NICOSIA -- Cyprus' population was up by 0.5% in 2012, standing at a total of 865,900 according to the Demographic Report published by the Cyprus Statistical Service on Friday.
Despite having one of the highest natural population increases in the EU after Ireland, the total fertility rate of 1.39 for 2012 still remains lower than the 2.10 needed to replenish the population, a rate which has not been achieved since 1995.
According to the data, the population in the government controlled area is estimated at 865.900 at the end of 2012 compared to 862,000 in the previous year, up by 0.5%.
In 2012 the number of births totalled 10,161 compared to 9,622 in 2011.
At the same time the number of deaths reached 5,665 in 2012 compared to 5,504 in 2011.
Life expectancy at birth is estimated at 79.0 years for males and 82.9 for females for the period 2010/11.
According to the Report Cyprus still has the highest average of people deciding to marry in the EU, while divorces are close to the European average.
In 2012 the number of weddings fell to 12,918 from 13,248 in 2011. Religious weddings recorded a drop from 4,025 in 2011, to 3,705 in 2012, and civil marriages also decreased from 9,223 in 2011 to 9,213 in 2012.
Divorces on the other hand came to 2,036 from 1,934 in 2011.