Low fertility rates are not a natural law


On average, women have fewer than 2.1 children in all
of the countries of the EU, from Finland to Cyprus and
from Portugal to Romania. Kosovo, a small country that
is not a member of the EU, is the only country in Europe
with fertility rates above the level that would be needed
to ensure a stable population development over the long


However, fertility is distributed very unevenly across the
continent. While Polish women have an average of no
more than 1.2 children, the figure for Iceland, Ireland,
and France is roughly 2 — a disparity of over 60 per
cent. Ten of 27 EU member states (2007) report an excess
of deaths over births. This has in part been the case
for years now — indeed in Germany for three and a half
decades. In Europe this has served to boost the popularity
of family policy, a field that was long neglected in
some places.




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