Stats Monitor, use case 1

An example of how Stats Monitor can be used in cases where journalists need data and visualisations relating to a clearly defined topic.


Europe is ageing and shrinking: the population is declining, and as a consequence migration, movement, and changes in the labour-market are becoming crucial issues, affecting national welfare systems. In 2015 there were 40.1 infants between 0 and 4 years old in Europe, but according to UN estimates on demographic change, the same section of the population will fall by more than 5.4 million by 2035. The outlook is even worse if we remove migration from the equation. The total population of Europe was around 741 million in 2015, but according to UN forecasts it will be 734 million in 2035, or less than 711.5 million in a scenario without migration.

Inevitably, the demographic structure of the population will also change, with a clear decline in the working-age population. If, for example, we look at UN forecasts for the population aged between 15 and 64, we see a fall of more than 47.5 million people by 2035, 9.6% below the 2015 population. This percentage potentially exceeds 13% if migrants are removed from the same age-group.

There is already a labour shortage at various levels of European society: over the last eight years the European Union has seen a constant increase in job vacancies. Eurostat defines “job vacancies ” as paid, unoccupied posts for which employers are actively seeking candidates.

Among the countries for which recent Eurostat data is available, Belgium has the highest rate of job vacancies.

But there has also been a clear increase in job vacancies in central-eastern Europe: in 2010, job vacancies were a relatively limited phenomenon in the region, but today it is all too apparent in Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland and Slovakia. The Czech Republic stands out, recording a constant increase in vacancies. In the last quarter of 2018 the proportion of vacant positions reached 6%: only four years earlier, in 2014, this percentage was 1%.


Here is how we produced this example of how the Stats Monitor can be used:

  • we had a well defined starting point (Europe’s ageing population and demographic dynamics)
  • we presented contextual data (the UN’s demographic forecasts)
  • we used the “job vacancy rate” dataset, monitored by the Stats Monitor
  • we followed the direct link to the Eurostat dataset, to consult the metadata
  • we selected countries and the graphical form with which to visualise the data. It is possible to visualise single countries, add notes, change graphic types, customise titles and other items
  • journalists can sign up to the Stats Monitor’s notification service, which reports any significant changes in the data