The number of babies born in Bulgaria in 2012 – about 62 000 – was the lowest in the country since 1945, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television said on January 4 2013.
In 2011, about 71 000 babies were born in Bulgaria, and the 2012 figure was lower even than the 64 000 born in 1997, when Bulgaria was in the midst of a financial and economic meltdown.
Elitsa Dimitrova of the Institute of Population Studies said that the downtrend trend in Bulgaria’s birthrate was related not only to living standards and career opportunities for women but also to deteriorating economic conditions.
Tsveta Brestnichka, head of the Parents Association, said that people were not motivated to have children, on one hand because they felt a lack of control over their lives but also did not feel that there was sufficient state support for having children.
She said that in the European Union, the average share of gross domestic product spent on family support was 2.1 per cent but in Bulgaria the share was 1.2 per cent.
Statistically, for the population numbers of the country to be maintained, every woman should have 2.1 children (more realistically put, every 10 women should give birth to a total of 21 children) but Bulgaria’s rate was half that, Professor Mihail Konstantinov said.
(Photo: Ben Earwicker Garrison Photography, Boise, ID www.garrisonphoto.org)