Changes in the Procreative Behaviour in Poland and Some Impacts of the Process on the Size and Age Structure of Population as Revealed by Demographic Projections
In the 1990s, fertility was dropping rapidly in Poland. According to the GUS and the UN projections, low fertility may continue in the next decades. The procre- ative behaviour changes irreversibly affect the age structure of population. If the fertility level as low as it is today continued, the number of births would be ultimately reduced by almost half compared with the present numbers. However, the structure of population would be changing gradually. First the number of the pre-school children would change and then of those at school age. The high variant of the UN World Population Prospects is the only one where the number of the children aged 0–4 years is growing to the year 2020. If fertility does not change their number will, however, drop dramatically from ca 1.8 million that we have today to below 1 million in 2050. Decreasing fertility may distort the demographic structure in the long term by re- ducing the share of children and contributing to a relatively overrepresented proportion of old persons. Because of fertility falling from the 1990s and the appearance of baby boomers and baby busters, the size of the working-age population (15–64 years) will grow smaller after 2015. The aging process will also continue. The median age will grow to approx. 50 years in 2050. The dependency ratio will also increase and there will be 70 working-age persons per 100 persons aged 15–64 years, instead of slightly more than 40 that we have today.