More children - a more secure future

Hungarians see the future in the family, in the children, and they think that if more children were born in Hungary, this would be a solution not only to the population issues, but also to environmental issues - reveals the press release of the Mária Kopp Institute for Demography and Families (KINCS) published on the occasion of World Population Day. The research outcomes of KINCS reveal that those who raise more children are more responsible towards shaping the future, and thus in preserving our natural values. For most, family-friendly governance provides stable and predictable support to improve the demographical situation.

In 1989, the United Nations declared July 11 as World Population Day. Its aim is to draw attention to the extent of global population growth and the issues that arise from it. Although the population of our planet is constantly growing on a global scale, this growth is not true equally for all continents and countries. We are experiencing the period of demographic winter in Europe, with no EU country having enough newborn babies to population replacement, while the aging of societies poses a significant challenge already in the short term. In terms of the world’s total population, the proportion of Europeans fell from 21.7 per cent in 1950 to 9.6 per cent by 2020.

The survey of the Mária Kopp Institute shows that seven out of ten people consider overpopulation to be a global problem, and two thirds say that the aging of society and the birth of few children are also a problem.

Regarding the issues affecting Hungarian society, Hungarians see the biggest problem in the aging population (82%), in insufficiently stable relationships (81%), in the birth of few children (78%), and in the fact that young people are having children at a later stage of their lives (68%).

Only one in ten respondents (12%) feel that there are not enough immigrants to help stop the population decline. This clearly proves that the Hungarian people do not agree with the promotion of immigration, instead they see the future in the family, in the children. Of the three options for remedying the population situation (1. birth of more children, 2. immigration, 3. increase in life expectancy), eight out of ten respondents ranked the birth of more children first.

More than two thirds of the respondents (69%) believe that measures to support families greatly contribute to the improvement of the population situation in Hungary.

Linking and interpreting the environment and childbearing in a generally negative way is a common topic of conversation today. In the spring of 2021, a joint online survey by the European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC) and KINCS intended to reveal to what extent large families across Europe feel responsible for protecting our environment and how interested they are in sustainability. Based on the responses of more than 3,000 completed questionnaires from eleven European countries, it can be stated that European and Hungarian large families raising three or more children are concerned with environmental protection (91% and 94%), and the majority are particularly interested in the topic (58% and 61%). Protecting the environment is important to them primarily because of the future of their children (81% and 84%, respectively).

The survey reveals that the more children a person raises, the more they think it is the job not of others but themselves to protect the environment, as evidenced by the outstanding number of large families who selectively collect waste (over 90%). Large families do not agree at all with the statement that it is not worth bringing a child into this world because of the climate catastrophe, but other large European families also strongly reject such a linkage between having a child and the environmental catastrophe.

In summary, the KINCS survey conducted on the occasion of World Population Day shows that the Hungarian people are aware of the population issues affecting global and domestic society. They see the future in the family, in the children, and believe that having more children in Hungary would solve not only our population issues, but also our environmental issues, as large families show a very conscious and responsible attitude towards environmental protection and sustainable development. Families are building a livable future, it is important for them to allow their children to grow up in a healthy environment, in as much harmony with nature as possible, and to see the values concerning the nature that their parents have seen.

Families raising children are the key to preserving the environment, sustainable development and the survival of the nation.

Methodology: The national representative research of KINCS was conducted by a telephone survey of 1,000 people among the adult population, between June 17-21, 2021.

The online survey of the European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC) and KINCS  was conducted in the spring of 2021 among large families. More than 3,000 completed questionnaires were received from 11 countries (Croatia, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain).

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