ireland, whereas in Bulgaria, deaths most outnumbered births. Italy had the lowest birth rate.
The population decreased in ten member states; Latvia, Bulgaria and Croatia saw the largest decrease in population. The largest population increases were seen in Malta, Luxembourg, and Ireland.
Germany and France were the most populous countries in the bloc on January 1, 2019, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.
Germany's population made up 16.2% of the total EU population with its 83 million residents and France's population at 67 million made up 13.1%.
Excluding the six most populous EU member states (Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain and Poland) the remaining states each represent under 4% of the EU population.