Poland, much like numerous other nations, grapples with significant demographic hurdles. According to projections from the Central Statistical Office of Poland, the country’s population could dwindle by nearly a third, reaching 27 million people by 2060. Let’s delve into the factors influencing this process.
Present Demographic Landscape
As of the close of the previous year, Poland was home to 37.7 million inhabitants. Projections suggest that by 2060, the population may diminish by anywhere from 8% to 29%, contingent on the scenario.
Diminishing Birth Rate
Between the onset of this year and June 2023, Poland welcomed 139.5 thousand new-borns, marking the lowest count since the conclusion of World War II. Experts foresee further deterioration. Under the pessimistic scenario, by 2060, the count of new-borns might plummet by half, totalling just around 152 thousand.
The dwindling fertility rate also influences the demographic panorama. In 2022, the rate stood at 1.26, and forecasts indicate it could decline to 1.19. Notably, these figures fail to meet even the minimal criteria for straightforward generational succession, necessitating a coefficient of 2.1.
Effects of Abortion Legislation
The reduction in the count of women within reproductive age groups adds to this predicament. In recent years, shifts in Polish legal frameworks, notably the tightening of abortion regulations, have negatively impacted the demographic scenario. These changes may impede family planning and heighten the risk of clandestine procedures.
The Role of Immigration
To counterbalance population decline and sustain economic vitality, Poland must actively allure immigrants. As of June 2023, the nation boasted over a million foreign laborers, primarily hailing from Ukraine. However, competition with neighbouring nations like the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Germany could exacerbate the situation, potentially diminishing Poland’s appeal to prospective immigrants.
With a reduction in the number of working-age citizens and an upswing in retirees, Poland confronts substantial challenges in the realms of healthcare and social security. The count of individuals aged 65 and above could surge by over 80%, placing substantial strain on healthcare and pension systems.
By 2022, for every 100 working-age individuals, there were 70 who were not in the workforce. However, according to the “medium” scenario, by 2060, the ratio could skew towards 105 working-age individuals for every 100 non-working individuals.