Baby Blues in Europe
The population growth in most of the European nations is at critical point. The term baby blues have been used to describe the situation where families are opting to have fewer children due to various economic and social reasons. They are shying off from having an extra child due to the things they are experiencing day by day. The societies have become more affluent and when such a thing happens one the effects is the low fertility rates. On the other hand women have gained more freedom in the society.
They are engaging in the work force, this has resulted in consumption boom contributing to the delay of marriage and the rate at which people are marrying, this further impact on the fertility rates. The impacts of the social changes that have taken place in the recent years have been compounded by the changing of the working patterns. Career patterns have replaced the unskilled labor which has increased the importance attached to the longer training periods and the unbroken periods of employment as one gains skills has further strengthened the idea of delaying childbearing.
This is what has resulted to the baby blues in a continent that had the highest population growth some years back. (Golin, A; Bruno, L and Lori, A 1991) Some of these factors are: lack of a nanny to take care of the child, busy schedules, work related and many others. The birth rates are generally falling fast with many women either opting to have no children or families making a choice of remaining with only one child. This trend is worrying many governments as they foresee a big problem ahead.
The population growth rate is negative in most countries in this part of the world. If the trend continues it shows that the population in Western Europe countries will shrink. This is a dangerous trend for the bloc that is aiming to counter the United States as the world power. In the United States the population has been growing at a higher rate in comparison to the Europe due to factors such as migration, incentives from the government among others. What are the impacts of baby blues in the society?
This is a question each and every government in Europe is trying to analyze and at the same time provides a workable solution to a situation that is threatening to impact negatively on the gains that this continent has made in the number of years. Having negative growth rate is not something any government in the developed world should be proud of. It is a risky affair that will have serious effects in the years to come. It means that at one given time Europeans countries will have a population imbalance where the number of the graying population will exceed the young people.
This graying population will be a burden since there will be very few young working population to support them impacting negatively on the countries economic situation. (Golin, A; Bruno, L and Lori, A 1991) The trend will have an effect in the society especially in situation where the elderly have to be taken care of by the young. They require more money to cater for their medical bills and other expenses that come with the old age. This will be a burden to the younger population as they also have other obligation to meet.
This population might also opt to have lesser families due to the added burden of caring of the elderly. If the trend continues beyond this point the problem will escalate for many years to come impacting heavily on the economic situation of these countries. The governments are concerned with this trend and they are up and planning on the measures to be taken to counter this negative development. The government can not afford to sit on the fence as it watches the population decline. This can have serious impact than imagined. It can threat the very existence of a nation.
A nation whose population can not meet the needs of its economy is a t great danger especially if the other parts of the world more so those perceived to be the competitors are at an advantaged position regarding the population growth. China and United States population are projected to rise tremendously in the next fifty years whereas on the other hand the European population has been predicted to decline by a great margin. This means that Europe will depend much on the countries with a positive population growth on labor, market and other activities.
To many governments in this region, this is a dangerous development as it will affect their power situation where these nations may take its position in the world map of power. (Hantarais, L 2004) The governments need to be concerned and act on the situation as it can have serious effects on all aspects of the society. Declining population goes hand in hand with the economic slow down. When the older population is higher than the young working population the situation becomes grave as the government will be faced with the burden of taking care of this graying population which can be as sensitive as the baby population.
In the next ten or more years to come it is expected that the European population level will be more than seventy million or roughly ten percent below its current level. The governments are busy trying to counter this negative trend as it may pose serious problems if it is not tackled early and in an effective manner. Births rate have fallen to levels where they can not be replaced and on the other hand the continent median age has climbed steadly. This poses a complex problem which need to be approached in a sober manner as it can result to every disastrous situation.
A decline in the working population mean that the government can only promote immigration to counter a situation where the labor supplies dwindle ,this poses a serious problem as this population will only be attracted from the developing nations where there are population crises and the level of skills is often. To stop the decline the government has to come up with a workable solution which will solve this problem once and for all and help avert a situation where economic slow down is experienced further complicating the matters.
(Hantarais, L 2004) Of particular concern is the need to replenish the declining workforce as this will have long term effects if left unchecked. With the population having reached close to seven hundred million people a decline can be the most unfortunate things for the nations in Europe. The governments having been faced with the challenge on how they will approach this problem may mean that the problem will be bigger than imagined, but with the proper planning and coordination of policies this is an issue which can be tackled.
Population ageing will increase the number of dependent people creating a potential burden on pension and public health care. The tax burden will have to be passed to the few working population further complicating the issue as this group will be overburden by the financial obligation they are supposed to meet. This will only escalate the existing pro blem with a higher probability of increased baby blues. The fear of having many children or in some cases- no children at all- among the childbearing population in the western nations and Europe in general poses a great danger for this continent.
If the current fertility levels persisted and immigration ceased altogether the European population would fall way below six hundred million by the turn of the century. What would this mean in a continent that is expected to steer the global economy to the next level in the century. It shatter the dreams of a powerful Europe in the world map while at the same time putting the continent at a disadvantaged position since the population in some the world regions is increasing at a higher rate.
Therefore since this is a problem that will have far reaching effects for some years to come the government s in the respective countries need to move fast and come up with comprehensive policies which will help in solving this problem. (McIntosh, A 1983) The governments are not spoilt of choices they have to act swiftly to avert a catastrophic situation where economic meltdown might be experienced in future. One of the response would be to boost the birth rates, this can be achieved through giving incentives to the couples who are willing to have children.
These incentives need to be as attractive as possible so that they can include many people. In such a move the birth rates might turn a round and the feared decline may not be experienced at all. Immigration has been mentioned as another option as far as solving this problem is concerned but some people have pointed out that it will only be short-lived since the immigrants will eventually adapt the trends that already exist in the receiving countries. Government has to approach this issue in a broader way to ensure that the end results are positive.
Though some people have described the situation as the best for the continent since there would be minimal competition for resources, baby blues present a dangerous situation for Western Europe as far as it future economic position is concerned. Bibliography Golin, A; Bruno, L and Lori, A. Population Changes in Europe, Labor, vol 5, Rome Italy (1991) Hantarais, L. Family Policy Matters: Responding to Family Change in Europe, The Policy Press (2004) McIntosh, A. Population Policy in Western Europe, ME Shape (1983)