Danish Town Cuts Deal With Citizens: Make More Babies

If they do, schools and rec centers can stay open
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2015 3:40 PM CST
In this Jan. 14, 2011 file photo, Denmark's future monarchs Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary present their newborn twins in their first public appearance in Copenhagen.   (AP Photo/Polfoto/Finn Frandsen, File)

(Newser) – Denmark has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe at just 1.7 babies per family, and at least in the rural community of Thisted, citizens have agreed to do something about it. With "date night" child care and prize draws for positive pregnancy tests apparently not cutting it, the Thisted council is promising its residents to keep public schools, nurseries, and recreation facilities open provided the populace starts producing more children. "We had a hearing with the local community and asked them what we could do about institutions closing and so few babies being born," the council leader tells the Guardian. "One of the citizens’ organizations suggested this 'deal' as an option."

Denmark has already made headlines for previous calls to the bedroom, including ad campaigns with slogans like "Do it for Denmark!" to encourage people to keep the population from falling. The country's approach is so direct that one 2009 video promoting tourism was pulled because it was deemed too racy, reports Quartz. With a population of just 14,000, the community of Thisted—which does boast good waves and is known as "Cold Hawaii"—is so sparsely populated that one police officer found a hermit living on eggs in the forest for three years, and a candle shop is listed as a top tourist attraction. (Danish couples who get pregnant on vacation can win prizes like free diapers.)

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