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Less and Less Babies in Europe   versione testuale
In the rich countries, the birth rate is falling. Europe is the only continent where the population will decline between now and 2050.

In Europe, the number of marriages is decreasing, couples wait longer to have a child, increasingly divorce, and have fewer children. Starting with France, where the birth rate is once again declining after a small increase in 1990 and 2000, this is the conclusion recently presented in the French Catholic magazine "La Vie," on the basis of the 2015 population report published on January 19th by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). In France, there was a decline of 19,000 births in comparison to 2014; that is a decrease of 2.3%. Europe is following the same path. In 2013, the last year for which INSEE took the statistics in all the European countries, the birth rate was on the decline even in countries like Ireland and Sweden, where fertility is relatively high. However, the generational turnover rate is 2.1 children per woman of childbearing age. No European country has reached that figure. The aging of the population is certain, as is the declining number of inhabitants. Last year, of the 28 countries, no fewer than 12 members—including Italy and Poland—experienced a loss in population. Germany, with a fertility rate of only 1.4, manages to keep its balance only through immigration.
Another study, conducted by the French Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) in September 2015, shows that Europe is the only continent where the population will decrease between now and 2050. The number of inhabitants will in all probability decrease from 742 to 728 million. Europe’s drop in fertility is primarily due to birth control practiced by individuals, which is a very recent phenomenon in the history of mankind. In today's society, the child is a project, the product of a couple's decision and of the will of individuals.
The Importance of Family Policies
This phenomenon raises new questions. Reconciling family and professional life is becoming crucial, especially for women. The policies implemented to facilitate this reconciliation between women's employment and family life are paramount—i.e., management of nursery schools, adaptation of schedules, collective babysitting, maternal salary. When women have to choose between work and children, fertility is reduced. The high widespread chronic unemployment in many European countries accentuates this phenomenon, because it obliges households to count on two incomes in order to care for children. In modern European societies, the child is not so much a resource as an expenditure. Faced with this fact, it is only natural that family policies find it difficult to make the birth rate rise. Ironically, our society has never before desired children so much. This desire is so strong that it has become a "public fact," through medical assistance, regulated by law, and so tends to become institutionalized. This desire—"La Vie" concludes—which symbolizes today's European culture, which is striving to plan its future and ensure its survival.
Charles de Pechpeyrou
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