The demographic crisis is deepening in Romania, with recent data from the National Statistics Institute (INS) showing that the number of citizens in the under-18 age cohort dropped by one-percentage point last year.
Those under the age of 18 now make up 17.6 percent of the population registered as residents in Romania, but this number also includes a significant proportion of those who in fact live abroad.
Last year, 178,609 live births were registered in the country, 24,500 less than in 2019. In comparison, the number of deaths in 2020 approached 300,000. The last time so few children were born in the country was in 1930, the INS pointed out. The Statistical Institute has no data for the period between 1941 and 1945.
Last year, the number of children born to a thousand women of childbearing age (15-49 years) continued to decline (from 35.3 to 34). More detailed statements available on the INS website show that the fertility rate (total fertility rate) of Romanian women has fallen below 1.3.
The raw birthrate fell from 9.2 per thousand in the previous year to 8.1 last year, compared to 22.1 million for permanent residence in Romania. The indicator was highest in Bucharest and Ilfov County, the metropolitan area of the capital (9.1 live births per thousand inhabitants) and lowest in Oltenia (seven per thousand).
According to the statistical institute, the real population of Romania is estimated at 19.3 million, meaning a reduction of about 800,000 since the last 2011 census. According to the Children’s Day announcement, 3,495,000 children in Romania (including more than half a million preschoolers) attend 6,970 educational institutions in the country, employing nearly 236,000 teachers.
By contrast in Hungary, whose conservative government has for years been actively encouraging childbirth, the number of newborns rose by 3.4 percent last year to 92,233.
Title image: Maternity ward at the Filantropia hospital in Bucharest, Romania. (source: Facebook)