Only Children in Poland: Demographic, Social, and Educational Consequences

Beata Stachowiak
2013 Social Sciences  
The main purpose of this article is to present the population of "only children" in Poland and address the possible effects of very low fertility for the functioning of the family, society, education system, and the only children themselves. This analysis is based primarily on statistics published by government institutions such the Central Statistical Office of Poland, Ministry of National Education, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Ministry of Finance, etc. In Poland, as in other
more » ... nd, as in other developed countries, a decrease in fertility can be observed. As a result, only children are a fast-growing group among children and adolescents. Due to changes to the definition of a family, the definition of an only child is also under transformation. Thus, the term "only child" can now refer to more and more people. Currently, the group of only children accounts for about 50% of all children. Data and demographic projections both for the population of only children and for fertility in Poland indicate that in the next few years the situation will worsen. This raises challenges on demographic grounds, as the substitutability of generations is not only threatened, but it is also not assured. Also, pedagogy becomes a field of trial, especially in terms of the education of children and in terms of preparing adults to be parents of an only child. New problems arise on a social basis in terms of providing care for the elderly and the functioning of pension systems. The growing population of only children also implies the need for new research in the field of social sciences and humanities.
doi:10.11648/j.ss.20130202.12 fatcat:lkkytswmjvhytespvnqzogfbau