Greek Crisis Leading to Low Birth Rate

child traffickingRecession and rising unemployment in Greece has led to a decrease in the number of births as more and more couples are unable to bear the financial and psychological “cost” of having a child. Doctors of the World estimate that because of the crisis, four out of ten women will have a child less than they prefer or possible not have any children at all.

In 2012, the birth rate in Greece slumped to 9 births per 1,000 residents, while the same rate in 1980 was 15.36. The dramatic decline of births started in the 90s, but it was halted thanks to the influx of foreign immigrants. It is characteristic that in 2012 the number of births by Greek women amounted to  84,851 (84.54%), while the number of births by foreign women reached 15,520 (15.46%). The corresponding data for 2011 was 87,426 births (82.14%) by Greek women and 19,002 births (17.85%) by foreign women. in Greece, during the last years, the total fertility rate for foreign women is consistently higher than that for the Greek women. However, despite the “help” from immigrants, Greece has one of the lowest fertility rates in the EU.

Unemployment, low incomes, cuts in allowances and social services are preventing Greeks from having children. It is estimated that the cost of private vaccination for a child exceeds 1,500 euros. According to the latest figures, every year in Greece, more than 250,000 abortions are recorded. Moreover, despite the high rate of infertility, assisted reproductive treatments have reduced by 15%.