Recent official statistics in Romania show unprecedented results: the number of Romanians aged 65 and over has surpassed the number of persons under 15. Soon, half of Romania’s population will be over 50 years old, which will make a huge burden for the economy and the pension system. In 2050 there will each two employed Romanians will pay taxes for one retired person, according to Vasile Ghetau, director of the Demographic Research Center of the Romanian Academy.
Besides the low fertility rate (1.3 births per woman), an important contributing factor is the fact that many Romanians get residence in Western European countries, where they pay taxes and give birth to children.
At the moment, there are 3.4 million elderly people in Romania while the number of children aged up to 14 is of 3.3 million. In 1992, there were over 5 million children aged up to 14, while the number of people aged 65 and over was of 2.5 million.
Now, modern Romanian women do not wish to give birth too soon and to too many children. Villlage population, former contributor to Romania’s population growth, are now depopulated. Psychologist Mihai Copăceanu, quoted byadevarul.ro, says that two-three decades ago, family was still a priority and women started giving birth when they were 20 years old, unlike today, when they give birth on average when they are 26 years old. Formerly, men would get married at 25 and women at 22. Now, men get married at 30 and women at 27, while Romania lacks fiscal facilities to encourage natality, Copăceanu adds.
The contributions to the Romanian social security system are constantly decreasing, since the number of contributors is decreasing. This is a European-wide trend which Western countries address with the help of immigration facilities and other incentives:
In Denmark (where fertility rate is of 1,67 children per woman), where as much as 10% of babies are conceived during romantic holidays, there is a price discount for couples on holiday. The couples are awarded a baby-stroller and free diapers for three years if they can prove the romantic weekend has yielded „results”.
In Germany (where fertility rate is of 1,4 children per woman), allowances for families with children have been raised and there are more benefits for those staying at home to take care of new-borns.
According to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), similar measures are being considered in France, Japan, South Korea.
Among European states, Russia has taken the boldes measures towards improving fertility rate and it boasts an increase from 1.3 to 1.7 in only five years. Among the measures: a bonus for the woman who has registered as pregnant during the first pregnancy months; a substantial one-time benefit of approximately 9.000 USD for each additional child born into a family, after the firstborn; pregnancy allowance; one-time benefit upon adoption of a child; monthly child indemnity up to 18 years old.