Updated at 22:16,14-07-2020

Birth Rate In Belarus Keeps Dropping Despite Numerous Children Allowances


Birth Rate In Belarus Keeps Dropping Despite Numerous Children Allowances
As of 1 April, the population in Belarus has dropped below 9,4 million. Over the year, the population has declined by 19,600 people.

This is primarily due to the decrease in a birth rate, with some birth rates in 2019 lower than in 1995. The IPM Research Center experts came to such a conclusion by analyzing several parameters:

- the total fertility rate (the number of births per 1,000 population),
- the special birth rate (the number of births per 1,000 women of reproductive age),
- the total fertility rate (the average number of births per woman in a hypothetical generation for her entire life).

The experts draw attention to the fact that last year the total fertility rate “came close to the lowest point in the demographic history of modern Belarus.”

- 9,3 babies were born per 1,000 people.

“This is slightly higher than in 2002-2003, when 9 children were born per 1,000 population. However, support for fertility was minimal at the time, and the reproductive attitudes of families were still affected by the effects of the crisis of the 1990s,” experts say.

The special birth rate also decreased: 40 children per 1,000 women of reproductive age (so far this is more than in 2002–2004, but the downward trend continues). It is also because the number of women of reproductive age also grows smaller every year.

“The dynamics of fertility in reproductive cohorts is determined by socio-economic factors and measures to support the birth rate: if it weakens, then the measures lose effectiveness,” the experts stress.

And finally, the total fertility rate, according to experts, amounted to 1,388 (and in cities – 1,2) in 2019. The figure is lower than in 1995.

“Simple reproduction corresponds to a total birth rate of 2,1. Our demographics, as well as future pension and social policies face the challenge of a ‘non-birth rate’,” the IPM Research Center experts conclude.

On the one hand, experts say, all these trends are quite natural: a generation of women born in the 1990s replaces the generation of the 1970s, and for countries such as Belarus, low birth rates are the norm. At the same time, Belarus is one of the champions in the number of various children’s allowances.

Earlier, the center’s experts had already calculated that the decline in the birth rate began in 2016, and the decline in the birth rate of the first children even earlier, in 2013.

In their opinion, only part of the population finds financial incentive for births useful, while other measures of demographic policy, such as developing preschool infrastructure or parental leave, could be more relevant for others.