Nearly 3 mln fewer Poles in 25 years: forecast

Poland’s Central Statistical Office (GUS) estimates that Poland’s population will decrease by 2.8 mln over the next 25 years.

Demographics 500+

Poland’s demographic crisis is not over. According to the Polish Office of Statistics (GUS) May is the second month running in which the number of...

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GUS points out that the mortality rate will have the biggest influence on the population count. It writes that in 2040, for example, the number of fatalities is expected to reach 440,000, as the people born in the baby boom era of the 1950s start to die off. People currently in their thirties and forties will have reached their retirement age by that point, and so become the largest demographic group.

According to GUS, the median age by that time will be 50 years, which is nearly 10 years more than today, meaning that every second Polish citizen will be older than 50.

The provinces that are expected to have the largest decrease in population are Opolskie and Silesia (southern Poland) Lubelskie (eastern) and Łódzkie (central), while the smallest decrease is expected in Mazowieckie (eastern), Pomorskie (northern) and Małopolskie (southern).

The forecast does not anticipate an increase in the number of births, even though it anticipates an increase in the fertility index – the number of births per mother – in the coming years. The report says that going forward, the low number of prospective mothers (today’s toddlers of two or three years old) will mean that the birth rate will not be high. It goes on to predict 240,000 births in 2040 compared to over 400,000 in 2017.

Poland’s fertility index has fallen over the last 55 years from nearly three children per mother in 1960 to barely 1.39 in 2016. This is the lowest factor in Central and Eastern Europe and the 5th lowest in the European Union as a whole.

“Despite the significant increase in the number of births in 2017, it should be taken into consideration that population trends in last 30 years have caused Poland to face another demographic crisis. This already happened temporarily in Poland in 1997-2007, but the current one may show a longer trend,” the report states.

The report also recalls that the number of Polish citizens increased by more than 360,000 in the last 25 years, to reach today’s current figure of almost 38 million.