Will the rest of Europe follow William and Kate's example and start having babies too?
As the father of 3 sons, I understand how happy Prince William feels this week. It's an awesome feeling when you hold that new baby. I did it 3 times and it was very exciting!
So congratulations to the royal couple and we hope that they enjoy these precious moments.
It won't be long before you're explaining to your son why soccer teams keep playing after the clock shows 45:00! It took me a long time to figure out this "compensation time" rule, too!
Back to babies. Unfortunately, there are very few of them in Europe.
The birth rates are down - even lower since the economic crisis started a few years ago:
"Experts say a 2.1 fertility rate is needed to keep the population stable, assuming net migration is zero. In crisis-stricken Greece, the fertility rate dropped to an estimated 1.43 in 2011 after rising to 1.51 in 2008 from 1.27 in 2000, Mr. Sobotka said. Official data from Greece show abortions there rose 50% to 300,000 in 2011 from 2010. In Spain, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, the fertility rate fell to 1.36 in 2011, after increasing to 1.46 in 2008 from 1.23 in 2000, according to Mr. Sobotka's data.
In Ireland, the economy is still growing despite the country's austerity regime, begun when it took a bailout in 2010. The Irish birthrate registered only a modest fall in 2011, Mr. Sobotka said, to 2.05 from 2.1 in 2008.
In Portugal, the number of births in 2012 is expected to tally around 90,000, the lowest level in more than 60 years.
"Birthrates in Portugal have been so low for such a long time that even if the falling immigration eventually increases again, it won't be enough to sustain the population," said Maria Filomena Mendes, president of the Portuguese Demography Association. Ms. Mendes estimates the country's population will be close to nine million by 2030, down from the current 10 million.
Spain's national statistics agency estimates that nation's population could fall 10%, to 41.5 million, by 2052 as more people die than are born, even taking into account an eventual upturn in immigration.
The Vienna institute estimates that by 2050, people 65 and older will account for one-third of the populations of Portugal, Spain and Greece, up from about 18% currently."
The bottom line is that you can't have a future without babies. They are the ones who will pay the taxes in the future, especially in the welfare states of Europe. They are also the ones who will defend your culture and values.
So let's hope that more Europeans do something for their culture: Get married and have a few babies!
Dear Europeans: The "ghost of Euro future" is calling! Preserve your culture by increasing your birth rates!