A drop in Syria’s birth rate can be attributed to the mass migration of young men who are of marrying age, says Salah al-Sheikha, dean of Damascus University’s faculty of medicine.
Sheikha said that before the crisis, Syria enjoyed a high birth rate of half a million births per year.
Medical sources have estimated that the number of births decreased to about 200,000 in 2015, adding the reluctance of young men to marry, in addition to the high levels of migration, had heavily impacted the country’s birth rate.
In an exclusive interview with al-Watan, Sheikha said: "In the current stage, we cannot ask for birth control, especially after the migration of a large number of young men. Syria used to suffer from increasing birth rates, but during the crisis, it has gradually decreased significantly."
The pace of migration from Syria to European countries increased considerably during 2015, particularly among young men aged between 18 to 30 years old.
According to the Syrian Department of Immigration statistics, 828,000 passports were issued in 2015. Real figures are expected to be much higher, as many young men who have migrated to Western Europe have done so without an official Syrian passport.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.