THE CHILDBIRTH rate of Slovakia's Roma population is two and a half times higher than that of the majority Slovak population, according to a report released November 30 by the Demographic Research Centre.
In some Roma settlements, where about 120,000 people live, the childbirth rate is as much as four and a half times the national average, says the report on Reproduction Behaviour of the Population in Communities with Low Living Standards.
This represents around three children per one Roma woman, or four and a half for those living in Roma settlements, compared to the national average of one and a half children, the TASR news agency reported.
According to the demographers, despite higher levels within the Roma population compared to the rest of the nation, their reproduction rate is slowing, and should be at almost the same level as the majority population within 30 years.
By 2025, experts forecast, the Roma will account for ten percent of Slovakia's population of around five million. Currently there are 400,000 Roma living in Slovakia.
6. Dec 2004 at 0:00 | From press reports