The Faroe Islands - The Most Fertile Country In Western Europe
The Faroe Islands - The Baby-Booming Capital Of Europe?
The Faroe Islands is the most fertile country in Western Europe seeing off stiff competition from France, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The tiny cluster of islands situated between Norway and Iceland is home to around 50,000 baby-booming inhabitants who (according to statistics from the CIA World Factbook) have an impressive Fertility Rating of 2.40, blowing its European bedfellows out of the water.
The Total Fertility Rate measures the average number of children per woman and is used an indicator of the population trajectory of a nation marking out the collection of islands as the new baby-making powerhouse of Europe.
The 'Family Friendly' Islands
"The statistics tell us that the Faroe Islands is a good place for bringing children into the world. There are several reasons for that, but most of all it is because of our close family ties in our small society, which makes it easier for young parents, and they do not hesitate to take on the great challenge that it is to start a family."
The Minister of Health Affairs, Karsten Hansen puts this 'boom' in fertility down to Islanders benefiting from a 'family-focused' welfare system that promotes a positive attitude towards being pregnant, provides financial security for young families as well as nurturing a society that embraces and celebrates traditional family values:
"The Faroe Islands is a small and safe society. However, in all ways comparable with other northern European modern societies, we have a more traditional view on the family and more traditional family patterns. This shows in the close relations between the generations that makes it easier to have children in an otherwise active everyday life."
Mr Hansen highlighted the fact that in contrast to a number of countries in Western Europe, The Faroe Islands doesn't offer free abortions and stressed that he couldn't underestimate the impact this could have on promoting a higher fertility rate than it's Europe neighbours:
"This makes it more normal and in some, way more accepted to become pregnant. Even if it was not the intention.".
'Winners' And 'Losers'
Further down the 'Fertility Index' despite our future King George finding out that he won't be alone for long it seems that the United Kingdom has its work cut out to keep up with the rest of central Europe as it slips to 5th place in the rankings.
Greece took the unfortunate crown of the least fertile country in Western Europe with a fertility score of 1.41, gate-crashing a cluster of European countries languishing at the bottom of the baby-making league table. Spain, Austria and Germany all found themselves having a cold shower at the bottom of the Fertility Table occupying the 20th, 21st and 22nd place respectively.
Despite being home to some of the worlds most romantic backdrops such as the winding streets of Florence and the sleepy canals of Venice it seems that Italy has lost it's romantic spark as Italians languished near the bottom of the league table with an early night 'headache' of a 1.42 fertility score.
The Faroe Islands - A History Of Fertility
Surprisingly this title has gone to the Faroe Islands a whopping six times since the ‘Total Fertility Rate’ started being recorded by the CIA in 2007 with its closest rivals Azerbaijan picking up this title twice and slipping down the rankings to 5th place in recent years.