Poland to shrink by over 2 million by 2035
PR dla Zagranicy
Mass emigration plus an historically low birth rate means that the population of Poland will shrink by over two and a half million by 2035, a report presented to a Senate committee warns.
The draft report by the Migration Research Academy - which will be published in full next spring - finds that following Poland joining the European Union in 2004, mass emigration has affected many regions of the country negatively.
"Depopulation from permanent emigration, combined with low birth rates and an aging population, has caused significant disturbances to socio-economic development and will have an effect on the future development of these regions," the report says.
Chairman of the Committee for Migration Research, Polish Academy of Sciences professor Marek Okólski, says that since joining the EU over two million Poles left the country, including up to 10 percent of the Opole region and nine percent of the Podlasie district.
The north-eastern Warmia and Mazury region, the poorest in Poland, has lost 7.5 percent of its population.
The report also finds that Polish women are twice as likely to have babies outside of Poland than inside.
"The age structure [of Poland's population] will change unfavourably: the under 15 age group will be reduced by about 10 percent [by 2035], 20-64 year-olds will decline by 7 per cent," the report finds.
Looking to the future, a declining population will affect the structure of the family, with the break up of extended families meaning new ways of caring for the elderly will have to be developed in a shrinking Poland. (pg)