Pope Chides Europe Over Low Birth Rates, "Dangerous Individualism"

In countries like Italy, where many married couples have one or no children, the population is expected to shrink dramatically in a generation or two unless the birth rate increases rapidly. Immigrant populations have generally kept the birth rates from decreasing even more.

Benedict said Europe's population trends, "besides putting economic growth at risk, can also cause enormous difficulties for social cohesion, and, above all, favor dangerous individualism, careless about the consequences for the future."