Fewer and Fewer Romanians

fewer and fewer romanians Statistics are worrying, 2013 was the year with the fewest births since Romania emerged on the map as a modern state. At the same time, a person dies every 2 minutes and 15 seconds, and that would mean that by 2030 the population of Romania will be less t

 This drop in population was predictable after 1989, after the regime-imposed boost in population policy was abandoned. Over the following 22 years, the population has been dropping constantly. Sociologists say that in 2014 the trend will hold. Statistics show that in July this year Romania will have 19,450,000 people, a quarter of a million less than last year, a figure similar to the one registered 45 years ago. In an interview with Radio Romania, Vasile Ghetau, a professor who heads the Romanian Academy Center for Demographic Research, said:


Vasile Ghetau: “The birth rate in Romania has dropped in the first half of the 1990s, and held constant since 1995, namely ten people born for every thousand inhabitants. There is another indicator, which is more relevant, and also holds well in time. It is the average number of children per woman, which has held since the mid-1990s at 1.3. This drop in the birth rate came right after 1989, as expected, once the law against abortion and contraception was repealed. In 1989 370,000 children were born in Romania. In the last ten years we’ve had 200,000, which points to a very big drop.”


Stabilization has not yet occurred, considering that policies to encourage birth rates are not yet visibly yielding results. Right now, state aid for children is under 10 Euros a month, much lower than what the state spends for every person under incarceration.


At the same time, Romania is not alone among countries with dwindling populations, according to Vasile Ghetau: “This is an ailment of the European society, unfortunately it is a generalized problem. As European society modernized, birth rates dropped almost across the board; paradoxically, as living standards went up, this had the opposite effect on the number of children European women have.”


Getting back to Romania, Vasile Ghetau talks about the possibilities of stopping this drop in population: “Demographic mechanisms have impeccable math. They are extremely rigid. We should have a rise in birth rates coupled with a drop in mortality. Both these evolutions cannot be predicted for the upcoming period, as they cannot occur. A rise in birth rates would involve long and very long term national strategies, while a drop in mortality would involve other enormous investments in public health.”


In professor Ghetau’s opinion, it would be a mistake to identify financial resources to stimulate birth rates, because a rise in birth rate in a time of crisis cannot be healthy, and the effects would be most visible for the people at the worst economic disadvantage. Here is Vasile Ghetau again talking about the consequences of a drop in birth rates:


Vasile Ghetau: “A decrease in the number of children being born overall, nationally, led to a decrease in expenditure. Society spent less through the systems of allocations, which went down, at least until now. There have been some negative effects, if we only look at the reduction in school population. Schools have been closed, and are still being closed, which has a negative impact on the teaching staff in some parts of the country, since the number of children enrolled dropped. All the short term advantages I have mentioned, with the possibility of adding more, become negative on long and very long term.”


The reasons, Vasile Ghetau says, are as follows, quote: “Let us imagine that, after 2030, the entire population giving birth to children in Romania will have been born after 1990, 1995, a third or more less than before, than the population we have now, for instance. The natural decrease in the last years is 50,000 inhabitants in Romania, it’s a natural decrease. After 2030, all the data we have from our own research, as well as foreign research, indicate that the natural annual drop will be as high as 100,000 inhabitants annually.”

Publicat: 2014-01-24 14:17:00
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