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PiS MP: after 2015, he slowed down the decline in fertility in Poland. How is it really?

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According to Law and Justice MP Bartłomiej Wróblewski, after 2015 “the decline in fertility in Poland slowed down”. However, he did not add that this was a short-term effect of the 500+ program. The fertility rate has been declining for five years.

On Saturday, June 10, Law and Justice MP Bartłomiej Wróblewski in the broadcast “6. Day of the Week” on Radio ZET stated that “demography in Poland has been weak since 1989 more or less and it has nothing to do with life protection regulations”. In his opinion, the fertility rate has decreased because “Poles have adopted a civilizational and cultural model that is present in most Western countries.”

On the other hand, this negative tendency was to some extent halted thanks to the change in pro-family policy. After 2015, the decline in fertility in Poland slowed down.

“According to the forecast of the Central Statistical Office from 2015, in 2019 the average fertility rate in Poland was to be 1.28, and it was 1.41” – added the Law and Justice politician.

In response, the host of the program, Andrzej Stankiewicz, reminded that in 2017 – the first time the 500 plus program was in force throughout the year (entered into force April 1, 2016 – ed.) – over 420,000 children were born, and in 2022, less than 300,000 were born, counting the children of immigrants.

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What are the fertility data in Poland? And how do they relate to what the PiS politician says? We checked.

The fertility rate in Poland: since 2017, it has been declining again

When we talk about fertility, we mean total fertility rate (TFR). Its value means the number of children that an average woman would give birth to during the entire reproductive period (15-49 years) – this is how this ratio is described by the Central Statistical Office (GUS). Its value is available page Local Data Bank of the Central Statistical Office, are also published annually in elaboration Central Statistical Office “Poland in numbers”.

And so, between 2015 and 2017, the fertility rate in Poland increased from 1.289 down 1.453. These are the years that coincide with the beginning of the rule of the United Right, which lasts until today. However, the increase in the fertility rate was short-lived, which MP Wróblewski did not say.

Since 2018, the fertility rate has been declining year by year. In 2018 it was 1.435; in 2019 – 1.419; in 2020- 1.387; in 2021 – 1,330; in 2022 – 1.261.

This means that in Poland in 2022, an average of 1,261 children were born per one thousand women of childbearing age. It is worth noting that fertility rate in Poland in 2022 (1.261) is lower than in 2015 (1.289). Moreover, analyzing the data for the last 22 years, the fertility rate was lower than in 2022 only five times: in 2002-2005 (1.249; 1.222; 1.227; 1.243, respectively) and in 2013 (1.256).

Over the past two decades, the fertility rate was the highest in 2017, i.e. under the rule of the United Right.

Wróblewski cites forecasts from 2014, i.e. before the 500 plus programme

As we mentioned, MP Wróblewski also spoke about the fertility forecasts of the Central Statistical Office. As he stated, “according to the forecast of the Central Statistical Office of Poland in 2015, in 2019 the average fertility rate in Poland was to be 1.28, and it was 1.41”.

He made similar words about forecasts in December 2021, when he was a guest of the “Morning Talk in RMF FM” program. Then he gave the same data, claiming it was a forecast for 2020. The statement of MP Wróblewski was then assessed by the Demagog portal as manipulation.

As determined by the Demagog, MP Wróblewski probably referred to analysis Central Statistical Office of 2014 entitled “Population forecast for 2014-2050”. Such long-term forecasts have been published by the Central Statistical Office only three times so far – in 2003, 2008 and 2014, as results information available on the official website.

And so, in the 2014 forecast, the Central Statistical Office provided the projected fertility rate in Poland in the years 2014-2070. For each year between 2014 and 2020, and every five years thereafter (2025, 2030, 2035, etc.) four variants: low, medium, high and very high. Here are the fertility rate forecasts for 2019: low variant – 1.241; medium variant – 1.296; high variant – 1.346; very high variant – 1.432.

Wróblewski provided a forecast value close to the average variant of the Central Statistical Office, while the real result in 2019 – 1.419 – was still lower than the most optimistic forecast of the Central Statistical Office (very high variant -1.432).

Variants of changes in the fertility rate in Poland were created “based on the analysis of demographic trends and the socio-economic situation of Poland” – inform the authors of the GUS analysis from 2014. Thus, the long-term forecast of the Central Statistical Office from 2014 could not take into account the possible effects of the “Family 500 plus Programme”. Let us recall that at the time of publication of the office’s forecast, Poland was ruled by a coalition of the Civic Platform and the Polish People’s Party, which did not announce or implement a program supporting demographic growth. Only the government of the United Right introduced the “Family 500 plus Program” promised in the election campaign.

Author:Gabriela Sieczkowska

Main photo source: Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP



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