IBNA Special Report
Skopje, April 8, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
Annual birth rate in FYR Macedonia has seen a drop and every decade, there has been a drop by half.
State Authority of Statistics in Skopje has expressed its concerns about this significant drop of the birth rate. “If in 1950 there were 50 thousand newborns, in 2013 there have only been 23,334 newborns. This indicates that after 63 years, there’s a fall by half of birth rates and this trend risks at reducing population in the country”, says the report based on the published demographic statistics.
Drop of birth rates has continued through the decades. This biggest drop in birth rates is within the Macedonian ethnic group, while there are also negative trends among Albanians.
In 2011, the central government cancelled the census due to ethnic related disagreements between Macedonians and Albanians at the State Commission of Registration. The disagreements had to do with the way how the census was going to take place and the involvement of the Diaspora.
Albanians lead birth rates
Albanian inhabited communes continue to lead birth rates, while Macedonian inhabited communes mark negative records.
Albanian inhabited communes such as Tetovo, Gostivar, Cair, Studenican have an increasing birth rate compared to other communes. Based on the statistics of the State Authority of Statistics, in these communes there’s been a growth of birth rates and drop of death rates.
On the other hand, communes of Ohrid, Karpos, Kisela Voda, Berovo and Kriva Palanka, which are dominated by the Macedonian community, death rate is higher than the birth rate.
For instance, in the commune of Karpos in Skopje, in the last quarter of 2014, there were 127 babies born and 155 people who died, while in Berove, there were 28 babies born and 41 people who died. The increase of birth rate is dominating rural areas.
There are no signals for a new Census
Government in FYROM has issued no signals for a new Census, after the one that failed in 2011. This situation has made the accurate number of population in the country unknown.
According to the 2002 Census, FYROM has 2,022, 547 people, from which 65% are Macedonians, 25,17% are Albanians, 3,85% are Turkish, 2,66% are Roma, 1,78 are Serbs and other minority communities. These figures are still used to analyze current developments in the country.
International and domestic organizations demand a fresh Census to have an accurate number of the population and how the communities living in the country are divided.
In his last declaration on this matter, PM Nikola Gruevski declared that the concept for this operation will be changed.
“We’re planning on starting preparations on this process and we will establish a special software which will register every citizen in the country and living abroad. We saw how the failed 2011 Census had irregularities and that manipulations with the data were made”, Gruevski declared.
Why is birth rate falling?
Different opinions are being offered on this topic. Specialists of demography say that the causes for the drop of birth rates are many, but the main ones are economic, social and psychological.
Demography expert Resul Hamiti told IBNA that the change in life style, late marriages, unemployment, housing issues, migration abroad, etc, are factors that have led to a drop in birth rate.
“The causes for the drop of birth rate in FYROM are many and they relate to economic, social and other factors. Here we have to deal with the emancipation of women and growing education of women. Life style has also changed recently. The majority of couples get married at a late age, while the migration of the population abroad is also a factor”, Hamiti declared. /ibna/