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Europe needs more children

There is one for the future strength of Europe, very important goal, which is 2.1, and for some time no member state more particularly is respected. This is not

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Europe needs more children

There is one for the future strength of Europe, very important goal, which is 2.1, and for some time no member state more particularly is respected. This is not about deficit numbers, but the average number of children per woman.

This number corresponds to a well-balanced compensation of the generations. The systematic decline in the birth rate below 2.1 began in Western Europe toward the end of the 60s and beginning of the 80s (in Sweden in 1969, in Spain in 1981). In Eastern Europe, by contrast, the decline in the birth rate began later, after the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Today, the average in the EU, at 1.6, in Switzerland at 1.5.

A low birth rate causes the population figures of the younger generations compared to those of their parents, lose weight gradually. The much more important result, however, is not the decline in population numbers, but a change in the demographic system: the load that represent the Elderly, as they are towards the Younger ones in the Majority.

In a country where the birth rate is close to the generation compensation rate, not the increase in life expectancy means that people will only be older, but also in a higher age still have the strength to participate actively in the support of the population. The birth rate is, however, sensitive to below the limit of 2.1, then the cost of the long life expectancy will cope more and more difficult, because of the birth decline in the weight-bearing pillar of the active population, undermining, and it always costs more power to provide for growth and prosperity.

A measure of the demographic imbalance, which is derived from this process, is the degree of dependence of the elderly (the ratio of the number of over 65 Year olds to those in the active working age), which in Europe is particularly high and, according to the Eurostat (immigrants will increase already included) from the middle of the century, currently from 30% to over 50%.

This Mass can be used as a demographic Equivalent to the national debt: Its rise means for the country, more instability, and in the future higher costs. In addition, as the deficit makes the public debt grow, the difference between the average number of children per woman ensures to the threshold of the generation exchange for a higher dependency rate of older people. There is no stability agreements, which forces the States of the EU to close this gap exists, however.

An increase in the birth rate would go Hand-in-Hand with the strengthening of the conditions of life for young people and the employment of women.

If we define the "demographic deficit" as the extent to which birth rate among the generation compensation rate of 2.1, which results in a very clear, telling picture: Some countries are relatively close, the other to recover, in turn, slowly, and others are statistically far from. The first group, France and Sweden are part of a demographic deficit of around 0.2. In the second group, Germany, has improved its deficit within a few years, from more than 0.7 to 0.5. The middle group also, Switzerland is 0.6. Italy and Spain present, however, statistics are among the worst in Europe, with a distance of about 0.75, to a compensation threshold.

A European agreement, which campaigns for an improvement of this Index would show that the EU is not only interested in financial parameters, but also to promote the General social model and the welfare of the families. An increase in the birth rate would go in the Rest of the Hand-in-Hand with the strengthening of the conditions of life for young people and the employment of women, as in different countries has already been successfully employed measures of evidence.

however, If nothing is done to reduce this deficit, it will be increasingly difficult in future, these public accounts in balance.

* Alessandro Rosina is a Professor of demography at the Catholic University of Milan. From the Italian by Bettina Schneider.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 09.12.2018, 22:50 PM

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