A woman became the most prolific mother in Romania when she gave birth to her twentieth child this week.
But the 42-year-old woman from the southern county of Arges is an exception in Romania, which is seeing a drastic decline in its birth rate, like many other European countries.
The number of babies born in Romania in 2019 fell to the lowest level in 53 years, official statistics show, downing the previous record registered in 2018, EduPedu site reported
A total of 178,130 children were born in Romania last year, 12,040 fewer than in 2018, the site reported, citing National Statistics Institute (INS) and the National Registry of People Records (RNEP).
The last time Romania registered such a low annual birth rate was in 1967, the year after late communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu issued a near ban on abortion and contraception.
According to the institute, an average of 360,000 babies were born in Romania annually between 1970 and 1989, the year communism ended.
In 1990, there were 314,746 births. Since then, birth rates have steadily dropped.
One of the main reasons for the low birth rate is migration, with about 239,000 Romanians leaving the country in 2018. Other factors are families deciding to have fewer children, while women are delaying having babies.
Romania’s current population is about 19.5 million, down from 23 million in 1989.
It is projected to fall to 13.7 million by 2060, according to the National Institute of Statistics.