The birth rate during the coronavirus pandemic has dropped dramatically in some countries, including Hungary, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
In addition to Hungary, the birth rate also decreased in Italy, Spain and Austria, while in Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland it did not change, but rose slightly.
Researchers at Luigi Bocconi University in Milan analyzed monthly birth data in 22 high-income countries from November 2020 — nine months after the pandemic began — to March 2021, comparing it to the previous year. Seasonal models and long-term trends were also considered.
Seven of the 22 countries surveyed showed a significant drop due to the pandemic: the birth rate fell by 8.5 percent in Hungary, 9.1 percent in Italy, 8.4 percent in Spain and 6.6 percent in Portugal, but there was a significant drop..also in Belgium Austria and Singapore.
The researchers emphasized that this is provisional data awaiting confirmation. In addition, the data currently available only gives an idea of the couples’ decisions about the first wave of the coronavirus, and no other estimates have been made. However, if we look back, and if we look at the epidemic as a whole, it will be possible to see an even greater decline.
According to World Bank experts, the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus epidemic contributed to the deaths of more than 260,000 children last year, especially in poor countries around the world. According to models presented in the scientific journal BMJ Open, this is due to poor care and nutrition, which characterize poor families, and limited access to health care.
The number of people living in poverty increased by 120 million last year. In the 128 middle and low-income countries studied, 267,000 children under one year of age died as a result of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus. That’s seven percent more than the previous year. More than a third of the cases – 100,000 deaths – have occurred in India. (MTI)