Azerbaijan: births down for first time in 70 years due to lockdown
Strict quarantine regulations due to the coronavirus pandemic are leading to unexpected results in Azerbaijan: the number of newborns has sharply decreased in the country, where weddings have practically been banned since the beginning of the pandemic in March.
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Pending the results in 2021, Azerbaijan is expecting a decrease in newborns for the first time in 70 years, leader of the opposition Republican Alternative party Ilgar Mammadov commended on Facebook, condemning the quarantine measures on social media.
“For the first time in the past 70 years, the number of newborns in Azerbaijan may not reach 100,000 in 2021, and will probably fall short of 80-90,000. The last time this was observed in 1950.
Over the past 50 years, the highest number of children born was in 1991 (190,000), while the minimum took place in 2001 (110,000). Over the past five years, on average, 140-150,000 children are born in the country every year.
Various factors affect fertility, including past wars and demographic waves of other shocks.
But the most significant factor in this matter is the number of marriages. And the influence of this factor is growing, since earlier in each family 2-4 children were born, now people are content with 1-3.
Over the past five years, the number of marriages in Azerbaijan has fluctuated between 62,000 and 68,000. But in the first 10 months of 2020, this figure did not even reach 30,000.
And that means tens of thousands of unborn babies next year.
As for the second child in the family, during the months of strict quarantine, hundreds of thousands of citizens were left without work, in difficult material conditions, and it is unlikely that from March, sitting at home, they will be planning a second child.
If the expected happens, the state is obliged to come up with a social package stimulating the birth of a second child in families, and we must keep this issue in the spotlight,” Mammadaov wrote on Facebook.