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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-22238: Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 18 March 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of figures showing that, in 2018, Scotland’s birth rate fell to its lowest level since records began in 1855, what steps it will take to encourage people across Scotland to have more children.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 26 March 2019

Deciding when, and if, to have children is largely a matter of personal choice. The Scottish Government is working hard to create a country that is the best place in the world to grow up, through a variety of initiatives aimed at supporting pregnant women, children and families.

The decreasing birth rate is not new but part of an on-going trend. Whilst not unique to Scotland, it reflects broader societal changes, such as an increase in the average age of women and couples starting a family, the average family size has reduced over the past few years and possibly economic uncertainty influencing decisions around starting a family.