The Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) has published its second quarterly report on birth rate and natural increase in Albanian population, which continue to show a negative trend.
The report estimated a 5.7 percentage points decrease in births during the April–June 2019 period. There were 383 births less compared to the same period last year (6,362 births in 2019 vs. 6,745 in 2018).
The overall natural increase rate (the difference between the birth rate and the death rate) was estimated at 5.5 percentage points lower than the same quarter of the previous year. This is despite the fact that the number of deaths was lower this year (4,777 in 2019 vs. 4,971 in 2018).
Previous INSTAT reports have shown that the Albanian population has been shrinking since 2016.
Last month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also raised the alarm about the number of retirees in Albania, which has increased by 12 percent in the last 5 years. Adding to that, half of the Albanian population is over 35.4 years old.
A decreasing birth rate and high emigration rates remain the main causes for the shrinkage in Albania’s population.
The government appears to have failed in taking measures against the worrisome trend in demographics, despite repeated warning by experts. Its 2019 initiative to increase the baby check value from about €42 to €330, €660, and €1000 for each consecutive child born to a family has not improved the situation so far.
Also, besides the high emigration rate, a EUROSTAT report showed that Albanians were the second nationality topping the list of those who get EU citizenship in 2017. Of the 825,400 immigrants granted citizenship in one of the EU countries, 50 thousand were Albanians.