According to the UN warnings, this trend is mainly due to the displacement of young people, which again undermines the ability of these countries to maintain vital social services system.
According to the latest U.N. projections, nine of the world’s ten fastest-shrinking nations are in East and Southeast Europe, Allana Armitage, Director of the U.N. Population Fund for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, told Reuters.
UN estimates that by 2050, Bulgaria is forecast to lose a quarter of its population and virtually every country in the region will shrink over the coming decades.
“Fewer children and high outmigration means that populations of the countries of Southeast Europe are getting smaller and older, and unlike in Western Europe, immigration is not being pursued to fill the gap,” Armitage said.
Between 1995 and 2035, the proportion of the population aged 65 and older will double in most countries, and in some it will triple, as UN forecasts show.
“With countries facing the prospect of reduced numbers of people of working age, there are worries about the future of social benefits, notably pensions”, Armitage said.