Article Text

  1. E Kolarzyk1,
  2. J Marcinkowski2,
  3. M Jaglarz1
  1. 1Department of Hygiene and Ecology, Jagiellonian University, Medical College, Krakow, Poland
  2. 2Chair of Social Medicine, Medical University, Poznan, Poland


The decreasing number of births in the period 1990–2003 led to a deep demographic depression in Poland. The aim of this study is to analyse the problems connected with reproduction in the Polish population and female fertility in the period 1990–2006.

Methods In 2006, the total population in Poland was 38,125,479 (19,698,704 women and 18,426,775 men). Data concerning analysed problems and synthetic measurements were taken from Polish Statistical Yearbooks and Eurostat Yearbooks.

Results The number of births increased steadily from 2004 and in 2006 the female fertility rate was 36.8 (the highest between 25–29 years), total fertility rate was 1.27 and gross reproduction rate was 0.60. Live births per 1000 population was 9.81 and the following ways of childbirth were noted: spontaneous, 70%; caesarean section,−28%; and instrumental labour, 2%. Still birth rate was 5.9 % and the death-rate in perinatal period was 8% (in 1990 this was 19.5%). Infant deaths were caused mainly by congenital anomalies and chromosomal aberrations (32%), extremely low birth mass (25%) and anoxaemia (10%).

Conclusions The following conclusions were reached:

1. Although the birth rate increased from 1990 until 2006, the fertility rate in Poland was one of the lowest in the European Union.

2. In the period 1990–2006 a steady increase of births by women with a higher education level, a rising percentage of extramarital births (from 6.2% to 18.5%) and an increase of age of women at childbearing of the first child were observed.

3. The emigration process of well educated Polish women may lead to a decreasing of birth rate in the next few years.

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