Causes and consequences of fertility decline
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Grimes, S. (1993) 'Causes and consequences of fertility decline'. Administration, 41 (1):56-70.
While there is widespread concern throughout Europe during the current period of economic recession with high levels of unemployment and the recent upsurge in refugee movements associated with the serious ethnic conflict in Eastern Europe, there is generally less awareness of long-term demographic developments which have been in train since the 1960s. The underlying trend is towards low fertility, which is giving rise to significant imbalances in the population pyramid of Europe and which is illustrated by the increasing ageing of the population and the labour force. New policy measures to reverse the trend towards population decline are being recommended. This paper examines these recent trends in the population of Western Europe, paying particular attention to the causes and consequences of fertility decline. Policy implications, including the likelihood of massive immigration into Western Europe, are also outlined.