With the election of Emmanuel Macron to the presidency of France over the weekend, the leaders of Europe’s top four economies — Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy — have zero children between them, a feat perhaps never before matched in European history.
The list of European nations led by childless politicians continues beyond the first rank of economic powerhouses, with Sweden’s Stefan Löfven and the Netherland’s Mark Rutte also part of the club.
This confluence of events has been noted by social media users, journalists, and politicians, who in the recent past have accused figures like Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May of having less of a stake in the future of their nations because they do not have children of their own.
Whilst these comments have been derided and attacked as hateful and sexist, the arrival of a new European class of super-politicians who, male or female, forego an ordinary family life in order to provide laser-focus to their careers comes at a time of enormous demographic change in Europe. It is likely no coincidence that the most senior politicians in these nations embody the trend for childlessness among professionals, and flatlining fertility amongst developed nations more generally.
With media attention on the infertility epidemic focussing on nations like Japan, where the population is falling, the actual birthrate is comparable to nations like Germany and Italy. Both European nations have decided to combat the phenomenon of an average couple of two adults not having two children to replace themselves by importing huge numbers of young people from the Middle East and Africa.
Ostensibly brought in for humanitarian or economic reasons — apparently paying the booming pension bills of European nations and filling alleged low-skilled employment gaps — the effect of immigrants from nations which do not yet have a childlessness habit has been noted in their new European homes. Breitbart London reported in 2015 that one-quarter of new mothers in the United Kingdom were not born in the country, and will on average go on to have more children than their native counterparts.
In Sweden, immigration is driving the national population to grow with newfound pace and facing a housing crisis, the government has announced they will have to build new housing stock equivalent to a new Capital city in the next five years to house the newcomers.
Speaking to Breitbart London this week, French historian of law Professor Jean-Louis Harouel identified the interplay between childless Europe and mass migration. Remarking that nations like Germany and France are “countries of old people”, he said the only way to change the demographic shift within Europe would be to stop immigration.
On how he’d see the government of France change this shift, he told Breitbart London they should simply “stop giving money to immigrated people who are not of French nationality and stop giving them money which encourages them to have children”.
Listen: Oliver JJ Lane discusses Europe’s demographic trends with show host Raheem Kassam on Breitbart News Daily Sirius XM 125
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