Imagine Italy, and what do you see? You might envision children running through an old town piazza towards a corner gelato shop. For a more accurate picture: Stop, rewind, and erase the kids. Italy is just the most recent of many European nations to discover that its fertility rate is too low to maintain a steady population. Thanks to the emergence of dual-income families and staggering costs of living, few families can afford to raise more than a single child. And Italians aren’t alone. Spain tallied in at a 1.1 children-per-family fertility rate. Sweden, Greece and Germany all suffered from birth rates of 1.4, well below the 2.1 children per family that is considered a steady population replacement rate.

And this spells trouble for more than just European toy producers. With fewer children to support parents, overly generous European pension programs will suffer massive fiscal shortages in the coming years, and today’s children will suffer under enormous tax burdens as they reach their working years.