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And the effects of the years of the 35 hour week in France show the cause of low birth rates is long work hours and cut benefits - not religious fervour or the lack of it

Reader comment on item: Muslim Europe

Submitted by Duncan McFarlane (United Kingdom), Jun 7, 2010 at 17:16

What's more when there was a 35-hour week in France and increased benefits for families with three or more children the birth rate rose significantly. That suggests the reason for the declining birth rate in Europe is nothing to do with the theory that Christianity in Europe is "faltering" while Islam remains "robust". It suggests it has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with increased work hours and over-time demanded by employers and cuts in the welfare state - that and the relative wealth and education of established families relative to immigrant ones. That also suggests that 2nd and 3rd generations born from Muslim immigrant families will become more secular and have less children - just like the 2nd and 3rd generations of every wave of immigrants.

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