Greece has taken a step in trying to stem its decline in population by approving a new law on Tuesday awarding a one-time benefit of 2,000 euros for every child born in the country as of January 1, 2020.
According to the government, this handout is expected to create an incentive for future parents by providing important support during the first years of raising a child. The benefit will be paid in two equal installments.
Those entitled must have a family income which does not exceed 40,000 euros annually and, with respect to third-country (non-EU) nationals, a 12-year stay in the country before the birth of the child is also required.
Total birth allowance expenditures for the year 2020 are expected to reach 123 million euros; for each subsequent year the projected cost will be approximately 170 million euros.
Greece’s population has been on a trajectory of rapid decline since 2011, the first year since 1944 when a negative birthrate had been recorded, and it is expected to drop to eight million people by 2050, leading scientists have recently announced.
Greece’s fertility rate, which indicates the number of children each woman bears at reproductive age, rose from 1.31 per couple in 2004 to 1.5 in 2008-2009 — but then dropped again, to 1.35, in 2017.
The average age of Greek women giving birth for the first time has also risen significantly, from 28.8 years of age in 2008 to 30.3 years of age in 2016.
A staggering 36 percent of the Greek population will be over 65 years of age by 2050, a vast increase over the meager six percent seen in the 1970s and the 18-20 percent of the population that they represent now.