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What is needed to boost population size?

csalad.hu, fotó: Förster Tamás
2019. szept. 6. 8:44
Budapesti Demográfiai Csúcs

As Kevin Andrews, Member of the House of Representatives and Former Minister from the Commonwealth of Australia put it: the biggest challenge to civil societies is the position of families and the handling of marriages.

Cohabitation is on the rise, as couples move in together prior to getting married. First marriages take place at a much higher age, and this is also true for Hungary. There are also more divorces and the number of remarriages is on the decline. The number of single-parent families is growing. The ratio of children born out of wedlock is also on the rise, especially in Western countries.

The MP called it a myth that reducing population numbers can be turned around with the help of various subsidies. In many countries they failed to boost fertility ratios through Government subsidies. Hungary started going down the right path. Since 2010 the number of marriages has grown and divorces have declined, whilst fertility rates have been on the rise. Whether this is sustainable, we will only find out in 10-20 years’ time.

There are subsidies for single-child families as well

The next presenter, Urszula Rusecka, Member of the Sejm, President of the Social and Family Policy Committee of Sejm from Poland explained that aging posed a huge challenge that called for firm action.

Young people must be helped with childrearing. In our country, every family receives a sum of 500 PLN for the first child, even if there is only a single child. Since the introduction of this programme, Polish families have received 77 billion. 4.5 million children have received schooling support, and the Baby Plus subsidy helps the parents of children aged 1-3. This helps young people decide to have children with more peace of mind, even if they do not wish to give up their professional careers.

In the 2016-2018 period 68 thousand new nursery places were created in Poland, and those with large families are helped by 6000 partners in 24 thousand locations. We have managed to make society understand that this is not expenditure; to the contrary, it’s an investment. This has also been reflected in birth rates: the country has outperformed all expectations, reaching a record 402 thousand births in 2017.

(photo: Förster Tamás)