A high ranking Hungarian official dismissed the suggestion Wednesday that Hungarians might embrace a decreasing population for environmentalist reasons.
Hungarian Minister of Family Affairs Katalin Novak discussed the country’s pro-family policies during a meeting with reporters Wednesday, describing how Hungary seeks to address declining fertility and birth rates by encouraging and offering incentives for marriage and bigger families.
Novak pointed out that many believe that if a person wishes to save the planet, that person should abstain from having children. The Hungarian minister for families said she found the sentiment “crazy” and that such notions were not common in Hungary.
“We just say that it’s stupid,” she said.
“That is an advantage of our politics, we speak frankly, we are outspoken,” she went on. “We use simple language that everyone understands.”
Hungarians wish to leave the planet in a better condition than they received, it Novak said — “But to who?”
“If you don’t have children, for whom do you preserve the planet for?,” she asked. “You want to preserve it because you want to give it to your children and grandchildren….you cannot argue with something like that in Hungary.”
One could make such an argument in Western Europe, she said, “because in Western Europe you cannot just stand up and say ‘it’s bullshit.’”
Demographers warned The New York Times in May that an “avalanche” of “expanding and accelerating” demographic forces is driving global birth rates down at alarming rates, warning that by the second half of the century — or earlier — the global population will enter a sustained decline.
The publication described ghost cities in northeastern China, South Korean universities scrambling for students, hundreds of thousands of demolished properties in Germany, and shut down maternity wards in Italy, and warned that countries like Hungary, China, Sweden and Japan are already pushing to balance the combination of “swelling” older populations with the needs of young people.
U.S. fertility rates are at their lowest since the government began tracking such data in the 1930s, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics released in early May. Census announcements from China also showed slowest birth rates in decades, the Times reported, noting that “the era of high fertility is ending.”
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