More than 2,500 children with Ukrainian citizenship have been born in Poland since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, compared to 1,090 in the same period last year.
The number of Polish children during the same period has declined drastically on the previous year, with just 68,000 births registered this year compared to 80,100 a year earlier.
Demographers explain that the one clear reason for the increase in births of Ukrainian children is the war, with pregnant women being a part of the first wave of refugees fleeing the danger, not only to give birth in normal conditions, but also to receive guaranteed childcare in the first months.
However, such a trend already appeared a couple of years ago.
According to an estimation of Prof. Piotr Szukalski, a demographer of the University of Łódź, in 2015, Ukrainian women gave birth to 704 children in Poland. A year later, however, that number had doubled, and in 2020 it was almost eight times higher at 5,600. This year is expected to be a record high.
Szukalski separates the Ukrainian women giving birth in Poland into three groups. The first is made up of women who married Poles but did not have Polish citizenship at the time of birth — that means that they will most likely stay in Poland for longer and children from those marriages will strengthen Polish demographics.
The second group consists of women who already have partners working in Poland and choose the country as a place of permanent residence, while the third group consists of women who decided to give birth in Poland because Polish healthcare is far better compared to the services available in Ukraine.
“I’ve come across opinions that after summing up all of the costs, it is also cheaper,” adds Prof. Szukalski.
He stresses that one more category appeared since April 24, of women fleeing the conflict, who want to safely welcome their children into the world.
“It is hard to say what decisions they will take. I personally believe that most of them will want to return to their country,” he predicted.