Maldives's Economy at Risk as Birth Rate Falls Below Replacement Level

  • Maldives
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PUBLISHED 13 July 2023

The Maldives, a captivating archipelago nation nestled in the Indian Ocean, is currently grappling with a significant decline in its birth rate. The recently released census report on World Population Day has unveiled a disheartening reality - the average Maldivian woman now gives birth to merely 1.7 children, falling below the essential replacement level of 2.1 children per woman required to maintain a stable population.

Undoubtedly, this downward trend in the birth rate carries substantial implications for the Maldivian economy. A shrinking population inevitably equates to a decline in economic growth as the workforce diminishes, leaving fewer individuals to support the mounting number of retirees. Moreover, the dearth of skilled labor could profoundly impede the country's competitiveness within the global economy, posing further challenges for continued national development.

To effectively combat the declining birth rate, it is imperative for the government to undertake resolute measures. Primarily, attention must be given to curbing the rising cost of living, which often deters couples from starting or expanding their families. By implementing policies that alleviate financial burdens, the government can create a conducive environment for prospective parents.

Additionally, promoting work-life balance is essential in encouraging individuals to pursue both successful careers and fulfilling family lives. Striking a harmonious equilibrium between professional obligations and personal commitments will undoubtedly facilitate a greater willingness for couples to embrace parenthood.

Furthermore, comprehensive support for families should be prioritized, spanning across various facets of life. Ensuring accessible and quality healthcare services for expectant mothers, along with enhanced prenatal care, can alleviate health concerns and bolster the confidence of potential parents.

In order to secure a sustainable future for the Maldives, proactive measures must be adopted. By combining efforts to address the declining birth rate, including provisions for the rising cost of living, endeavors to promote work-life balance, and the provision of comprehensive support for families, the government can navigate towards a path of success.