Just The Facts

Post-Brexit Europe: Population and Economic Policy

For the EU, Brexit means a shift toward smaller countries and less free-market countries.

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Takeaways


  • The UK is the second-most populous EU country currently, with a population of 65 million (as of 2016).
  • With the UK gone from the EU, the remaining 27-country union will have a population of about 441 million.
  • The UK has one of the most open markets in the EU in terms of the absence of state control and barriers to trade.

1. When the UK leaves, the EU’s population will immediately shrink by a number that is equal to more than that of the 15 smallest members combined.

2. The UK is the second-most populous EU country currently, with a population of about 65 million (as of 2016).

3. Only Germany’s population of 81 million is larger in the EU than the UK’s.

4. By comparison, the smallest 15 EU member countries – from Malta to Hungary – have a combined population of 61 million.

5. With the United Kingdom gone from the European Union, the remaining 27-country union will have a population of about 441 million people.

6. That is 13% smaller than the EU’s population of about 505 million today.

7. Not only will the remaining members be smaller populations, but they will tend to be more statist.

8. In terms of the absence of state control, barriers to entrepreneurship and barriers to trade, the UK has one of the most open markets in the European Union.

9. According to the OECD, only the Netherlands is less regulated on these points than the UK.

10. The departure of the UK from EU decision-making will thus provide a boost to its more heavily regulated major member economies, such as France.

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, United Nations Population Division, OECD

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