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15 Countries with the Negative Population Growth in the World

In this article, we will take a look at the 15 countries with the negative population growth in the world. If you want to skip our discussion on the population trends, you can go directly to the 5 Countries with the Negative Population Growth in the World.

According to data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a significant decline in global population growth is expected this century. By 2050, most countries (over 75%) will have fertility rates too low to maintain their current population size. This trend is projected to reach near completion by 2100, with a shrinking population in nearly 97% of the total countries.

While there is an expected population decline worldwide, the rate of decrease will vary greatly by region. Wealthier countries, already experiencing very low fertility rates, are expected to see a further decrease in their population. Developed countries in Europe, for instance, have been experiencing low fertility rates since the 1970s. Therefore, we now see many European countries with negative population growth, such as Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

This trend has potential environmental benefits, including reduced pressure on food production systems and lower carbon emissions. Additionally, parts of sub-Saharan Africa could see significant economic opportunities emerge. However, in many countries, a decreasing workforce and an aging population could lead to economic strain. For instance, according to a UN study, as fertility rates decline and life expectancy improves, the number of children under five years old is projected to decrease by 40% by 2100. On the other hand, people aged 65 years or above will make up 25% of the global population. This has the potential to pose challenges for many countries.


You can also check out the 15 countries with declining birth rates in 2024.

Overview of the Global Fertility Treatment Market

As low birth rates and fertility rates continue to lead countries towards population shrinkage, it is no wonder that the market for fertility treatments is booming. The value of this market globally stood at $1.5 billion in 2021. It is projected that the market will grow at a rate of 8% per year between 2022 and 2032 and will reach $3.5 billion in 2032. In addition to low fertility rates, increased adoption of the most advanced treatments is a major driver of growth in this market. However, the high cost of treatments, non-coverage of treatments in insurance, stringent government regulations, and ethical issues associated with the treatment are some of the challenges this market faces. Some established companies operating in the global fertility treatment markets, including Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), Vitrolife Sweden AB (STO:VITR), and Hamilton Thorne Ltd. (TSX:HTL).

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO) is a major player in the life sciences industry, offering a wide range of solutions. The company is at the forefront of research in fertility treatments. Recently, it took a step to advance fertility research by introducing two new tools based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. This launch has expanded the company’s existing portfolio in reproductive health by bringing the power of next-generation sequencing to more research labs. This technology allows for faster, in-house testing and analysis, potentially accelerating advancements in the field.

Vitrolife Sweden AB (STO:VITR) is among the global leaders in the field of in vitro fertilization and is actively expanding its global footprint. Recently, Vitrolife Pty. Ltd. New Zealand and Vitrolife Inc. Canada, both subsidiaries of Vitrolife AB, signed exclusive agreements with Memphasys Limited (ASX:MEM), which is a company providing fertility solutions. Under this agreement, Memphasys will be able to sell and distribute Felix System in New Zealand and Canada. A similar agreement was executed between Memphasys and Vitrolife for the Japanese market in August 2023.

Hamilton Thorne Ltd. (TSX:HTL) is another well-known company specializing in tools and services for fertility treatments, research, and cell biology. The company recently acquired Gynetics Medical Products and Gynetics Services, which is a Belgian leader in innovative IVF devices. This move has strengthened the company’s consumables portfolio and expanded its reach into the profitable European market.

15 Countries with the Negative Population Growth in the World
15 Countries with the Negative Population Growth in the World


Our Methodology

We have shortlisted the 15 countries with the negative population growth in the world by using data from the CIA. The population growth rates reflect the estimated average annual percentage change in populations as of 2023. Our list excludes small island nations and overseas territories. The countries have been ranked in ascending order of the population growth rates.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

15 Countries with the Negative Population Growth in the World

15. Armenia

Population Growth Rate:  -0.4%

Armenia is a West Asian landlocked country. Armenia's population has faced historical challenges. Early 20th-century wars and famines in the country caused a devastating loss of life, with a further decline following the Soviet Union's collapse. Today, Armenia’s low fertility rate (1.758 births per woman in 2022) hinders natural population replacement, meaning deaths exceed births. This trend, if unchecked, could lead to a further decline in the population growth rate.

14. Japan

Population Growth Rate:  -0.41%

Japan, an East Asian country, is observing a shrinking population. By 2070, estimates predict a 30% decline in the country’s population to just 87 million people. This demographic crisis is driven by a declining birth rate, largely caused by a decrease in marriage rates. Fewer marriages in a traditional and conservative country like Japan means fewer babies being born. In 2023, the number of deaths in Japan was recorded at 1,590,503, up for the third consecutive year. The country's natural population decrease is 831,872. This marks the 17th year of natural population decline and the biggest population slump in Japan ever.

13. Montenegro

Population Growth Rate:  -0.43%

Montenegro is a country located in Southeast Europe, in the Balkans. The main reasons for the low population in Montenegro are the lack of agricultural land and low migration.  Most of the territory in Montenegro belongs to the karst area of the Dinaric Alps, characterized by barren mountains and unsuitable conditions for agriculture. Montenegro’s population is declining, with an annual average growth rate of -0.43%.

12. Croatia

Population Growth Rate:  -0.47%

Croatia is a country located between Central and Southeast Europe. Croatia's population has been steadily shrinking for decades. In 2022 alone, it dipped by 0.73%. Emigration and a declining birth rate are the main causes. For the past 15 years, more people have left Croatia than those who have entered, further straining the country's demographics. The economic crisis in Croatia is being strongly felt, and the opening of the borders has resulted in hordes of Croatians emigrating to richer countries.

11. Russia

Population Growth Rate:  -0.48%

Russia, the world's largest country by area, faces a shrinking population. Despite its size, many areas are sparsely populated. This trend worsened after the Soviet Union's collapse, as Russia gained vast territory but only half the population. The death rates in the country are high, and life expectancy has dipped. Furthermore, fertility rates in Russia are among the world's lowest, while abortions are high. Consequently, deaths now outnumber births, threatening to lower Russia's population to 130 million by 2046, according to Rosstat, the country's statistics agency.

10. Georgia

Population Growth Rate:  -0.57%

Georgia is a country at the junction of Europe and Asia. The current population of Georgia is 3,717,425, reflecting a 0.29% reduction from last year. From 1992, the county’s population began to decline sharply because of civil war and the consequent mass migration, which continued throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s. There has been a 15% drop since 2002, with the low population growth rate continuing till this date. Georgia is among the top 10 countries with the negative population growth in the world.

9. Moldova

Population Growth Rate:  -0.58%

Moldova is an Eastern European country. The annual population growth in Moldova decreased to -2.22% in 2022 and is currently at a low of -0.58%. The population growth has reached its lowest value in recent years. In terms of population slump, Moldova is a leader among European countries. The main reasons are high mortality rates, low birth rates, and high levels of emigration. Also, Moldova experiences low life expectancy rates, with consumption of alcohol being one of the key factors deteriorating overall health. Moldovans' level of alcohol consumption is 3 times the global average consumption.

8. Serbia

Population Growth Rate:  -0.63%

Serbia is a landlocked Balkan country at the junction of Southeast and Central Europe. The current population of Serbia is 7,097,028, reflecting a 0.73% drop from the previous year. Serbia faces a demographic crisis due to low birth rates and outward migration, causing its population of 7 million to shrink at an alarming rate. Estimates suggest a potential decline of 25% if these trends continue. Serbia is in the eighth position on our list of countries with negative population growth in the world.

7. Bulgaria

Population Growth Rate:  -0.66%

Bulgaria, a Balkan country, boasts a coastline on the Black Sea. Bulgaria's population has declined over a decade due to low birth rates and emigration. The Balkan nation lost 11.5% of its population, or 844,000 people, between 2011 and 2021, dropping to 6.5 million. Young people are particularly drawn abroad for better job opportunities, further straining the country's demographics.

6. Micronesia

Population Growth Rate:  -0.70%

Micronesia is a country spread across the western Pacific Ocean. The country's current annual average population growth rate stands at -0.70%. Micronesia is broadly shrinking, and longer-term declines are visible owing to low fertility rates and high rates of emigration.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Countries with the Negative Population Growth in the World. Suggested Articles:

Disclosure: None. 15 Countries with the Negative Population Growth in the World is published on Insider Monkey.