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Switzerland’s birth rate continues to fall

Summary:
The number of babies born in Switzerland fell to 80,024 in 2023, a birth rate of 1.33 per woman, reported RTS. As recently as 2021, 89,644 babies entered the world in Switzerland. Between 2021 and 2023, the number has fallen nearly 11%. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.comIn 2023, the fertility rate in Switzerland reached an historic low after trending down over the last decade. A doctor at a medical clinic in Geneva said a drop of around 20% over recent years can be observed across clinics in Geneva. She said there has been a fall in births across Switzerland, Europe and in countries such as Australia and the US since 2022. Why? Falling birth rates seem to be linked to the challenges of juggling work, home life and parenting faced by many women. In addition, the rising cost of having

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The number of babies born in Switzerland fell to 80,024 in 2023, a birth rate of 1.33 per woman, reported RTS. As recently as 2021, 89,644 babies entered the world in Switzerland. Between 2021 and 2023, the number has fallen nearly 11%.

Switzerland’s birth rate continues to fall
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In 2023, the fertility rate in Switzerland reached an historic low after trending down over the last decade. A doctor at a medical clinic in Geneva said a drop of around 20% over recent years can be observed across clinics in Geneva. She said there has been a fall in births across Switzerland, Europe and in countries such as Australia and the US since 2022.

Why?

Falling birth rates seem to be linked to the challenges of juggling work, home life and parenting faced by many women. In addition, the rising cost of having children and concerns about the environment are further dissuading potential parents.

A demographer at EPFL explained to RTS that that as the population ages, the number of women of child bearing age in the population shrinks. This is a key driver of falling births. Environmental concerns also play a part, he said. Climate change concerns are dissuading some potential parents from having children for fear of adding further to the human impact on the planet.

Some potential mothers decide to delay motherhood until their lives become more stable or until they have reached certain career milestones. As time goes by the chances of having a child fall. And when women start having children later, they are likely to have fewer of them.

Government policies aimed at incentivising women to have more children have generally proved ineffective. Even in nations with generous maternity, paternity and childcare benefits, declining fertility can be observed. For example, in Sweden, a model for state subsidised parent and child support, the birth rate is in decline. Between 2010 and 2023, Sweden’s birthrate fell from 2.0 to 1.5, according to Statistics Sweden.

Analysis by the Economist explains why paying women to have babies won’t work. It points out that more than half of the drop in America’s total fertility rate since 1990 is caused by a collapse in births among women under 19, many of which were unwanted teenage pregnancies. In addition, the return on investment is terrible. Schemes in Poland and France cost $1m-2m per extra birth. Only a tiny number of citizens are productive enough to generate generate a net payback on that kind of money.

What can be done?

Highly-skilled immigrants could fill some of the gap, but not indefinitely – global birth rates are in decline. Ultimately, older people will need to work longer to ease the economic load on a shrinking number of young people.

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