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Current Affairs

Pandemic results in lesser babies

Date: 07 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A research conducted during the pandemic induced lockdown has indicated that the situation has given rise to lower number of babies.

 

Background

The earlier belief was that the lockdown would allow partners to spend more time together and it would materialise into larger number of offspring.

 

Details

  • The US is showing a biggest decline in a century. France has recorded lowest birth rates since World War II. China has 15 percent lesser birth registrations.

  • There is a chance that global population growth will be zero in 2100. Countries such as Japan and Spain will see their population halve.

  • The reason for the low birth rates is the high costs of housing and education along with increasing rejection of marriage among young women.

  • The fertility rates of Taiwan and Singapore has fallen below 1%. This is among the lowest in the world.

  • The birth rate in US is expected to fall by 13%. This is because couple are delaying pregnancy owing to uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

 

Reasons for decline

  • Economic factors affect individual decision of birth. As the labour market of the country weakens the rate of birth declines and vice versa.

  • As income of families increase, they expand their families. In situation of decline, the family size also declines.

  • Wealthier European counties such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland did not have impact on birth rate because of better handling of infections.

 

Effects of phenomenon

  • There will be fewer adults left to join workforce. The demand for labour goes up and cost of production also rises.

  • Lower economic productivity means lower tax revenue contributions from public. Growth of country will affect if spending on healthcare and public pension increases but revenue declines.

 

Possible solutions

Introducing allowances or child tax credits to increase birth rates. This will help parents tide over costs of raising a family.