23:08 GMT +324 March 2017
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    Danish policeman plays with a migrant girl (file)

    Denmark Bending Down Under Burden of Immigrant Baby Boom

    © AFP 2017/ CLAUS FISKER / SCANPIX DENMARK
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    The recent years' refugee influx is beginning to show on European birth rates. In Denmark, the proportion of babies born to immigrant parents has increased significantly, which is fraught with far-reaching economic and cultural consequences.

    Of the 61,614 children born in Denmark in 2016, more than one fifth was born to immigrant parents. So far, Danish women are still in the lead as regards births in Denmark, yet the percentage of Syrian and Turkish mothers was found to be rising during the past decade. In 2007, the share of children born to immigrant families was only 13.5.

    The rising proportion of children born to women with foreign backgrounds did not surprise Hans Oluf Hansen, professor emeritus of demography at Copenhagen University. He pointed out that the majority of the Syrian refugees who came to Denmark in recent years are just in fertile age. Also, the newcomers tend to be much more prolific than ethnic Danes, whose fertility rate hovers at around 1.7 births per woman despite the government's perennial efforts.

    According to Poul Christian Matthiessen, population researcher and professor emeritus of demography at Copenhagen University, such developments will shape the Danish society in years to come. Matthiessen expects immigration to Europe to continue, not least from asylum seekers looking for better living conditions. Matthiessen called immigration from non-Western countries a particular challenge for Danish society, both economically and culturally.

    "The annual economic burden on society from non-Western immigrants and their descendants amounts to 15-20 billion DKK [$2.2 —2.9bln], which is equivalent to 1 percent of the GDP. There is a great difference between their contribution, and what they receive from society in the form of grants or teaching," Poul Christian Matthiessen told the Danish newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad.

    According to Matthiessen, the immigrants' rising birth rates also imply cultural challenges.

    "The other problem is purely cultural, especially with part of the Muslim population who have a different view of relations between men and women, freedom of expression and how the society must be organized with the help from the Quran, whereas Denmark is a secular society, where parliament decides without referring to holy scriptures," Poul Christian Matthiessen said.

    Historian and professor emeritus from Copenhagen University Henrik Jensen concurred about the challenges that immigration is posing.

    "It puts a strain on integration efforts, if you want to maintain certain continuity in the country. One must strive to make it work for all groups in society, especially for those coming from outside, and emphasize that they integrate themselves, build a relationship with the country and the language, get education and work. If instead the tendency for parallel societies continues, it affects the cohesion in society," Henrik Jensen said.

    In 1980, there were 50,000 non-Western immigrants and their descendants, which accounted for one percent of Denmark's population. Today, the number exceeds 450,000 and thus constitutes eight percent. According to the latest projections from Statistics Denmark, in 2060 there will be at least 900,000 non-Western immigrants, who will represent more than 13 percent of the Danish population.

     

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    Tags:
    demographic crisis, immigration, migrant crisis, Scandinavia, Denmark
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    • avatar
      topolcats
      Sydney Australia is also in the very same or even more serious trajectory of people with middle eastern backgrounds having 1.7 Children to their 4 to 10 children on average.
    • FeEisi
      The more Muslims in Europe the less Jews there will be. Jews maybe forced to seek shelter in Israel, Asia, or elsewhere.
    • siberianhusky
      Great now soon with the immigrant baby boom the time will come that the immigrants will have to find work to support their generous social network because there are not enough Danes left to do that. Or will they go back when the social net work is not as generous anymore?
    • Mats Oskar Liljedahl
      Nobody should be allowed more than two children. A decreasing population would increase the well-being in every country including Denmark.
    • md74
      the 21st century will be the one where western/northern europe will become Islamic. The facts show it. Even Erdogan admits it openly why muslim women in the west should have minimum 5 kids. No need for wars to take one's nation over. Just make use/abuse of their flawed laws, and produce as many as possible kids.
    • hp b
      That's how they do it.
      They breed like cats and dogs to overwhelm a nation's electorate and then they vote themselves in and you out.
      After they have your nation they get rid of the (to them) worthless democracy and install Sharia law.
      The only use they have for democracy is as a tool to steal your country..
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