Birth rate continues to rise


New figures reveal that the birth rate in the Czech Republic continues to rise. According to a report released by the Czech Statistical Office during the first three quarters of 2008, 91,300 children were born in the Czech Republic, a figure 4900 higher than during the same period last year. Overall, the Czech population increased by 65,000 to 10.446 million in the third quarter, partly aided by around 51,400 immigrants who came to the country. So-called natural population growth," brought 13,600 births in the first nine months of 2008, a figure 4800 higher than 2007 numbers, while infant mortality remains among the lowest in the world. The baby boom is likely to further assuage demographers who have for years warned that the Czech population may begin to shrink, causing among other issues, problems for the state’s ability to pay pensions to retirees.