There’s never a dull moment when it comes to Europe. Oh, wait. There is, it finally seems. Ever wondered what might possibly be worrying undoubtedly world’s most culturally diverse continent? Here is a simple clue. It concerns people. Ok, let’s not beat around the bush. It’s population. Yes, you read it right. A grave concern about Europe- a part of the world replete with dense cultural richness, humongous history and, tons of eye-pleasing alpine wonders has often been in news for its shrinking population.
Now it seems that the problem isn’t getting solved like a riddle finally eclipsed and is, in fact, only getting densely complicated each passing year. It appears that 10 of the world’s fastest shrinking countries are all in Europe. Shrinking countries are those that have to deal with the question of shrinking populations. It is a well known fact that apart from Spain, Belgium, France and Germany that seem to be multiplying at a normal, regular pace, much of Europe’s population crisis stems from the shrinking populations in the east.
The worst part is, none of Europe’s countries with rapidly shrinking populations are considering identification of solutions to end the imminent demographic disaster. The list, brought to public domain by the United Nations, names Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, Croatia, Lithuania, Serbia, Poland, Bulgaria and Ukraine as the nations confronting the shrinking population epidemic.
It is estimated that come 2050, and these countries will experience their respective populations shrink by 15%. That is a lot where Europe stands, whose population is perhaps remotely close to being the half of Asia’s and quite behind other parts in the world. In lines with the current crisis, a researcher with Wittgenstein Centre stated, “Many post-Communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe are heading for a major demographic decline.” But the strange phenomenon about these countries’ shrinking populations isn’t that horrific a surprise. Reports suggest that much of Eastern Europe has been experiencing shrinking population since the last 25 years.
Countries like Bulgaria, Romania and, Ukraine have seen their populations shrink by more than 10 per cent since 1989. So just what is behind this ensuing chaos that has strangled Europe at the current moment? Experts point to the direction of falling fertility rates, massive out-migration (locals heading out to different parts of the world for vocation and in search of better opportunities), and relatively high mortality rates. But on the bright side, the positive influx of refugees and migrants that Europe is accepting in lines with the cataclysmic events of the Middle East seem to offer some respite but the question lingers on. How long can Europe deal with such a massive natural population downslide?