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In several countries in Eastern Europe, populations are shrinking. The world’s ten fastest shrinking populations are all in Central and Eastern Europe. Governments are concerned about the negative impact of population decline – and population ageing – on the economy, social systems, infrastructure, and even national security.

But what are the real causes of population decline? What are the consequences? And what does this mean for the policy responses we need to tackle this phenomenon? These brief Q&As provide answers to these questions and dispel some common myths and misconceptions.