The population of Austria is scheduled to grow by over one per cent because of the mass migration of asylum seekers – the highest rate of growth seen in the country since the 1990s.
The population of Austria, like neighbouring Germany, before the migrant crisis was projected to decline as birthrates sunk to below replacement levels. New figures from Statistik Austria show that the influx of migrants added 113,100, while the statistics of births versus deaths added a mere 1,300 to the population, reports Austria’s Kronen Zeitung.
When extrapolated, the figures show a trend of growth in the Austrian population that could reach close to nine and a half million by 2030 if the current trends maintain and a new migrant crisis does not engulf the continent as it did last year.
The 15-year period between 2015 and 2030 would, therefore, see a nine per cent growth in the total population of the country, which if projected without migrants would sink from the current level of eight million to six million by 2080.
The strongest growth is expected in the capital of Vienna which is currently home to some 1.8 million inhabitants. Forecasts show that mass migration will increase the number by 18 per cent by 2040 to 2.1 million.
The same trend has also been seen in Germany where the birth rate has hit a 33-year high as migrants boost the declining birth rate, coupled with the arrival of over one million people over the last year.
According to Statistik Austria, without migrants the impact on the economy would be negative as the average age of the population is steadily increasing; this argument has been supported by many economists over the course of the migrant crisis.
However, more and more economists are coming out against early forecasts of the economic benefits of mass migration as the migrants, predominantly from the Middle East, tend to be poorly educated and have an exceptionally difficult time learning German.
The issue of an ageing population has already become a problem in countries like Japan where reports say that there are more adult nappies sold than ones for infants. Economists are struggling to find a solution which maintains a robust welfare system.
But some countries, like Russia and Denmark, have attempted to create incentives for couples to have more children to artificially create their own baby boom. While Russia has offered cash bonuses to new parents, the Danes have employed travel agencies to give free holidays to couples who can prove they conceived children while on their holiday.