Eurostat numbers on hand, it is but logical to conclude that while the ability of women in the EU to choose the age at which they would be mothers is GOOD news, it is at once a mixed blessing. Apparently, women have chosen not only to put motherhood on hold but also to have an insufficient number of children when they finally decide to have them. (Spanish women top the list of those who postpone motherhood AND have the least number of children to boot.) In so doing, Europe is unable to keep its population constant unless boosted by immigrants.
EU SERIES: CAN EUROPE MAINTAIN THE SIZE OF ITS POPULATION WITHOUT OUTSIDE HELP? EUROSTAT NUMBERS SAY NOPE »
There aren't enough factors to keep the size of the EU population constant. Crude birth rates cannot offset crude death rates. Fertility rates are plunging. When she should be giving birth to 2.1 children in her child-bearing years, the Spanish woman, for one, gives birth to just 1.23, making Spain among the EU Member States with the lowest fertility rates.
One might understandably take it for granted that in Spain, reputed to be a country where National Catholicism was a dominant part of its ideological identity not so very long ago, cohabitation, divorce, and children outside of marriage are rare. Surprisingly, there’s nothing further from the truth.
In a popular talk show on a Spanish TV channel, Spain was dubbed Land of Waiters in an attempt to draw attention to the plight of many university graduates – and the young in general – who can’t find jobs in suitable sectors. Not even in any which sector that pays “decent” and one doesn’t have to be a working poor. Grim, right? Oh but in this “Land of Waiters” the number of taxpayers whose declared assets are worth more than €30 million has tripled in the last ten years!