Mr Orban said that "for the West", the answer to falling birth rates in Europe was immigration: "For every missing child, there should be one coming in and then the numbers will be fine. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47192612

In this sentence, Is "missing child" used literally('The child who goes away or is taken away somewhere where nobody can find them') or as figurative expression?

  • 2
    Here it means the child who's birth would be expected if the birth rate were higher. That child can't be found because the birth rate is actually falling.
    – user105719
    Feb 6, 2020 at 8:11

1 Answer 1


The context suggests that "missing child" does not mean a child that has gone away.

The context is "Low birth rates in European countries" This means that fewer children are being born. In the past a family might have 3 children. Now they only have 1 or 2. The children who would have been born if the birth rate was higher are the "missing children"

It implies there is a correct birth rate, and the current birth rate is too low. But if there is high enough immigration this isn't a problem.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .