Tirana with the highest birth rate of babies. What about the two cities with the lowest number?
Fertility rates are falling rapidly year after year, signaling an irreversible decline in the population.
According to INSTAT comparative data in the first quarter of 2022 the number of births marked an annual decline of 4.2%, but in some counties the decline has been sharper. Compared to a year ago, Dibra marked a decrease in fertility by 22%, Korça by 19% and Berat by 17.4%.
Over the last decade the fertility rate has declined sharply. Nationwide the number of births from 2011 pig in 2022 fell by 18%, but in some counties it was twice as much.
During the last decade the number of babies born in Berat fell by over 40%, while in Gjirokastra it shrank by 39.4% and also in Korça by over 39%. The decline in births over the last 10 years was over 30% in most regions of the country, except in Tirana and Durres.
The capital is the only county in the country that has experienced a fertility rate increase of over 6%, over the decade. The increase in births in Tirana has been stimulated by internal immigration, which has led to an increase in the population of the capital from year to year.
Durrës, the second city in the country whose population has increased due to internal migration, has not experienced an increase in births during the last decade. The number of babies born during 2011-2022 decreased by 4.4%, a lower rate than in other counties.
The decline in births is showing that the country's human capital is deteriorating, driven also by high emigration rates. Studies by various INSTAT methodologies show that during the last decade the number of people leaving the country is from 240-600 thousand, but the exact figure is expected to be clarified by the population census that will be conducted this year.
The declining population, where the elderly are soon expected to be in the majority, will negatively affect the economic and social developments in the country. An older population cannot push the economic model towards innovation and on the other hand is not capable of fighting for human rights and better governance conditions.
In 1990, when the Albanian economy affected the market economy after 45 years of isolation, the number of births was over 82 thousand babies in one year. But after 32 years of mass exodus of Albanians abroad, births fell sharply by 77%.
Looking at the historical trend of births since 1991 one sees a clear connection with migration. Babies fell systematically in 1990-1994, affected by the first wave of immigration. By 1996, more than 600,000 Albanians had fled the country.
The bad year 1997 marked the second largest exodus of Albanians with over 100 thousand left the country in one year, hemorrhage that would continue in later years, negatively affecting births until 2009.
Then, for almost five years in a row, there was a stabilization of emigration and also the births stopped declining and started to increase until 2015. But the phenomenon of declining babies has returned terribly in recent years./B.Hoxha
* This article was published by Monitor.al and reposted by Tiranapost.al