In 2019, there were 4.45 million nurses and midwives employed in the European Union (EU), counting both professional and assistant nurses and midwives. This corresponded to half a million more nurses and midwives being employed in the EU in 2019 compared to 2012, with a steady increase over this period.
In relative terms, Malta (+0.7 percentage points), Croatia and Portugal (both +0.5 pp) recorded the highest increase in the shares of nurses in total employment between 2011 and 2019. In contrast, Ireland (-0.6 pp) recorded the highest decrease in the share of nurses over this period, followed by Luxembourg (- 0.5 pp) and Bulgaria (-0.3 pp).
2.4% of Malta’s working population is employed as a nurse or midwife, the fifth highest rate in the European Union and above the EU’s average.
Doctors, nurses and other health personnel are on the front line in the fight to save lives from the coronavirus pandemic. They are applauded and praised as society’s new heroes. Nurses is a key profession in this fight, closely monitoring their patients, administering their treatment, encouraging and soothing them.
The share of nurses and midwives in the total workforce was 2.2% in the EU in 2019. Among the EU Member States, Germany stood out with a share of 3.4%, followed by Finland (3.0%), Belgium (2.9%) and Ireland (2.8%).
In contrast, 11 out of 27 EU Member States recorded shares of nurses and midwives of 1.5% or less in the total employment in the country. The lowest share was 1.1%, recorded in Bulgaria, closely followed by Latvia and Luxembourg (both 1.2%), Estonia, Cyprus and Hungary (all 1.3%), Greece and Poland (both 1.4%) as well as Spain, Portugal and Romania (all 1.5%).
In absolute numbers, Germany recorded close to 1 458 000 nurses and midwives in 2019. This corresponded to one-third (33%) of all nurses and midwives in the EU. France with around 656 000 nurses and midwives (15% of EU’s nurses and midwives) and Italy with around 411 000 (9%) also recorded high numbers.
From 2011 to 2019, the number of nurses and midwives in Germany and France increased by 147 000 and 125 000 respectively, whilst in Italy the number only increased by 15 000 over this period.