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Institute: No reason to panic about reproduction trends

Scientists from the Institute of Research of Social Communication (ÚVSK) of the Slovak Academy of Sciences concluded a poll of 1,400 people in reproductive age (i.e. between 18 and 45) and found Slovakia fares well when compared to other European countries.

Scientists from the Institute of Research of Social Communication (ÚVSK) of the Slovak Academy of Sciences concluded a poll of 1,400 people in reproductive age (i.e. between 18 and 45) and found Slovakia fares well when compared to other European countries.

Researchers claim that five years ago the fertility rate had declined to 1.2 children per woman in fertile age; while currently, this rate is slightly on the rise – at 1.46 children per one fertile woman. However, this is not a real increase, ÚVSK head Gabriel Bianchi said as quoted by the TASR newswire, but a swell in delayed births caused by change in lifestyle and life conditions.

“There are countries in Europe which have a truly stronger reason to feel panic – like Germany where this number is 1.2. Moreover, about one-third of women decide to stay childless there and that is quite a strong phenomenon. We do not observe this in Slovakia so far,” he said, adding that the ideal rate to maintain a stable population is 2.1 children per one woman.

The ÚSVK study, part of the project “Sustainability of Reproduction in Slovakia: Psycho-social Research” found that the average age at which a woman has her first child increased to 27. This is influenced by various factors like longer search for a potential partner, hedonistic lifestyle and the shift in perception: women tend to wait until they feel the desire to have a child, the Sme daily wrote.

“People with university education and higher secondary education prefer marriage in connection with reproduction,” Bianchi said, as quoted by TASR, adding that a partnership without marriage prevails in people with lower education. The study also implies that about one-third of children are currently born outside marriage.

Bianchi concluded that if state wants to encourage people to have children, it should invest into services ensuring care for children – which have a low availability as of now. The financial availability of these services is a problem, too. Sme wrote that additionally, the myth of a woman giving her child to a nursery school being cruel must be broken.

(Source: TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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