New report links unemployment rate and infertility

10 July 2013

The global economic crisis has impacted more than just finances - it’s also decreased birth rates throughout Europe. Figures recently published by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) reveal a direct link between unemployment rates and birth rates.

Adults under the age of 25 showed the most significant drop. As young families become increasingly concerned about job prospects, many are postponing having children until a more secure time in their lives.

Researchers found that the recession began impacting fertility around 2008. Birth rates were significantly affected in Spain, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia and Croatia. The UK’s formerly growing rate came to a halt as a result of economic decline, as well.

“The financial crisis hit Europe at a time when birth rates in many countries had just began rising again,” said MPIDR demographer Michaela Kreyenfeld.

However, the effect was temporary, with rates increasing in 2010. Experts attribute the rising birth rate to an influx of immigrants, many of whom move to the UK for work.

Couples hoping to have children may opt for a fertility test to assess their chances of conception and aid with family planning.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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