Europe's reproduction problem

Europeans are not making enough babies.

"The ageing of Europe is a growing talking point among major investors as it has huge political and economic ramifications. The trend could put a big strain on European government finances, as the demand for pensions and healthcare will rise. It could also cause the EU economy to fall behind other regions, notably America, where the population is more youthful.

"The European birthrate is just 1.5 per female, compared with 2.1 in the US, where immigrants from Hispanic countries tend to have large families. Immigration is also lower in Europe, at about 2pc per 1,000 people, compared with 4pc in the US.

"As a result, European population growth has stalled and could fall by 7m to 370m by 2050, according to United Nations projections quoted by Mr Williams. The European population is also much older. The average age is 39, whereas in the US it is 35."

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