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Many European governments have been concerned about falling fertility rates, due to the welfare implications of an ageing population supported by a shrinking workforce. However, 'doomsday' scenarios of fertility spiralling downwards and European populations imploding have not materialised; indeed, recent snapshots of indicators for childbearing suggest some recovery in fertility. RAND Europe therefore decided to update its 2004 study into the causes and consequences of low fertility in Europe. We analysed the latest data, reviewed recent literature, and examined the situation in Germany, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK in depth.

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