Poland’s population has stagnated for years. In fact, it reached a peak in the late 1990’s just shy of 39 million, and has since been in a steady decline. This model is not entirely unique to Poland, as other European countries have also experienced a drop in fertility rates. However, since the 1990’s Poland’s population has steadily declined by tens of thousands of people a year. In 2016, the population of Poland fell just shy of 38 million. New data suggests this steady decline could soon change.
“More than 402,000 children were born in Poland in 2017, the highest number in ‘many years’, the country’s family and social policy minister said on Friday,” Radio Poland reports. This came by way of response to the effect Poland’s pro-birth child benefits program.
In order to try and encourage child rearing, Poland has established government benefits for families with two or more children. Families are to receive financial aid on a per child per month basis to ease the financial burden on Polish parents. While the policy is intended for 2+ child families to encourage large families, “poorer families receive the allowance even if they have just one child,” Radio Poland reports.
This pro-child assistance program has been credited for reducing poverty in Poland and for the recent spike in birth numbers. While it likely that this program deserves at least partial credit, unprecedented economic growth in Poland likely is playing a part as well.