Low natality and trends of demographic development in Moldova for the first half of the XXI century

Olga Gagauz, Academy of Sciences of Moldova

This paper examines the dynamics of natality in 1990-2008 years and its influence on the number and age structure of the Moldovan population in the next decades. It is noted that the total fertility rate decreased progressively in both urban and rural areas. The rural/urban discrepancy was also blurred. Dynamics of age-specific fertility rates are characterized by a shift to older age groups, especially in urban areas. The most visible changes are associated with a decline in natality at ages 15-24 and its increase in ages 25-34. The decline in natality is considerably influenced by the labour migration of the Moldovan population. The total fertility rate related to the present population estimates is higher than that according to the official statistics. At the same time, labor migration of long duration results in postponement of births, incomplete realization of reproductive purposes. Three scenarios of population projections (pessimistic, moderate-pessimistic and optimistic) developed for the period 2008-2050 show that in the first half of XXI century, the Moldovan population will continue to decrease. For the next years, the structural factors will contribute to the relative improvement of some demographic indicators. Since at present the fertile age is reached by the numerous generations born before 1990, absolute number of births and the level of birth rate will experience a slight recovery until the years 2011-2012. After the year 2012, natality decreasing process will start, due to the entry in the reproductive age of the less numerous female generations born at the end of the 20th century. The reduction of the number of fertile age women will determine the birth rate and the number of children born in the prognosis period. As consequence, the ratio between three major age groups (children, adults and elders) will be changed significantly, advancing the process of population aging process.

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Presented in Poster Session 1