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IN SHORTS

Population to continue shrinking

THE NUMBER of births in Slovakia fell to 50,800 in 2002, Statistics Office figures show. This is almost half the number of 50 years ago. The number of children under 15 has dropped to less than a million.

"The biggest problem is that the family today does not have prestige value. A car, cottage, and career are valued more than having five children," said demographics expert Boris Vaňo.

Experts expect the drop to increase when Slovakia joins the European Union, as more young people migrate from the country.

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