Costa Rica's birth rate drops 5% in 2010 due to economic worry

11:08, April 19, 2011      

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The global economic crisis pulled down Costa Rica's birth rate by 5 percent in 2010, the Nation's Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) said Monday.

Births in the Central American nation fell to 70,922 in 2010 from 75,000 in 2009, the institute said.

Local daily La Nacion quoted Olga Martha Araya, coordinator of the Vital Statistics Unit of the INEC, as saying that "in other countries the birth rate fell between 3 percent and 5 percent."

In most nations, the fall in the birth rate coincided with the effect of the economic crisis, as couples delayed their decision to have a child "to see what happened to their debts," Araya said.

Couples were also trying to avoid the inevitable health care costs in times of economic difficulty, the daily La Nacion said.

The reduction has led to the country's new low fertility rate of only 1.82 births per woman.

The previous notable birth rate drop in Costa Rica was in 2002, when 5,000 fewer children were born than in the previous year after the Responsible Fatherhood Law was put in place, which enforced much stricter obligations on fathers.

Source: Xinhua
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