15 July 2008 Bucharest _ Romania’s birth rate is continuously declining and the country needs to take urgent measures to avoid a demographic crisis, the National Statistics Institute warns.
17,597 new babies were born in May, down by 321 compared to twelve months earlier, the National Statistics Institute said.
The birth rate has now decreased to 9.7 newborns for every 1,000 people.
Romania is still recording negative growth with deaths surpassing births, as the number of people who passed away in May was 20,740.
In the last 17 years, the population of Romania has decreased by 1.4 million people, official data shows.
With more than 21 million inhabitants, Romania has the second highest population among the 17 countries of central and south-eastern Europe that have either become members of the EU or are formally seeking to join it.
It is second only to Poland in population size, and has more than twice as many inhabitants as any of the other countries in the region.
But demographers, as elsewhere, warn the combination of the slowdown in the birthrate, an ageing population and continued emigration could push Romania into a severe economic crisis within the next few decades.