Figures published yesterday by Eurostat confirm that the population of the European Union now exceeds 500 million, which makes Europe the world's third largest demographic power after China and India. The daily El Periódiconotesthat the growth in population "is mainly due to an increase in the birthrate and the influx of migrants." On 1st January, 2009, the EU had 499.8 million inhabitants. With the exception of Germany, all member states have seen a similar development in the numbers of their inhabitants. The daily adds that "Spain and Germany were at opposite ends of the scale." With close to 46 million inhabitants, Spain has contributed most to the increase in the number of Europeans, while Germany experienced a decline in its population, which shrank by 200,000 to just over 82 million.