Policy ForumDemographics

Europe's Population at a Turning Point

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Science  28 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5615, pp. 1991-1992
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080316

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Low birthrates in Europe have begun to generate negative population momentum, a new force for population shrinkage over the coming decades. Birthrates are low partly because of the current trend in Europe toward bearing children at later and later ages. A continuation of this trend could substantially exacerbate future aging of the population and contribute to a future decline in population size. Social policies and labor laws aimed at halting further increases in the mean age of childbearing are proposed in this Policy Forum.