In Portugal, lies one of the oldest region in the European Union. With 34.2% or more than one-third of the population aged over 65, the region of Pinhal Interior Sul, in Central Portugal is one of the oldest in the EU, according to Eurostat
As we can see here, even though the data is in Portuguese, the age pyramid of ‘Pinhal Interior do Sul’ region is starting to invert, a rare case even inside of Europe, where there is a much higher share of 70 and 80-year-olds than there are of children. In this ‘super-aged’ region, there is a 60.7% Old age dependency ratio [the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 and over (the age when they are generally economically inactive) and the number of persons aged between 15 and 64].
Following this Portuguese region, at European level, is the Greek region of Evrytania, with 32.2% of the elderly population. Very aged regions can be found across Southern Europe, notably for Spain and Italy, outside the main urban areas.
The Eurostat regional statistics yearbook allows for a more detailed look at each EU country, comparing the specific regions and not just the countries as a whole (Eurostat provides interactive data visualizations). The analysis thus allows us to portray the regional differences that exist within the organization, giving statistics of 272 regions of the current 28 Member States.
The oldest populations are in Portugal, Greece and Spain, the youngest are in France and Ireland. What the study concludes is that by 2013 the regions with the youngest to 15 years of age were generally located in countries with high birth and fertility rates, and strong migration.
The ageing of Europe has been a phenomenon that started taking place since the early 60s, ever since effective hormonal contraceptives were invented, like the birth control pill, among many other factors, leading to a decrease in the number of Europeans being born over the decades, first starting in Northwest Europe, spreading from North to South and then West to East.