With a fertility rate of 1.43 — well below the European average of 1.58 — Italy has taken a controversial approach to encourage citizens to have more kids.
As Bloomberg reports, the country has been running a series of ads reminding Italians that time might be running out and that kids don’t just come from nowhere.
“Beauty knows no age, fertility does,” one ad said. “Get going! Don’t wait for the stork,” another said.
Couples haven’t responded positively to the guilt trip. Francesco Daveri, a professor of economics at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, has called the ads a failure.
9. Hong Kong
With a fertility rate of just 1.18 children per woman, Hong Kong faces the same challenge as many industrialized countries: Without enough young people to replace aging citizens, populations are dwindling and economic growth is slowing.
In 2013, the country proposed giving cash handouts to couples to encourage them to have kids.The idea took its cue from Singapore, where parents receive a “baby bonus” of about $4,400 for their first two children
and $5,900 for their third and fourth.But in Hong Kong, the plan never came to life.
Fertility rates in Spain are creeping downward while unemployment is rising: About half of all young people don’t have a job. It’s the second-highest rate in Europe, behind Greece.
To combat the worrying trends, the Spanish government hired a special commissioner, Edelmira Barreira, in January 2017. Her first tasks are finding the myriad causes of the trend and devising macro strategies to reverse it .
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Barreira told the Spanish newspaper Faro De Vigo
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