While there are a variety of factors offered to explain Poland’s low birth rates, few suggestions have been made to remedy the situation.
Recent data on Poland’s fertility has found that Polish birth rates have fallen to the lowest levels in 30 years. Reports suggest a variety of factors to explain the decline of Polish births, but offer few suggestions for remedying the situation.
According to Euronews, the Polish birth rate has fallen by 40% since 1993, with the official rate resting at 1.4 children per woman of birthing age. The report paints a picture of empty maternity wards that were at capacity just five years ago.
More data from The First News notes that from 2021 to 2022 alone, Poland recorded 10,000 fewer births. However, the number of births by foreigners in Poland has surged, due to the influx of refugees from Ukraine. The number of births to non-Polish parents in the nation went from around 8,900 to nearly 15,000 from 2021 to 2022.
EuroNews offers several factors in explanation of Poland’s dwindling fertility rates, including economic uncertainty, the lack of job security, and changing social opinions on having children. Many Polish women are choosing not to have children in favor of careers. The report points to government initiatives, such as the Family 500+ program – which provides financial support for large families – as largely ineffective.
More data from the Polish outlet AA notes that the marriage rates have also significantly fallen in Poland. From 2011 to 2021, marriage rates fell by 10%, an estimated 841,000. Meanwhile the number of marriages with children fell by nearly 1.2 million. Marriages without children have also risen by 373,000.
One of the most significant increases was seen in informal relationships in which unmarried couples cohabitate. These are up 75%, about 553,000, and reflect couples both with and without children.