The Polish Health ministry has released a video to encourage its citizens to start ‘breeding like rabbits’. Poland has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe and it’s resulting in severe population decline. In 2015 the rate was at 1.32 children per woman, with only Portugal having a lower figure, while Spain and Greece were almost the same.
While this campaign was seen as very subtle, Europe’s declining populations have been tackled before. A Danish travel agency was a little more direct with an advert which went viral, asking would-be grandparents to pay for a holiday for their children so that they are more likely to get grandchildren. It was credited for the births of an extra 1200 babies.
But efforts haven’t always gone to plan. In Italy, a government campaign to combat infertility stumbled when people took to the streets to protest an ad campaign for a ‘fertility day’, which was denounced as sexist, racist and ignorant of the economic reasons why Italians aren’t having babies.
And in Russia, the decline in population has been high on the agenda since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Between 1992 and 2009, the country lost about six million people, or four percent of its population. In an attempt to combat this, Vladimir Putin introduced schemes to give extra cash to people when they have their second and third children. And if you have seven or more children you get invited to the Kremlin to receive a medal.