Old San Juan, the center for Puerto Rican tourism, 12 November 2013
Old San Juan, the center for Puerto Rican tourism, 12 November 2013

In a week when India has been projected to overtake China’s population by 2022, it’s easy to forget that not every country is growing.

A decreasing population usually occurs as a result of emigration and/or death rates exceeding birth rates.

Based on World Bank population data, here are the ten countries with the fastest shrinking populations:

Puerto Rico comes top of the list, with a population decline of 1.3 per cent from 2013 to 2014. The current economic crisis in Puerto Rico has prompted an exodus, as the nation’s debt is rated at approximately $73 billion.

Meanwhile the remainder of the top ten is dominated by EU member states, also for primarily economic migration reasons.

The UK population is growing at a rate of approximately 0.6 per cent per year, marginally lower than the US and marginally higher than our EU neighbours France.

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