Romania’s birth rate lowest since 1930. Incentives should be offered to encourage families to have children, official says

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Romania’s birth rate is continuing to decline and authorities could offer tax incentives and other stimulants to encourage people to have more children, an advocacy official said in an interview.

In 2020, some 178,630 babies were registered in Romania. That was the lowest number of births since 1930, the National Statistics Institute said earlier this month.

Fertility rates

On January 1, 2021 there were almost 3.9 million Romanians aged 0-18 which was 38,000 fewer than the year before.

Fertility rates dropped to 34 live births per 1,000 women of childbearing age.

Romania’s figures correlate with Eurostat statistics. The European statistics agency predicts that Romania’s population will fall to 16 million by 2050 due to a falling birth rate and migration.

Standard of living

It is currently over 19 million, down from 23 million in 1989 when communism ended.

Specialists say that Romanians are having less children as they don’t think they can offer them a decent standard of living and there are a lack of stimulants to encourage people to have more children. Women are also delaying childbirth.

„The downward trend started 15 years ago. France has solutions such as offering tax incentives and other stimulants to families and people with children as well as leave from their jobs” , George Roman, advocacy director of “Save the Children” told Newsweek.

Falling birth rate

“There are many ways to stimulate the birth rate” he said.

„The falling birth rate appeared immediately after 1989 when a steady decline began. The was a slight recovery from 2005-2010, when maternity and paternity leave was introduced and child allowance was increased”.

„This decision encouraged people in stable jobs to have children. Until then, they had avoided taking this step as they were afraid of losing their jobs”, the advocacy director said.

Statistics institute

In 2019, the number of babies born in Romania was the lowest in 53 years, according to official statistics.

According to the statistics institute, an average of 360,000 babies were born in Romania annually between 1970 and 1989 when communism ended.

In 1990, there were 314,746 births. Since then, birth rates have generally dropped.

Demographic deficit

The falling birth rate isn’t limited to Romania, but the problem is more accentuated here.

„The demographic deficit is happening in all European Union countries. Some countries  in Northern Europe are exceptions and are doing better. The analysis have shone a light on what is happening in south and eastern Europe”, he said.

Greece has the lowest birth rate in Europe per 1,000 inhabitants. Romania is somewhere in the bottom third with less than 9 births per 1,000 residents.


Ireland has about 15-16 births per 1,000 people. France has around 12 and the Scandinavian countries have about 12-13” , he said.

Apart from Romania, Bulgaria will have 38.6 percent fewer people than it did in 1990 by the year 2050. Serbia will have 23.8 percent fewer and Croatia 22.4 percent, Balkan Insight reported in 2019.

Balkan Insight: Southeast Europe plagued by catastrophic depopulation


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