The Covid-19 epidemic has caused a real “baby accident” almost global. However, at the beginning of the crisis we expected a reverse phenomenon. The confinement seemed conducive to the reunion of couples …
A study by the Max-Planck Institute in Berlin and the Institute for Demography at the University of Vienna looked at this demographic decline. Covers 34 European countries. In 15 countries, the birth rate fell by 3% in October 2020, 5% in November and 8.1% in December.
The more the effects of the confinement are confirmed -when we add nine months-, the greater the fall in the birth rate. Spain experienced a 20% drop at the end of 2020! At the other end, the countries that seem to have resisted the best are the northern European countries : In Denmark the birth rate has barely changed, Germany is holding up well, the Netherlands as well, Iceland has even seen a slight increase in births.
The epidemic accelerates population decline
France has experienced a significant drop in births : -7% in December 2020 and -13% in January 2021. What is striking is that there seems to be a correlation with the epidemic, particularly with the first wave. The countries in which it has been strongest are the most affected. This phenomenon transcends the borders of Europe: the drop in births is therefore 10.3% in Russia in January 2021.
For the United States, a Maryland scholar Philip Cohen cited by the newspaper The world, cites a 5-10% drop in births based on statistics from nine states. In Asia, the trend is the same. The declines in the birth rate are strong. In Taiwan: -23.3% in January 2021 and -10% in South Korea. In Japan, marriages fell 12.7%.
Fear of an uncertain future caused by the Covid-19 epidemic has necessarily played a role in the decrease in births, romantic encounters that did not occur either, but the causes are multiple … The epidemic has played a role above all in the acceleration of trends that we were already observing. Southern Europe has had very low fertility rates for several years. In Eastern Europe, it is a real demographic disaster.
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