Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Estonia

Recently, many commenters here on DM has flagged the idea of pro-natalism (rather sloppy Wiki.Pedia article!) as a possible working solution for countries with low (lowest-low) fertility and more specifically lamented the absence of talk about this in the entries posted here at DM. This is consequently to make amends on this and to present some of the arguments pro and con pro-natalism as we have discussed them in the comments sections on various posts. Before we do this though let us look at a country in Eastern Europe with low fertility where pro-natalism actually seems to have worked at least given the initial evidence (hat tip to Stirling for pointing towards Estonia in the comments on a previous post). Lastly, before we dig into the description of Estonia it might usefull for you to acquaint yourself with the general demographic situation in Eastern Europe and more specifically EU-8 (the lynx economies). To that end, this post from my blog has some good initial references and description.
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Estonia's Economy in Perspective

Estonia is a land of apparent contradiction. At one pole it is a budding centre of new technology initiatives, as typified by the much lauded presence of Skype, and at the other it is at the front end of one of Europe's most modern problems, population ageing and decline. So Estonia is a kind of living contradiction: a rapidly ageing society apparently run by young people (although it is worth bearing in mind that, when it comes to the economy, the entire software industry of the country employs a mere 2,500 people out of a total population of 1.35 million). As an example of the 'youthful side' of Estonian life it is worth noting that Mart Laar, who may well be the most visible 'personality' of the last decade in Estonian politics, was only 32 when he became prime minister in 1992, and the ministers of defence and intererior in his cabinet were even younger -26 and 27, respectively. Things are already changing here, however, since candidates for this month's elections have and average age of 46.7 which is still rather juvenile by some standards, but is, for example, three months older than their equivalents in Finland, which is in fact about to choose its own parliament two weeks from now. So everyone ages, even in Estonia.
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2 comments:

anka skakanka said...

Pozdrowienia z Polski :) ---<---(@

agreablement said...

passo di qui per caso
saluti from Italy