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Birth rates in Poland have grown rapidly between 2005 and 2007 causing a phenomenon of a baby boom. This is particularly important in the context of Poland’s declining population.
A falling unemployment rate and better economic prospects have prompted young people to settle down. More households with children will cause a shift in spending patterns and consumer demand.
The number of births in Poland had been steadily falling since 1983 – the last year of a birth rate increase. An all-time low was reached in 2003 with just 351,100 children born.
This combined with a rapidly ageing society and a shrinking labour force led many demographers to signal a potential demographic crisis, putting upward pressure on wages due to labour shortages:
The baby boom is likely to affect consumer spending patterns, with more spending on housing, education and child-related products.
Source: National statistics. Note: Data for 2007 is an estimate.
In 2007 natural population growth in Poland has been the highest since the 1990s with 16,000 more births than deaths by September 2007:
A positive economic environment is contributing to more people deciding to start families:
However, conscious decisions to delay having children are reflected in fewer children per family and older first-time mothers:
As the decision to have children is postponed, parents are better financially prepared to cover child-related expenditures.
As more young people decide to settle down, the demand for housing has grown:
As the number of children per household is becoming smaller, parents are left with more money to spend on their child’s needs:
|% of households|
Source: Euromonitor International from National statistical offices.
With a shortage of places in nurseries and kindergartens, many mothers are forced to stay home with their children, lowering female participation in the job market:
Growing birth rates, however, might not outweigh the loss of population of working age resulting from rapid ageing and emigration:
Growing birth rates are important for the right demographic balance in Polish society, with younger generations supporting older ones. With many young people emigrating, the country is already facing shortages in labour. A smaller labour pool has caused upward pressure on wages. Between 2003 and 2007, the monthly minimum wage rose from €201.0 to €245.5.
Although birth rates are growing, Poland still faces demographic problems associated with an ageing society, emigration and resulting shortages in labour. The government is eager to ensure that more children are born in the near future:
More children will be born in the short and medium term, increasing spending on housing, child-related products and education. However, as Polish society ages, the country’s pension system and consumer spending will also be affected.