Low Fertility in Europe: Is There Still Reason to Worry?

Stijn Hoorens et al., Rand Corporation, June, 2011

Abstract:

Many European governments have been concerned about falling fertility rates, because of the welfare implications of an ageing population and a shrinking workforce. However, ‘Doomsday’ scenarios of fertility spiralling downwards and European populations imploding have not yet materialised. Recent statistics for childbearing even suggest some recovery in Europe’s fertility. RAND Europe therefore decided to update its 2004 study into the causes and consequences of low fertility in Europe. The report analyses the latest data, reviewed recent literature, and examined the situation in Germany, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK in depth.

The recent recovery appears to be due to complex set of interacting factors, including economic growth, increased female labour participation, and improved gender equality in the work force. Policy and the fertility of migrants also had an effect, albeit limited. Policy makers should note that European couples are not necessarily having more children, but are having them later in life, and that rising fertility rates will not have an immediate impact on population ageing or its consequences.

The outlook for fertility in the EU as a whole is not as bleak as it was a decade ago, but fertility rates in several countries are still alarmingly low. These countries will need to continue exploring ways to remove the barriers to parenthood. Implementing measures that help both women and men to combine their career with their family life has direct effects for gender equality and labour force participation, but potential positive externalities for childbearing behaviour.

Editor’s Note: The full report can be downloaded here.

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  • Seek

    This is good news. While I am opposed to aggressive fertility as an ideological-religious statement (e.g., the “quiverfull” movement in the U.S.), European whites having slightly more children is a favorable sign. The larger battle, however, remains: Europe must keep out all nonwhites and/or Muslims who seek to resettle. Enoch Powell-style immigration reform is a must.

  • John Engelman

    The problem is not the low birth rate among Europeans, but high birth rates in the third world, especially in Africa. Before the Great Recession began, and to a large extent even now, Europeans were healthier and more affluent than at any time in European history.

    One of the reasons is the low European birth rate. Fewer people mean more of everything good to go around, especially consumer items, living space, and jobs.

  • Anonymous

    “The recent recovery appears to be due to complex set of interacting factors, including economic growth, increased female labour participation, and improved gender equality in the work force. Policy and the fertility of migrants also had an effect, albeit limited.”

    This doesn’t make sense to me, the increased female labor participation, since women with “careers” usually put off having children or don’t have the at all. I fear the second listed factor, “migrants” are likely the reason and of course, the race of those migrants and the children of liaisons between “immigrants” and white Europeans is not a factor in the story either. So this report tells us nearly nothing.

  • Anonymous

    Absolute trash. Feminist laws and a socialist economy might bring a typical working woman’s fertility from 1.3 to 1.6 or so, at the expense of making it impossible for a traditional mom to have 6-7 kids. She settles for 3 instead. The far left always kills babies, sometimes literally.

    No country with less than 2.5 fertility should claim any expertise in demographic planning. European countries should try to have 3+ children for a couple decades just to make up for such a loss in this generation.

    At least Japan makes for a good example for historians and scientists as a country with low fertility, but no immigration wave. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

  • Anonymous

    Oh please…

    >>

    Many European governments have been concerned about falling fertility rates, because of the welfare implications of an ageing population and a shrinking workforce.

    >>

    ‘Welfare’ for native Europeans (who plan for retirement and are generally very wealthy upon getting there) is -nothing- compared to that of supporting a non-working group of foreigners.

    Sarrazin’s book is finally punching this fact home.

    And the Euro Elites are _terrified_ of the rush of hard working whites who want to leave that has resulted. England leads the pack with 250K per year but Germany is not far behind.

    Why? It simply costs more to buy into the society than you get out of it and it’s thus easier to leave and -then- have kids before being dragged down into domesticity. Prime flight countries being Switzerland, Brazil and Canada who still appreciate the work ethic and are -vastly- less expensive to live in.

    German youth are going because they realize that the end of the German industrial economy is on the way as the ‘Mittlestand’ (small industrial businesses, run by the middle class) have no customers in the enormous poverty class that is replacing their parents in the economy.

    They also know that their own position as a high tax bracket group is going to be pushed to the brink to pay for the greying out of these German professional classes _and_ the SWA immigrants who never assimilated.

    The truth is that Germany’s ‘Wirtschaftswunder’ Economic Miracle (begun in the 1950s with Bormann’s Flight Capital Program, returning to rebuild a country which the Allies couldn’t loot as they had in WWI, because it was already empty, the real reason Hitler wanted everything blown up…) is _despised_ by Germans.

    Who see only more and more Big Business models whose decisions reflect a ‘good for the bottom line’ policy which returns nothing to German working classes who want an national (protective tarifs and work assurances) ‘identity’ inheritance of their own.

    The use of union-socialist ‘co-determinism’ as counterweight and the schism between workers (who have been competing with cheap ethnic labor imports from Turkey and elsewhere since the 1960s) and the German business class who look on 6 weeks of vacation per year plus 12 paid holidays as excessive, is now resulting in all the German technical innovation leaving the country for other, eastern, locales. Sound like ‘outsourcing’ to you? It is.

    All of which is aided and abetted by a German government that is fragmented between out-of-touch political parties that are so pluralized that they have to come together in bizarre coalitions to get any kind of work done. This has seen a veritable musical chairs act as sequential occurences of gross incompetence/fraud in the finance/business ministries is accompanied by brain drain to the EU council. Which is itself useless because they see only yesterday’s social engineering agenda of replacement by hostile Islamics as ‘multicultural’ wonderlandism. When 1,000 more Turks are leaving the country than enter it, as Germany’s prospects start to tank and they don’t choose to be a target when there is more money at home and those Germans who are too poor to leave get Kristalnacht nasty after having had enough of the multicult koolaid.

    How bad is it? Germans, whom you might think were the most business oriented people on the planet have less than 7% capital stock investment in German companies (compared to 20% in England and 35% in the U.S.).

    Their assets are _liquid_ and they are taking it with them.

    Which of course means that any ‘official studies now show you aren’t about to be stuck with the bill for a fading boomer population and rising ethnic welfare class’ is nothing less than MSM damage control as Germany’s elite who are terrified of abandonment by their middle class.

    >>

    The recent recovery appears to be due to complex set of interacting factors, including economic growth, increased female labour participation, and improved gender equality in the work force. Policy and the fertility of migrants also had an effect, albeit limited. Policy makers should note that European couples are not necessarily having more children, but are having them later in life, and that rising fertility rates will not have an immediate impact on population ageing or its consequences.

    >>

    Women who put off having kids, cause inverse clustering in the cohort models (much longer ‘legs’ in the rising interval of class replacement labor before you get to ‘torso’ mainbody age groups).

    Everyone lives at the back end of a 40 year generational cycle which is completely pear shaped for slumping consumption and productivity models over very long curves.

    Gender Competition in the workforce only makes the wages for BOTH men and women go down while dogpiling another social program cost what should remain firmly family-held investment.

    As the total employable population is larger and there is nothing to assure the individual or the population experts that those who delay family building will -ever- want to have children or find partners if they do, 20 years down the line you have a crapshoot of predictions.

    The result is again that Germany is losing young people who save up their own ‘Flight Capital’ reserves before having any kids at whatever place they land in. Where taxation is cheaper and they can actually afford to own a house. Their investment being in their new country, rather than their old one.

    This is not reassurance people. This is _panic_ acting confident. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of elitist snobs who have ‘wirtschafted’ their own bloodlines as national identity, once too often. The problem is that the rest of EU-rope is worse and so if Germany falls, the whole place will become an economic basket case.

    Greying Of Germany

    http://goo.gl/ng1gu

    Wirthschaft

    http://goo.gl/ej4uf

    Ticking Time Bomb: Emigration Up, Birth Rate Down

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,697085,00.html

  • Brendan

    They might have a point.

    World fertility in 2001 was 2.8, and for Europe, 1.4 (50% the world average).

    World fertility in 2010 was 2.5, and for Europe, 1.6 (64% the world average). (Source: http://www.prb.org)

  • rockman

    The Austro Hungarian empire was prosperous and being Christian they looked to helping the poor with a new idea called welfare. Seeing that the poor in the empire were enjoying the bounty of the land the poor of neighboring countries immigrated to the empire and enjoyed the bounty of the land. the working parts of the empire primarily Germans were subject to more and more taxes to support the increasing immigration. they stopped having children to pay the taxes as they could not afford children. On the other had the immigrants got more aid for more children so they increased their birth rate. Fewer tax payers were supporting more and more immigrant poor. The empire fell into economic chaos as each group of immigrants demanded and got govt in their language not the language of the host govt. So what are we doing today in the US except reliving the fall of the empire

  • Anonymous

    At least part of the untold story is high levels of sexually transmitted disease and viruses that cause abnormalities in tissues of female reproductive organs. That, combined with inherent promiscuity of so many European females and of course birth control are, in my opinion, the most trio of contributing factors moreso than will or desire alone.

  • elitist

    I haven’t the reports in its entirety, but it sounds like squid ink:

    what matters is not the “European birthrates,” but the birth rates of indigenous Europeans, i.e. Caucasians.

    Temporary negative population growth Europe is not a bad thing, itself, but if it goes on forever, there are no more Europeans.

    Combined with mass immigration of high fertility Muslims and others from the Third World, it is a total catastrophe.

    Despite cuts, nonwhites are drawn to Europe, like moths to a flame by a dizzying array of social programs, many of which require no certification of need (the honor system works well for Europeans).

    As long as European whites are having fewer children than the invaders, we are an endangered species.

  • Ciccio

    I have not studied this report but I have seen a similar in coming out of England. The fertility rate there has gone from 1.6 to 1.9 and the BBC as usual giving credit to government intervention in reducing child poverty blah blah blah. In the report they failed to mention that though there are supposed to be some 2.5 million Muslims out of a population of 60 million, the name Mohamed and its variants is #3 on the list.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    European whites having slightly more children is a favorable sign.

    Seek:

    Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that European Whites are having more children.

    The following is a blatant, typical msm LIE:

    Policy and the fertility of migrants also had an effect, albeit limited.

    Richard Lynn writes:

    Fertility rates of different racial groups in the UK:

    Number of children: Whites 1.6, Indians 2.3, Pakistanis/Bangladeshis 5.0

    Somalis 5.0.

    In Germany, 2010: The birth rate among Turkish immigrants in Germany is 2.4, nearly double that of the native German population (which at 1.38 is far below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per couple).

    There are more than 20 million officially self-identified Muslims in Russia, a number that has risen by 40% in the last 15 years.

    Low fertility rate among Europe’s Native Born White Population and is there a reason to worry? Unless you love wearing a burka and think Sharia law is just and fair, then YES!!

    Bon

  • Anonymous

    Rising birthrates are something to be expected because they go hand in hand with an increasing 3rd world population replacing an ageing white native population with a low birth rate. Why do you think American birthrates are so “healthy” compared with European?

    Attributing rising birth rates to the native population without checking if its really produced by natives or not just means you produce pretty much useless statistics.

  • caroline

    I’m highly confused by this article. The article discusses infertility and the causes, but it makes no sense. Isn’t infertility the INABILITY to conceive children—it’s not a matter of choice or decision, like the article states. For example, infertility is not, “We can’t have children b/c we don’t want to bring our children up in economic distress, etc.” As someone who has undergone infertility, this article, though true about Europe, uses infertility as a crutch, when in actuality, it’s really a choice to make other things priority over having children. My husband and I were struggling for years with infertility and wanted children so badly, but couldn’t. B/c we couldn’t afford IVF, we decided to try other options and found BeeFertile (a natural alternative), which luckily worked for us. We have a son because of it. No amount of female equality in the workplace or me going back to work just so we can have more ‘things’ can replace the absolute joy we feel from having a son. And though I don’t endorse welfare for the sake of those who are carelessly procreating, most of us are NOT on welfare. We are a materially based society that needs to shift our values to what’s really important–FAMILY!

  • Anonymous

    The truth is that birth rates around the world are dropping.

    Birth rates in developed world were simply first to fall.

    Now they are falling everywhere else. Mexico birh rates are lower

    than those in US nowadays. This process will continue in developing world. In Europe,N.America and Japan we will see some recovery. Country with some serious demographic problem is China.

    The effects of one child policy will be very bad after 2020.

    Young chinese will have to work two jobs to pay taxes needed to support huge population of elderly. Demographic prospects of white population in Europe, US(including white hispanics) and Latin America are not as bad as try to tell you. Trends change all the time.

  • ghw

    9 — elitist wrote:

    what matters is not the “European birthrates,” but the birth rates of indigenous Europeans, i.e. Caucasians.

    Combined with mass immigration of high fertility Muslims and others from the Third World, it is a total catastrophe.

    Despite cuts, nonwhites are drawn to Europe, like moths to a flame by a dizzying array of social programs.

    As long as European whites are having fewer children than the invaders, we are an endangered species.

    ………..

    Exactly so! Further breakdown of statistics is necessary. Simply to count the number of births in a country is meaningless — particularly if it’s a country with many immigrants. France, for instance, is undergoing a baby boom, we are told. But they are mostly African and Arab babies, not French. This is not something to celebrate.