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EU Nation’s Fertility Rate Hits Record Low

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Women in Sweden now give birth to 1.45 children on average during their lifetime

Sweden’s total fertility rate – the number of children an average woman gives birth to during her lifetime – sank to a record low in 2023, and is on course to plunge further this year, Sveriges Television (SVT) reported on Friday, citing Statistics Sweden.

According to the report, the rate was 1.45 children per woman last year, the lowest since records began in 1749. The number of births in 2023 was the smallest since 2003, when the total population was nearly 1.6 million fewer than the current 10.5 million.

“There has been a downward trend since 2010. We see that it occurs throughout the country and both among women who were born in Sweden and who immigrated from abroad,” Guadalupe Andersson, an analyst at Statistics Sweden, told the broadcaster.

January 2024 data showed that the downward trend is continuing. Only 7,900 children were born across the country in the first month of the year, 350 fewer than in January 2023.

“We seem to be on our way to a new low… The reason is unclear,” analysts said.

Several women who spoke to SVT said they were hesitant to become parents. Most cited climate change and the threat posed by conflicts around the world as the cause of their reluctance.


READ MORE: French birth rate lowest since WWII

The TV channel noted that the consequences of the low birth rate are being felt across the country. Several preschools have recently announced they will not be reopening next fall, and will have to lay off staff. Also, over the longer term, fewer able-bodied people will be able to support Sweden’s growing elderly population, analysts warn.

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Victims of Domestic Violence Rally Against Proposed Joint Custody Laws in Japan, Citing Legal System Flaws

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In Japan, the debate over joint custody laws reveals deep societal concerns about family violence and its impact on victims. Critics argue the proposed joint custody laws could endanger victims by inadvertently reconnecting them with abusive ex-partners. Demonstrations have taken place, with advocates arguing that the system lacks effective measures to protect those affected by family violence.

Women, disproportionately impacted, represent a higher percentage of abuse reports. Allegations of physical abuse backed by photographic evidence and medical reports have been dismissed by the courts, leaving victims feeling helpless and ignored. On the other hand, parents deprived of their children’s presence argue the legal system fails to address their grievances or consider the emotional harm inflicted on both children and parents.

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Electricians’ Union Raises Alarm Over Unsafe Practices in Solar Industry

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In Australia, safety and employment conditions in the solar farm industry are raising concerns. There have been reports of unqualified workers, including backpackers on working holiday visas, doing electrical tasks that legally require licensed electricians. The electrical trades union has pointed out cases where trade assistants without proper qualifications or supervision performed risky electrical work.

Incidents include workers installing solar panels in water, posing a risk of electrocution. Poor working conditions have led to dissatisfaction among electricians, who feel their safety concerns and expertise are being ignored. The industry is currently facing a significant demand for electricians due to the rapid expansion of solar farm constructions, with 34 projects underway. The union is urging the renewable energy sector to invest in training a new generation of electricians to meet this demand.

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Tesla Faces Backlash from Cybertruck Owners Citing Multiple Performance Flaws

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