European countries need more babies

Baby feet (Jacob Lund Photography from Noun Project)

This story is part of the megatrend Population shifts that's shaping the world today and tomorrow.

October 2023
Women in the European Union aren’t having enough babies to maintain population growth and some countries are taking extraordinary measures to increase the number of births.

Some countries are using laws to encourage more women to have babies. For example, in Hungary women with four kids or more don’t need to pay income taxes, reports The Economist. The country’s is 1.52.

Italy, which has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, has recently created a government ministry in charge of finding ways to increase the number of births.

so what?
Countries with stagnant or decreasing populations face major challenges in coming years. One challenge will be where to find young people that can take over jobs when old workers retire.

Liberal leaders say more immigration could be a smart way of maintaining population growth. Conservatives disagree and some fear that a shrinking population of natives may be replaced by a growing number of immigrants.

Reference shelf:
Europe’s conservative populists pit migrants against babies (The Economist)

The battle for births: how the far right are exploiting Italy’s ‘demographic winter’ (The Guardian)

Fertility rates (OECD Data)

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