Romania’s population, which has steadily decreased in recent years, is projected to shrink even further in the next 50 years.
By 2070, Romania’s population will be 15 million, the European Commission said.
When communism ended in 1989, Romania had a population of 23 million. Over the past 30 years, it dropped by 3.8 million. It is now 19.4 million.
The decline is driven by demographic change, including emigration.
As a consequence of the change, the ratio of people older than 65 relative to people of working-age (15-64), is projected to double from 26.3% in 2016 to 52.8% in 2070.
This implies that the number of working-age people for every person aged over 65 would fall from almost four to just two.
The report said that population ageing has a negative impact on the adequacy of pensions, on future spending on healthcare and the long-term sustainability of public finances.
Romania has seen a declining birth rate in recent years, like many other European countries.
The number of babies born in Romania in 2019 fell to the lowest level in 53 years, official statistics show.
A total of 178,130 children were born in Romania last year, 12,040 fewer than in 2018, the site reported, citing National Statistics Institute (INS) and the National Registry of People Records (RNEP).
The last time Romania registered such a low annual birth rate was in 1967, the year after late communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu issued a near ban on abortion and contraception.
One of the main reasons for the low birth rate is migration, with about 239,000 Romanians leaving the country in 2018. Other factors are families deciding to have fewer children, while women are delaying having babies.