She's Got It 16:26 22 Apr 2021

Child-free in Ukraine: living for yourself or in poverty?

Let's find out if there's a limit here, what's the difference between child-free and child haters, why young people give up parenthood, and why society reacts so sharply to people without children.

Illustration: Metro

The primary reason for the demographic crisis exacerbating in Ukraine is the critically low birth rate. When a large part of the world is struggling with overpopulation, the current demographic situation of our country shows that presently only half of what's needed is provided for population reproduction.

Indeed, during the years of Independence, the annual number of newborns has halved: when 631 thousand babies were born in 1991, in 2020, it's less than 300 thousand. The most rapid decline is observed in the last 7 years. Migration flows, economic crises, a sharp decline in living standards and incomes of the general population, and uncertainty about the future facilitated this. According to demographers, these aspects are considered the most important when Ukrainians decide to have a child. The modern young family first tries to become as strong as possible, and then to think about the birth of offspring. People get an education, a profession, search for a better place for further life, a stable and well-paid job, solve housing problems.

According to the sociological monitoring of the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the most important signs of success, according to young people, are wealth (44.5%), successful career (40.8%), good health (36.8%), good family (35.8%), prestigious things (cars, houses, cottages, 20.8%). That is, for modern youth, children aren't among the top three priorities and aren't a mandatory attribute of a successful life.

Ukrainian not only give birth less and later, but a certain percentage of people refuse the opportunity to become parents. In recent years, a movement has been spreading in Ukraine, whose supporters are deliberately renouncing offspring. The reasons weren't only the financial component and self-realization. According to the latest all-Ukrainian survey "Human Rights in Ukraine," 84% of young Ukrainians named freedom as one of the most important values.

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