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NEWS BRIEFS

Pensioners outnumber children

THE NUMBER of pensioners outnumbers the number of children in Slovakia for the first time in the country's history, according to the Statistics Office (ŠÚ). While the number of births declined from just over 60,000 in 1996 to less than 51,000 last year, pensioners are living longer.

The change in demographics is likely to put more pressure on the social security system, say analysts.

"There would be benefits in raising the retirement age," said Slovenská sporiteľna analyst Juraj Kotian.

The average Slovak is now 35 years old, has two children, has a life expectancy of 70 years, and is 40 percent likely to divorce, according to the ŠÚ.

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