Cyprus is sowing the seeds of a demographic problem, the country among those with the lowest birth rates in the world and with a rapidly aging population and the numbers of the young declining.
A United Nations report showed Cyprus with a birth rate of only 1.3, Greece, Italy and Portugal, just ahead of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Singapore where the rate is 1.2. The lowest is South Korea at 1.1, barely above more births than deaths annually.
Earlier, a European Commission report said the life expectancy in Cyprus by 2070 will be 86 for men and 90 for women but that the 20-39 group wil fall 10-15 percent and the 60-80 group jumping to 30 percent, putting severe strain on the ability to fund pensions.
The total population will reach 1.1 million by 2070 while deaths will by then be slightly higher than births, causing the population to start shrinking although the fertility rate will be around 1.5, the report said in its findings.