Danes in a rural municipality have agreed to make enough babies over the next few years to keep public services open.
Thisted’s local council has promised not to close schools, nurseries and leisure facilities – provided enough new children are produced to fill them, the Guardian reported.
The promise to procreate is a last resort for the Danes, after “date night” childcare, ad campaigns and lucky draws with prizes for women with positive pregnancy tests failed to boost the country’s flagging birth rate.
Lars Sloth, director of Thisted council, said: “We had a hearing with the local community and asked them what we could do about institutions closing and so few babies being born. One of the citizens’ organisations suggested this ‘deal’ as an option.”
Denmark’s birth rate is one of the lowest in Europe, with 1.7 children born per family, but in Thisted the rate is lower still, with just 1.6 babies per family, the council said.
Many young people in Thisted, which has a population of 14,000, leave for university, and few return after graduating, the newspaper said.
“Young people prefer towns these days,” Sloth said.
Those embarking on the procreation project will find little in Thisted to distract them.
In 2007, a police officer discovered a hermit who had been living in the forest for three years on eggs, untroubled by anyone, and the region’s tourist website lists a candle shop as one of the area’s top three attractions.
Sloth said: “Many are very excited about the new plan.”
Young couples are the biggest enthusiasts about the task awaiting them, he said.
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