Demographics, youth and family

The crisis in the birth rate and the fall in the number of marriages highlight a twofold reality: the lack of interest in education in the period prior to marital cohabitation and the "bad press" of marriage.

May 6, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

Pope Francis inaugurated about a year ago the so-called States General of Birth in Italy, promoted by the Forum of Family Associations. And in the presence of the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, he pointed out: "No birth rate, no future". It is necessary to "invest" this trend for "to put Italy back in motion, starting from life, starting from the human being".

The Italian trend is not isolated, but responds to a generalized fact in Europe, a continent that is dying a little more every year, despite immigration. In Spain, for example, the Demographic Observatory of the CEU university institution warned a few days ago about the very low birth rate indicators in Spain, which have been dragging on for some time. 

The issue is even more distressing, if possible, because a survey by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) recalled that Spanish women of childbearing age say they want to have a baby. "more than twice as many children as they have."

Since many women would like to have more children, it is not idle to wonder what prevents them from doing so. The director of the University Observatory, Joaquín Leguina, alludes to the economic and labor situation. "The unemployment rates of the Spanish youth population are very high, wages are very low and many jobs are precarious. A reality that causes motherhood to be delayed and citizens have fewer children, thus decreasing the birth rate."

María Álvarez de las Asturias, of the Coincidir Institutehas gone even further, by requesting in "a rethinking of the labor market" looking at the family, and also pointing to the reputation of the institution of marriage in our days. "Marriage gets a very bad press, and families that have always been pro-marriage have allowed themselves to be contaminated by this mentality that marriage is a complicated thing, and they don't encourage it either."

In delving into the answer to the question of why young people are marrying less and less, and getting older and older, Álvarez de las Asturias also proposes a personal and community reflection on the part of both families and the Church. Why don't they get married? "Because we're still doing terrible." states. "Because the remote preparation that John Paul II asked for, and later Benedict and Francis, we don't do it. There is no remote preparation. And we lose the children after First Communion, or at the most after Confirmation, until they reach the pre-marriage course, when perhaps they have been living together, have children... There is a space in which we do nothing"..

Some appreciate "watertight compartments"adds Álvarez de las Asturias on the Omnes website. "Youth ministry on the one hand, family ministry on the other... And Pope Francis has said that family ministry has to be the backbone of everything. It is from the family that the rest of the pastoral care is hung up..

The authorOmnes

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