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Demographic lull continues

November 7th, 2015

As the birth rate in Hungary continues to fall, despite government measures to encourage procreation, commentators cautiously wonder if some degree of immigration may prove unavoidable in the foreseeable future.

In its front-page editorial Népszabadság complains that the high profile international conference on demographic trends held in Budapest did not yield concrete explanations on the cause of the declining birthrate and how to treat them. Népszabadság believes that a feeling of insecurity must be one of the factors. One lecturer analysed the potential impact of immigration on ageing European societies, but as to the reasons and the possible solutions, the conference itself was a reflection of sterility rather than fertility.

On Válasz, Anita Élő quotes fresh data to show that that despite consistent government-sponsored incentives aimed at reversing the negative demographic trends, the birthrate has now been falling for three consecutive months, after a two year upturn. Hungary may simply be following Germany and Austria where the number of childless women is steadily increasing, she muses. However, Élő warns, that comfortable lifestyle comes with a heavy price — old age poverty. In her closing remarks she hints that the falling number of births may compel Hungary to adopt radically new immigration policies.


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