Europe, US births slump amid pandemic: UN

·1-min read

The number of newborns in Europe and the United States has dropped significantly in some cases due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the United Nations.

"Changes in human fertility are never obvious in the short-run given nine months of pregnancy but as the pandemic continues, declines in birth rates are becoming increasingly clear," says a study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the results of which were made available to the DPA news agency.

The UNFPA plans to publish the study on World Population Day on July 11.

The data from 19 European countries and the US show "sharp declines in births" since October 2020 compared to the same months of the previous year.

In the 15 EU countries studied alone, the number of babies fell by 3 per cent in October, 5 per cent in November and 8.1 per cent in December 2020.

Rachel Snow, UNFPA's lead population expert, says: "The most people would prefer to have fewer children in times of insecurity, and it's question is, do they have the means to do so."

This condition is certainly given in Europe, she says.

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