Why Polish people have few children

I am a foreigner in Poland and can answer the question easily in one word  ‘fear’, fear of economic loss and poverty and being poor like in the 1990.  Polish magazines and forums can analysis it all they want, but I can see it objectively from the outside looking in. Polish people have fewer and fewer kids to the point that the population is shrinking is because Polish people are obsessed with material security. They want to build that fence around their stone house (common in Polish homes) and being all set in life.

The new generation is being programmed to override one million years of human evolution that tells them to  procreate freely and often and replace it with a selfish feeling of material comfort. All because many Polish people’s new matra is ‘we need more (money) to have more children’. Although this generation is richer than ever, Poles live in fear they do not have enough money. Let me tell you this. I worked on Wall Street, you will never feel like you have enough money.

Take it from a post crisis American; once you have a house and car and vacation, you will feel spiritually empty. Life is a spiritual journey. You will feel empty if you do not have a family that jumps on you and wraps their arms around you, as soon as you walk in the door.  Think of the movie Family Man’ with Nichoas Cage. Do not build your spiritual house on sand. Think of the man in the Bible who set up his life economically, yet God took it from this world that very night or the story of Lazarus.

Why Polish people started to replace children with last-minute trips to Egypt, a new Toyota Yaris and a 60 meter flat

There was a mentality shift in Polish society to focus on the material and money. Post communist – new capitalist families finding their way in the 1990s and 2000s conveyed a new ethic to their children. Buy apartment, even if it is 60 meters, before you start living. I understand why, because they grew up with so little and did have a hard life. But so what? We all as humans suffer in different ways, and can not insulate ourselves from this.

The new generation parrots this collective unconsciousness with ‘ how can we afford to have kids’. The reason we do not have many kids is we have no money. I say this is nonsense. Do not listen to your fears (or rather the fears of your parents).

That is the sin of greed and lust for material things talking. People all over the world in less developed countries than rich fancy EU Poland (and yes Poland is a relatively rich country) have many kids and the children are happy and so are their parents.

Polish expectations about wealth in contrast with other nations

Further, Polish people have such rigid expectations about life and they are high. They think they get out of school and with their degree, they will get a good job and work for an “emerytura”. ‘News flash’, this is the new economy and nothing is guaranteed. Life is an art not a science. Just because life is not going along a perfect track do not deny yourself the birthright of self having kids.

Demographically the sun is setting on the Polish nation

Examples of poor people with a big happy family

For example, even in ‘richer’ countries like the USA where I am from many people buy their first house after 50. They have had many children and live happy lives without worrying they are renting a small apartment with no more. They have had five kids like my parents did or nine kids like my friend Paul has or six kids like my friend Jose who still does not have a house. Their kids are all happy nice and well-adjusted.

In contrast, in Poland every Polish couple I know has to own an apartment, have a good income, leave the children in day care or with Babcia and a good car and basically be ‘all set’. Then they start thinking of having one or two kids because that is all they can afford.  My reply is ‘really’? Where is your sense of life and adventure? Kids in my area of the USA, are running all over the yard and they have no money and everyone is happy like out of a Disney movie.  It is only the rich and self-absorbed who think different. There are many Polish girls who are serial monogamists instead of getting married as they delay their lives until they are in a better situation (economic) to have a family. But I have news for you sister, by then it will be too late.

One lady told me they want to wait until they can afford an English tutor for their children before they have kids. I said ‘really’, just live in the UK even to do a blue-collar job, for a few years and they will be native speakers better than the richest families in Poland. Or teach your kids English yourself by reading to them. But this Polish gal was a career lady. What a nightmare.

Is waiting to have children until they were rich or comfortable, what your grandparents did who had nothing? Is that what John Paul II taught or have Poles forgotten already? Is that what any of the Indian or Spanish or African friends I have in the USA do?  It’s a cultural myth in some sterile cultures you need money to have a family.

In the USA I do taxes and see what people make. One of my friend makes a fraction of what my friends in Poland make and he has seven kids and they are happy. I know what he makes as I do his taxes.

  • Whatever it is, maybe Polish people have a sense of entitlement and a feeling of self-consciousness or lack of confidence that they are some how behind the west and want to catch up. My message is get over it. Poland is a great nation, but will be a footnote in history unless values change.

Let me tell you from someone who has live in Poland a good part of their life, and travelled the world, Poland is a rich country and if you are not having kids because of fear of lack, it is your psychological problem not reality.

Poland has things other countries do not have to raise a child

Consider cultures that see children as a blessing not a burden. Children are a blessing and take little to no money to rise besides a roof over your head. Your Medical care is free in Poland as is education and even daycare. What else do you want?  I see a lot of fat Polish youngsters on the street and none are starving.

Good bye Poland hello Asian people

I am sorry to sound hard but Polish people have such high material expectations I can only classify as greed and pride and the price will be the Polish nation and people will disappear eventually. It will become demographically Asian most likely. It will not happen today but extrapolate out the demographics. I love Polish culture but also Asian culture. It looks like the Poles do not stand a chance right now if you project out a few generations. It is simple mathematics. The population of Poland is declining and the reason is clear. Polish people are focusing on money rather than family.

A warning for Polish girls

Many Polish girls read feminist Western magazines and silly books from Empik and watch TVN serale, and get programmed into thinking ‘having fun’ and develop your career first and experience life is the way to go. My reply is, why not experience life with your own family? Forget the money, do not listen to your parents fears they project on your and have a bunch of kids. There is no adventure is greater. What greater career could there be than having rasing children?

  • Polish girls if you wonder why your guy is not committing? ‘Why buy the cow if the milk is for free’. See feminism and materialism are like thieves in the night that take the sweetness and joy from the one of the most basic things in life, and that is having a family. If your guy is not committing to you it is because you are too hip and cool and give up your virtue so he is not inspired to marry you.
  • Polish guys are often afraid to marry because they will be tied down or it will not work. My message is, find a girl who is moral and good and you will not have to worry. If girls did not give it up so easy today in Polish society then guys would marry more because guys need companionship. Its human evolution.

So the young new Poles can make fun of the Catholic church or idolizes the West all they want, and keep chasing  ‘almighty Zloty’, and blame the economy for everything, but this will result in the disappearance of Poland. Children are always a blessing. Money does not buy you happiness.

I am no conservative by the way, I am a free thinking libertarian. But the facts are the facts, Poland is getting smaller and smaller and the reason is material greed or at least fear of lack. Get over your fears and have some kids. Polish girls listen up, don’t get smart too late.

31 Replies to “Why Polish people have few children”

  1. All I do is sing praise about Poland and the Polish people, but this is one trend I find disturbing.

  2. > Although this generation is richer than ever, Poles live in fear they do not have enough money.

    True. However that’ s not the case. You see, my outlandish friend, you’re missing the Big Picture : we’re not lacking money. We’re lacking the stability. We’re less sure about our future than ever. We have some money – now – but what about the future ?
    “…and that’s the bottom line” (if you know what i mean).

    1. Poland is an EU country that has experienced no crisis while other nations are going down. Poland has a large internal economy and is not in the Euro zone. It is stable.

      Stable compared to what? WWII, the great Depression? Life is sweet in Poland. I do not see kids starving in the streets. I see a lot of Poles complaining all the time, so much complaining, how bad they have it; yet go to Africa or India and South America or Asia or anywhere besides stable, rich Poland. Poles compare themselves to the UK, but what about the other six billion people in the world? They are living with no stability or future yet have the courage have large families.

      Hey no sweat off my back, I am just observing that Polish population is declining. I love Poland but this is a reality.

  3. I am a Slavic girl (Russian) and I would have no problem with having many children. I think it would be a pleasure and would love to have a husband who thinks so too. The problem is finding a guy who wants this also. You might laugh but it is true, guys today want to play and be players.

    1. I know Russia has the same situation. However, I think it is most often the girls who are the ones that do not want to have a family (large). I mean I dare any Polish guy to ask any Uniwersytet Jagielloński studentka if she wants to have a big family and she will look at him like you are from the Middle Ages and she might even chirp in that she does not cook, and start rambling about her career aspirations.

      I know this post seems obnoxious but it is not intended to be. I truly love Poland. It is to make people aware of what is happening in Polish society.

    2. I absolutely agree with the lady from Russia. I’m 27 years old Polish girl and have been travelling and living around the World for about 7 years. Soon will be back to Poland because I love my country, people and my family. I feel like I’m ready to have kids( at least three 🙂 and a husband( just one is perfect:) but the problem is to find the right man. I don’t need to have car, own the house, etc. but to find a good man is quite hard, nowadays.

      1. There are many hardworking bright and attractive Polish guys that would love to have a family. I know them personally. I see scores when I go to church. You might also find them online. Here is the thing about attracting a husband, it is not what women think. Guys want someone that will give them peace. Many girls put themselves out there as cool and hip and clever, but this does nothing to attract true love and a mate. See Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion and the girl who wins her love. What is her character and nature? That is what men are universally looking for.
        You might also try praying to find your husband. I believe in the power of prayer and if sincere God hears this.

    3. @Anastasia There is a lot of truth in what you say. I didn’t want a “career”. My old fashioned idea was to get married and have children and be a homemaker like mom, Ciocia & Babcia. It is rare to find a man that will let women do that anymore. They want us out there working.

  4. > Poland is an EU country that has experienced no crisis while other nations are going down. Poland has a large internal economy and is not in the Euro zone. It is stable.

    Everything correct.
    It’s all because we work hard and don’t have time to make children.
    Maybe it’s wrong and we “disappear” because of this, but IMO one of cause “no crisis in Poland” is we are “greed” instead of having children.

    1. Polish people work very hard. Polish people are industrious and bright people with imagination. One thing I noticed about Poland was how creative and diligent Poles are. I think anyone from around the world that has contact with Polish people know this. In the USA if you know someone who is Polish, his work is trusted.

      Even if the crisis did come to Poland it would be hard for be to believe it would go down too much. Poles did not take credit like the west, have a strong tradition of ‘doing things themselves’ like building their own homes in the countryside or growing their own food. Polish are very clever in finding ways to get around economic barriers because of communism.

      So my question is ‘what the deuce’? Why is there still so much fear of lack, to the extend that it prevents people from going forward with their lives. I see poor people in the US countryside, running arround with no shoes, and I will take pictures if you do not believe me, and yet they are pretty happy and not worried about the future so much. Maybe the climate in Poland affects people’s level of optimism about the future, but whatever it is, my message is the Polish economy is strong enough for any Pole to live their dreams.

      1. I do not mean again to sound hard on Polish people. It is not my intention. I love Poland so much really. I am just making people aware of some fears of lack that might be in the Polish collective unconsciousness. As spiritual being on this earth we all should try to come to peace with some of our fears.

  5. You seem to be saying it is the girls who do not want to have children but I think it is the men today.

    1. I wrote this because last week I saw an article on Onet.pl which I read that was explaining this trend and Poles were writing how poor they are and that is why there is a decline in population. I think I need to clarify something, Poland is not poor nor is it stratified economically if you look at the gini coefficient. Poland is a nice country to live in and the reason people do not have kids is it is becoming like Sweden or other post modern material countries.

  6. The reason there are starving children in poor regions of the world is simple: When you have a child, it is necessary to have resources available to provide completely for all the childs’ needs. This requires, among other things, food, education and a safe home environment. It is simple math that when you have more children, you must also have more resources. The people in these countries are poor because they have too many children in comparison with the lack of resources to provide nourishment.

    I find this article terribly amusing. Terribly, because I cannot understand the logic behind increasing the population beyond the capabilities that this planet, which is obviously finite, can support. It is a proven fact that when women become more educated, they have less children. The reason is obvious. They want to have more opportunities in life, like everyone else in the world. It is human nature to want to improve your experience in life. We made fire to stay warm, cook our food, and protect us from predators. This process has continued and as such, changed. We are beings with free will, and while I do not condone materialism, we cannot stop evolution, unless of course you decide to hide from realities and conceal yourselves from it in a cage of dogma which has hindered our evolution and as such towards a more peaceful future. Instead, people choose to hold old beliefs without examining those beliefs and their effects on the world in a deeper context. It is quite a shame.

    1. The article is not about world population but how the 40 million nation of Poland will go to 32 million in a generation or two and then down from there. It will find people from Asia to work in Poland as they already are doing. I have no problem with these or any groups of people, as I am an universalist and humanist in the sense we are all one world. But as a Pole I would like to see Poland survive. I do not care if all of Poland is Middle Eastern and African people and Chinese people as we are all one people in the world. But you know it would be nice to know Polish people will continue as I like diversity also.

      However, after hundreds of years of fighting for Poland, the Polish people will demographically disappear or be absorbed by large-scale social tends in the next few hundred years. Not from former enemies and armies from Germany and Russia but from Polish girls taking in the feminist programming of the west about having a career and raising a family being something as a chore not an honor. Women are the ones that transmits culture from one generation to the next.

      About the world and starving children. The problem is again selfishness. If the rich nations aided the poor more, real aid in terms of economic development guidance, rather than crusading in wars that cost trillions of dollars. And yes we are cultural crusaders ‘make the whole world America’ type thing, then the under developed world would develop and population would be stable.

      Instead we have people in western countries with declining population and poor countries with growing population. Do you know how much we have spent on wars ad infinium and if this was spend on economic development, you know the world would be a better place. The wars were a waste, the USA blew their bank on them as they have done since I was a child Vietnam to now. Starving children are not in most of the world but only in pockets and these can be helped.

      But instead we are beating the drums of ‘honor’ and crusading and firing million dollar rockets into the desert. Is this to make these countries more democratic? I think not since the USA does not have a democracy but a Republic and the world democracy is not mentioned once in the US constitution, Bill of rights or Declaration of Independence.

      Yep, look it up yourself. The USA spreading democracy is a joke. Better to help each culture economically with opening markets and expansion of economic freedoms that will naturally liberate people and stabilize the populations. Even in poor areas of Africa is warlord fighting for economic power and a misallocation problem not a production issue. These area need to be helped and we have the power to help them.

      So if you want to get into a common sense economics conversation lets begin. I will wait for your reply. However, this is a different conversation than the small population of Poland declining even smaller. The title is not about world hunger in general but how Poland is in decline, ironically by th seeds of its success.

  7. Well, I’m Asian (South-East), I was shocked when I read education is free in Poland, even medical is free too. Yes, I really agree that there is no reason for Polish people to have many children. My country is third country. Education is really expensive, so that’s why most of the people are stupid. We have some high international achievements about sciences and technologies, but most of genius people prefer to live in develop countries because our government can’t pay them like other countries do. So many diseases are spreading and so many poor people can’t go to hospital and get medicine. Even some hospital kicked them out without mercy. I’m educated person, I’m 21 years old and I graduated from engineering major, but I’d like to be a housewife when I find someone someday. I’d like to take care and focus on educating my children, rather than being ambitious about my career as an engineer. Because the future of nation depends on its generation. Well, this article makes me interested to marry Polish man so I can get free education for my children. Is there any possibility if I continue my master degree and PhD there without paying any fee?
    Yes, I really agree that there is no reason for Polish people to not have many children.

  8. Same thing happend to me today.
    She needs money to have a child for establishment of social needs.
    I feel sad, I think the whole article is 100% based of facts that in Poland many women evaluate things on money as in the West. Women in the west are like calculators rather than living their life.

  9. The reason why Polish people have less children has nothing to do with money and only a limited person would say that. I am a Polish woman living in the US. I am not in favor of large families, but that is my preference (preference is the key word here). If you think about this logically, the entire argument here is senseless and groundless. There were more children born in Poland when people had less money so obviously money is not the issue and saying so is shortsighted. Money is a concluding factor not it’s premise. There are many other facts at the forefront. Most of this has everything to do with female empowerment. My grandmother spent her life catering to slothful, inebriated husband and taking care of children (and I can provide more examples of this than I can count); Never having the opportunity to get an education, career or see another country. Sorry to break this to you, but yes it is actually important that a woman is more than a baby-maker and maid. Many women in Poland meet the same destiny (catholic religion playing a big portion in the inequality of genders in Poland). I am not saying that some woman are not happy being a mother hen, or that woman are forbidden from pursuing her dreams, but let’s be honest, there is a big gap between not being forbidden something and actually having an opportunity to do it. Today there are more women getting an education and usually woman that get educated have higher standards for life and want more from their future and from the partner they share it with and the children they might potentially have. Gender equality is a myth in Poland. According to the Central Statistical Office on average a woman in Poland makes 23% less than the man counterpart. (US is better, but there are still issues and if you work/ed on Wall Street you should know that). There are more single people than ever before and there are more divorces than ever before (once again independence playing a big part here). All of those issues play a role in the birthrate as it is today. Also, if marriages don’t work out it is the woman that takes care of the children as shown by the amount of single mothers in comparison to single fathers. So add the fact of occupational exclusion, discrimination in the labor marker (try telling your employer that you need to go home because your kid is sick), lack of actual support from governmental authorities, no enforcement of laws that would prevent this issue and generations of women role in society that results in single mothers being threatened with social exclusion and now tell me again why there are less children in Poland born today.

    It is true that poverty lines have decreased. One of the reasons why the poverty lines have decreased in Poland is because people have less children, because kids are expensive and getting more expensive every day. Do you know in which countries there are large families with lots of kids and that is still a preferable model? In those in which half of those children do not survive to the age of adulthood. Those people that say that they are happy with their big families and no money are saying that because what else are they going to be happy about? Do you think anyone would say that they wish one of their children was never born? How off base is that argument? And news flash people tend to embellish the truth. Besides, this planet is over populated. By 2020 we might approach 15 bil. people. And the guy that walks bare foot through life is an fool. It’s not quantity, but quality that counts.

    In regards to “Family Man”, it is a questionable quality movie and American example of prime kitsch that tailors to the base feeling of what we think is right or wrong by what american film makers think will sell more tickets and enforces emotional fallacies. Personally, I have friends that have kids and are happy and friends that don’t and are also happy. Money doesn’t have to make your life shallow. I know people that use their money and time to volunteer instead of having kids and I would not say that their lives are shallow just because they don’t add another human layer to this planet. It’s what you do with money that makes it what it is. If you have more than 3 kids then you are either using some kind of government help (that barely gets you by) or if you do have the means to support (actually support those kids – time being a big one in this) then you should be adopting one without a home not producing them like coca cola bottles in a bottling factory. Besides, what made you an expert of what makes people happy?

    1. The idea that a Polish woman’s lot in life is to be oppressed is absurd. That idea of exploration is largely subjective and based on your conception of relativity. Your view of reality is skewed based the negativity of your grandparents transmitted through your family line.
      Family is a wonderful thing and I hope you someday see this. Roles that we see came about because of one million years of human evolution. There tends to be a division of labor, even if feminist resent this idea. This does not have to be the rule of course but what is so wrong with a Mother being a Mother? Is that oppression? I can not breastfeed and nurture they way my wife can. But I can teach my daughter chess and how to beat the boys at chess.

      You might have New Poles who are exactly the same as New Russians, that try to reinvent the social ideas of family, and stress marriage to their careers and servitude to their bosses at work, rather than a faith centered life, but these people eventually find emptiness.

  10. I have a quick comment that I forgot to add. How can a guy (because the article is obviously written by a man, even though it’s not signed) that worked on Wall Street (as claimed. An obvious career choice) criticize a woman for wanting to achieve the same? You know what you are? You are a misogynistic hypocrite that can’t handle the fact that a woman can be more intelligent and can possibly want the same. Also from the article it is clear you want a housewife that will wipe your nose and nod every time you say something really “profound”. The reason woman don’t have children is because they don’t want to have them with men like you that will soil their children with medieval views. Maybe if you stop looking for a mommy and decide on a woman you will finally find yourself a girlfriend and maybe then you will share a bit of responsibility so she doesn’t have to work around you like a slave. I know plenty of women that want children and have a lot to offer including a degree and yet can’t find a man that would bring equal effort to the equation.

    1. What does a degree or career have anything to do with love? Many women claim they do not understand why they are single? They have degrees and careers and buy the right clothes but are single. The answers easy, these things have nothing to do with love. They are deceptions of a hypermaterialistic ego drive world. I mean do you want to be impressed by some guy because he is a businessman? If I was a girl it would be a turn off. I would want to go for some sincere, humble person who believes that life is about surrending your ego to love.

  11. Sir, do you really know what you are talkig about? Have you ever felt the fear of being unable to feed your children or buy medicine? Come to live in Poland. Try to find a job even if you are well-educated and hard working.
    I am a single parent with two sons, one disabled. I work at least twice as hard as you and still can’t make ends meet. Pour country, hard times, no help from anyone, apart my mother. No holidays, no free time, no hobby, nothing. I am responsible. Child is not a toy. If you were a woman living in Poland, you would think twice before.

    1. I lived in Poland for a decade. I live in Florida now. There are poorer people in Florida. Score of mobile home parks and people do not have the family support that is in Poland. In Poland with a small piece of land you can have a nice garden. Medical is covered in Poland as is education. If you are a single parent I respect your struggles. However, you have to remember it is only the rich countries like Poland and Sweden that have fewer and fewer children. It is the poor countries that people know kids need love and time spent with them rather than money.

      Even us in Florida we have our own potato field in our backyard and garden and getting chickens. This is life. Do you know understand that we all have to take care of ourselves the best way we can. Poland at least you have a rich soil and land to grow things. Here we need to compost and use the fish we catch as fertilizer because the soil is so sandy.

      You can look into building a cordwood home for example. However, land is cheap in Poland and property tax is low.

  12. I don’t know what part of the US you live(d) in but it doesn’t sound like where I’ve been. It sounds more like what it was like when I was a child and many people had those ideals. All around the US the young people are screaming for things to be handed to them. I have children, grandchildren and about 30 something nieces & nephews and grand nieces & nephews. Almost all of them that got married first and then had children waited until they had their jobs all set, the house, 2 cars, etc. I don’t think anything that you said is unique to Poland. I believe it’s global in all industrialized nations. I think it’s the mindset that the younger generations are getting as they pull away from God and things are happening exactly the way the bible said they would.

    1. Every generation of adults remark how different the younger generation is. I remember my parents saying this in the 1970s when I was growing up. But in the US and in Poland there is also a large number of people who believe in God and morality. Life is an existential struggle of meaning and faith. Percentages may change of people who go to the light or dark side but the questions of life are always the same and each person must answer this for themselves.

      1. You are not understanding me, I think. I am simply saying that the attitude of the younger people in Poland (as you said it) is not much different than most of the younger people elsewhere, including the US.

  13. Poland has recently come out of communism. It takes a while for things to even out. The pendulum always swings too far in both directions before it finds the middle ground. Poland will survive, it always has. Look at the nation of Chile. They recently got their freedom also. Things didn’t look so great for a while but now as people find their place it’s beginning to thrive and they have if not the fastest, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. When I was there about 10 yrs ago the US dollar went far. Now, their money is worth more.

  14. You are dead wrong. One of the most selfish things a human being can do is to put another human being on the world without being able to provide material security. Honestly, do you really think the American system is better, where some trailerpark trash breeds like dogs and leave the kids without any chance whatsoever to get ahead in life. And in the long run these kids will be a burden on society. Oh yes, that seems like a fantastic way of doing things.

    I am not Polish, but we have the same mentality in my country. (Somewhere in Northern Europe). And I think thats just the most rational approach.

    1. Money is all that babies care about right? Wrong.
      Children want love not money.

      If someone is poor they are tailer park trash right?
      Wrong. Many of my friends live in trailers (I live in Florida) and the kids are happier than the rich kids whose parents do not spend time with them.

      Bobby Fischer the World chess champion was raised by a sometimes homeless single mother.
      Da Vinci was an illegitimate child.

      When you stand before the Creator, what are you going to say when you destroyed one of his miracles?

      1. Your points are well taken. I, too, am impressed with Poland and the Polish nation and am loathe to see this amazing people disappear in the same demographic winter that is erasing much of Western Europe.
        Mark, your spiritual points are very well presented, also. It is an irreplaceable loss to put materialism above family
        Thanks for your analysis of the problem and willingness to, graciously but cogently, defend your viewpoint

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.