Jump to content
smac97

‘Remarkable’ decline in fertility rates

Recommended Posts

Here:

Quote

There has been a remarkable global decline in the number of children women are having, say researchers.

Their report found fertility rate falls meant nearly half of countries were now facing a "baby bust" - meaning there are insufficient children to maintain their population size.

The researchers said the findings were a "huge surprise".

And there would be profound consequences for societies with "more grandparents than grandchildren".

Well, I have six kids.  I hope my grandchildren will outnumber me and the other three grandparents.

Quote

How big has the fall been?

The study, published in the Lancet, followed trends in every country from 1950 to 2017.

In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime. The fertility rate all but halved to 2.4 children per woman by last year.

But that masks huge variation between nations.

The fertility rate in Niger, west Africa, is 7.1, but in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus women are having one child, on average.

In the UK, the rate is 1.7, similar to most Western European countries.

How high does the fertility rate have to be?

The total fertility rate is the average number of children a woman gives birth to in their lifetime (it's different to the birth rate which is the number of children born per thousand people each year).

Whenever a country's rate drops below approximately 2.1 then populations will eventually start to shrink (this "baby bust" figure is significantly higher in countries which have high rates of death in childhood).

At the start of the study, in 1950, there were zero nations in this position.

Prof Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, told the BBC: "We've reached this watershed where half of countries have fertility rates below the replacement level, so if nothing happens the populations will decline in those countries.

Here's a graphic:

_104243240_global_fertility_rates_gra640

Wow.

Quote

Half the world's nations are still producing enough children to grow, but as more countries advance economically, more will have lower fertility rates.

...

The fall in fertility rate is not down to sperm counts or any of the things that normally come to mind when thinking of fertility.

Instead it is being put down to three key factors:

  • Fewer deaths in childhood meaning women have fewer babies
  • Greater access to contraception
  • More women in education and work

In many ways, falling fertility rates are a success story.

Hard to argue with this.  Mixed blessings here, I think.

Quote

What will the impact be?

Without migration, countries will face ageing and shrinking populations.

A good number of problems will go along with this.

Quote

Dr George Leeson, director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, says that does not have to be a bad thing, as long as the whole of society adjusts to the massive demographic change.

A lot of wiggle room in that "as long as."

Quote

He told the BBC: "Demography impacts on every single aspect of our lives, just look out of your window at the people on the streets, the houses, the traffic, the consumption, it is all driven by demography.

"Everything we plan for is not just driven by the numbers in the population, but also the age structure and that is changing, so fundamentally we haven't got our heads around it."

He thinks workplaces are going to have to change and even the idea of retiring at 68, the current maximum in the UK, will be unsustainable.

In other words, we'll be working far longer than we do now.  Because we aren't having enough kids to replace us to work, pay taxes, serve in the military, etc.

Quote

The report, part of the Global Burden of Diseases analysis, says affected countries will need to consider increasing immigration, which can create its own problems, or introducing policies to encourage women to have more children, which often fail.

Government-mandated stuff about having - or not having - kids never seems to work out well.

Quote

Report author Prof Murray argues: "On current trends there will be very few children and lots of people over the age of 65 and that's very difficult to sustain global society.

"Think of all the profound social and economic consequences of a society structured like that with more grandparents than grandchildren.

I wonder if we may end up turing to automation/robots as a stopgap.  I think that's likely.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Are they saying that women are choosing to have fewer babies, or that women aren't able to have as many babies as those in earlier decades?  The use of the term 'fertility rates' is confusing to me as I've always seen that used to gauge whether or not a woman could have a baby, not whether or not she chose to.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
12 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Are they saying that women are choosing to have fewer babies,

Yes, I think that is what they are saying.

12 minutes ago, bluebell said:

or that women aren't able to have as many babies as those in earlier decades?  

Nope.  From the article: 

Quote

The fall in fertility rate is not down to sperm counts or any of the things that normally come to mind when thinking of fertility.

Instead it is being put down to three key factors:

  • Fewer deaths in childhood meaning women have fewer babies
  • Greater access to contraception
  • More women in education and work

It doesn't seem to be about physical capacity to conceive.  It appears to be more about choice.

12 minutes ago, bluebell said:

The use of the term 'fertility rates' is confusing to me as I've always seen that used to gauge whether or not a woman could have a baby, not whether or not she chose to.

As I understand it, "fertility rate" is a term of art, and is used to describe the average number of children born in given grouping.  It is usually expressed in the ratio of live births to the number of women.

Thanks,

-Smac

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

With dual income households now an economic necessity for so many and the rising costs of childcare, medical care, and eventually the costs of higher education for children this result was basically inevitable.

The economically wise thing to do:

family_decals.png

If we want to change behaviors we need to change the incentives.

I don't follow.  "The incentives" to do . . . what?  Have children, or not have children?

Thanks,

-Smac

Share this post


Link to post
Just now, smac97 said:

I don't follow.  "The incentives" to do . . . what?  Have children, or not have children?

Thanks,

-Smac

Both. We have an economy and wages that make raising a family on a single income impractical. If both parents work you probably eat up half or more of one of the incomes in childcare. God help you if you have lots of children that need paid childcare. The rational economic move is to not have children unless you are very wealthy. Fortunately the rational is often beaten by biological drives but having more then one or two children can be economically ruinous.

The bright side is that declining growth rates will mean a decline in the power of capital and greater bargaining power for employees which may end up correcting the imbalance as earning power rises.

Technology is the wild card. If improvements in technology simultaneously weaken the value of labor then our economy and society will have to re-evaluate its future and a new economic paradigm will have to be implemented......or we descend into a dystopia.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Here in happy first world America, I figure the invisible hand will take care of things pretty well.  Instead of N-medical/hospice/elderlycare workers per 1000 workers, we'll move to N+3%.  Social Security might bankrupt the nation and plunge the entire global economic system into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but it's more likely that China'll just take over as the world's top superpower and the American empire will continue it's slow decline across the next few centuries, as empires tend to do.  You can still find Great Britain, Spain, Rome, Greece, Turkey, and what remains of every other massive powerful empire that hit it's prime.  

I'm not too worried.  Got a kid going into the medical field.  

Edited by LoudmouthMormon

Share this post


Link to post
10 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

With dual income households now an economic necessity for so many and the rising costs of childcare, medical care, and eventually the costs of higher education for children this result was basically inevitable.

The economically wise thing to do:

family_decals.png

If we want to change behaviors we need to change the incentives.

Exactly.

I see this with my kids and their kids.

You either leave the kids - even babies- with strangers or just don't have kids.  It takes  two salaries just to subsist.

The problem is  that most of the population neither wants  to change the incentives OR the behaviors, and I  don't think it possible for a tiny fraction of the population like us to do so.

They want the toys and big house  instead of kids, and looking at  the rate of return-homers we have even with adult children we baby boomers are still parenting adults while having grandchildren.

Where did all those "empty nests" and "golden years" go anyway??  ;)

 

Share this post


Link to post
23 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Both. We have an economy and wages that make raising a family on a single income impractical. If both parents work you probably eat up half or more of one of the incomes in childcare. God help you if you have lots of children that need paid childcare. The rational economic move is to not have children unless you are very wealthy. Fortunately the rational is often beaten by biological drives but having more then one or two children can be economically ruinous.

The bright side is that declining growth rates will mean a decline in the power of capital and greater bargaining power for employees which may end up correcting the imbalance as earning power rises.

Technology is the wild card. If improvements in technology simultaneously weaken the value of labor then our economy and society will have to re-evaluate its future and a new economic paradigm will have to be implemented......or we descend into a dystopia.

And then we have taxes....

California now pays $1. per gallon in gas taxes with promises  to use it to fix roads- and instead it goes to the politician's favorite pork barrel projects. 

We had a proposition on the recent ballot to repeal some of the additional gas taxes that have been passed- and millions were spent characterizing it as dangerous because the health of California would be in jeopardy because ambulances would be driving on bad roads and would not be able to get people to hospitals etc- and first responders could not get through.

The stupid electorate bought the argument even though  when asked in polls if they wanted to repeal the gas tax, the repeal was overwhelmingly supported.

California has some of the worst roads I have ever seen outside of a third world country and yet the price of gas is second only to Hawaii where all the gasoline has to be brought in by tanker.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2018-06-20/the-10-states-with-the-highest-average-gas-prices

Right now the  gas prices are hovering just below $4. in most places but well  above $4. in certain areas.

The politicians lie about the propositions and  the electorate  never questions the political correctness of what they are  told.

GRRRRR.  

And those are only the GAS taxes....

Edited by mfbukowski
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
25 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Both. We have an economy and wages that make raising a family on a single income impractical. If both parents work you probably eat up half or more of one of the incomes in childcare. God help you if you have lots of children that need paid childcare. The rational economic move is to not have children unless you are very wealthy. Fortunately the rational is often beaten by biological drives but having more then one or two children can be economically ruinous.

The bright side is that declining growth rates will mean a decline in the power of capital and greater bargaining power for employees which may end up correcting the imbalance as earning power rises.

Technology is the wild card. If improvements in technology simultaneously weaken the value of labor then our economy and society will have to re-evaluate its future and a new economic paradigm will have to be implemented......or we descend into a dystopia.

Hmm.  I have six children.  Our kids-specific expenses (additional food, school expenses, sundries, etc.) seem to be not particularly horrible, at least as compared to "sunk costs" we would incur anyway (housing, utilities, transportation, etc.).

It sure would be nice to see the initial expense of having children go down.  Paying $5,000-$10,000 in out-of-pocket costs (after insurance) for a healthy, complications-free pregnancy/labor/delivery was quite a challenge.

Thanks,

-Smac

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Here:

Well, I have six kids.  I hope my grandchildren will outnumber me and the other three grandparents.

Here's a graphic:

_104243240_global_fertility_rates_gra640

Wow.

Hard to argue with this.  Mixed blessings here, I think.

A good number of problems will go along with this.

A lot of wiggle room in that "as long as."

In other words, we'll be working far longer than we do now.  Because we aren't having enough kids to replace us to work, pay taxes, serve in the military, etc.

Government-mandated stuff about having - or not having - kids never seems to work out well.

I wonder if we may end up turing to automation/robots as a stopgap.  I think that's likely.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

So much for neo-Malthusian alarmism, eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

The fertility rate in Niger, west Africa, is 7.1

Fertility rate is not the only factor to consider.  Life expectancy might help explain high fertility rates over there.  When you factor in malaria, yellow fever, meningittis, AIDS, schistosomiasis, malnutrition, etc. etc. etc. a VERY large percentage of those poor children do not reach adulthood. 

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe we're getting to the end of the spirits destined for this earth.

If we believe in the scriptures there will be a final person born on the earth before the earth is celestialized.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

How do you have 3.5 children? 😉

This most likely would have some impact on the growth of the church and on the number of missionaries sent out. 

Edited by JAHS

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Here in happy first world America, I figure the invisible hand will take care of things pretty well.  Instead of N-medical/hospice/elderlycare workers per 1000 workers, we'll move to N+3%.  Social Security might bankrupt the nation and plunge the entire global economic system into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but it's more likely that China'll just take over as the world's top superpower and the American empire will continue it's slow decline across the next few centuries, as empires tend to do.  You can still find Great Britain, Spain, Rome, Greece, Turkey, and what remains of every other massive powerful empire that hit it's prime.  

I'm not too worried.  Got a kid going into the medical field.  

We could give up trying to be the Rome of the modern world (without the tributes Rome got I might add) and downsize our military and pay for everything with ease. Downside is that the world becomes a much more dangerous place but it is mostly dangerous for other people. Not sure about that solution.

2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Exactly.

I see this with my kids and their kids.

You either leave the kids - even babies- with strangers or just don't have kids.  It takes  two salaries just to subsist.

The problem is  that most of the population neither wants  to change the incentives OR the behaviors, and I  don't think it possible for a tiny fraction of the population like us to do so.

They want the toys and big house  instead of kids, and looking at  the rate of return-homers we have even with adult children we baby boomers are still parenting adults while having grandchildren.

Where did all those "empty nests" and "golden years" go anyway??  ;)

On the bright side maybe the kids will be stuck at home long enough to have to care for the parents when Social Security further diminishes to repay their parents later.

2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

And then we have taxes....

California now pays $1. per gallon in gas taxes with promises  to use it to fix roads- and instead it goes to the politician's favorite pork barrel projects. 

We had a proposition on the recent ballot to repeal some of the additional gas taxes that have been passed- and millions were spent characterizing it as dangerous because the health of California would be in jeopardy because ambulances would be driving on bad roads and would not be able to get people to hospitals etc- and first responders could not get through.

The stupid electorate bought the argument even though  when asked in polls if they wanted to repeal the gas tax, the repeal was overwhelmingly supported.

California has some of the worst roads I have ever seen outside of a third world country and yet the price of gas is second only to Hawaii where all the gasoline has to be brought in by tanker.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2018-06-20/the-10-states-with-the-highest-average-gas-prices

Right now the  gas prices are hovering just below $4. in most places but well  above $4. in certain areas.

The politicians lie about the propositions and  the electorate  never questions the political correctness of what they are  told.

GRRRRR.  

And those are only the GAS taxes....

California is spending way too much time buffering special interests from taxation. You have people paying less then 10% of the property taxes their next door neighbor is in perpetuity. If you want to have a market you cannot freeze people out of it as special exceptions and still expect it to work.

If only the immigration hardliners about keeping all laws enforced strictly felt that way about taxation we would solve a ton of problems. Investing money into the IRS is basically a no-brainer. At the current level for every dollar you put into enforcement you get more then a dollar in revenue. We do not budget for it because there are people who desperately do not want tax law enforced. In a civilized country these people would be called criminals.

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Hmm.  I have six children.  Our kids-specific expenses (additional food, school expenses, sundries, etc.) seem to be not particularly horrible, at least as compared to "sunk costs" we would incur anyway (housing, utilities, transportation, etc.).

It sure would be nice to see the initial expense of having children go down.  Paying $5,000-$10,000 in out-of-pocket costs (after insurance) for a healthy, complications-free pregnancy/labor/delivery was quite a challenge.

Thanks,

-Smac

And many people can make it work. I am one of seven children and like being in a large family. But not everyone can make it work. Without a religious imperative would you have had six children and taken that risk?

1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

So much for neo-Malthusian alarmism, eh?

It is a little early to pass judgement on this yet but if current trends continue and the world as a whole develops the problem should solve itself. It will cause different problems but that is the story of human history and I doubt we will get out of it until the King returns.

1 hour ago, juliann said:

There will never be a resolution until “fertility” is acknowledged to be about women. I find it mind boggling that it is treated as a societal or even a “we” matter. It is women who bear the burden in an unfriendly work environment and lack of child care services. And now women can control their bodies rather than the state and men. Reading these articles, it is apparent the message hasn’t gotten through. 

True, but the solution will have to involve everyone. Assuming we bother to solve the problem. I won't hold my breath.

24 minutes ago, JAHS said:

How do you have 3.5 children? 😉

This most likely would have some impact on the growth of the church and on the number of missionaries sent out. 

I would do my part but the gospel frowns on fathering ******* children. If you can get that gospel law rescinded I will try to help as best I can.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Probably a good thing.  This means more spirits who are waiting for a body might have their arrival delayed for a better world after the wicked are destroyed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, carbon dioxide said:

Probably a good thing.  This means more spirits who are waiting for a body might have their arrival delayed for a better world after the wicked are destroyed.

Still really curious who gets to be the last person born on this earth.

Share this post


Link to post

IIRC, the Roman Empire had the same problem. Maybe its time to resurrect the Lex Papia Poppaea. Dispense with the punitive parts and focus on the tax breaks and monetary rewards for having children. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, smac97 said:

Hmm.  I have six children.  Our kids-specific expenses (additional food, school expenses, sundries, etc.) seem to be not particularly horrible, at least as compared to "sunk costs" we would incur anyway (housing, utilities, transportation, etc.).

It sure would be nice to see the initial expense of having children go down.  Paying $5,000-$10,000 in out-of-pocket costs (after insurance) for a healthy, complications-free pregnancy/labor/delivery was quite a challenge.

Thanks,

-Smac

Health insurance pricing has also changed since Obamacare making it more expensive for large families. We pay $2000 a month with my spouses small business. His company covers employees 100 percent but spouses and children are priced individually and covered 100 percent by the employee. More and more companies have less family friendly family coverage.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, bsjkki said:

Health insurance pricing has also changed since Obamacare making it more expensive for large families. We pay $2000 a month with my spouses small business. His company covers employees 100 percent but spouses and children are priced individually and covered 100 percent by the employee. More and more companies have less family friendly family coverage.

 

Off topic, but on insurance. My wife and I cover our own insurance cost. Just got a quote - $2000/month for both of us with a $15,000 deductible that must be paid first before insurance will pay for anything. So we get to pay $39,000 per year before insurance begins. Not only does this want me to wring Obama/Dems neck, but it makes me want to beat the Repubs over the head who have done nothing to make insurance affordable again. We have chosen to go without insurance. 

Edited by Storm Rider
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
48 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Off topic, but on insurance. My wife and I cover our own insurance cost. Just got a quote - $2000/month for both of us with a $15,000 deductible that must be paid first before insurance will pay for anything. So we get to pay $39,000 per year before insurance begins. Not only does this want me to wring Obama/Dems neck, but it makes me want to beat the Repubs over the head who have done nothing to make insurance affordable again. We have chosen to go without insurance. 

Sorry. That is tough. 😪

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, The Nehor said:

We could give up trying to be the Rome of the modern world (without the tributes Rome got I might add) and downsize our military and pay for everything with ease. Downside is that the world becomes a much more dangerous place but it is mostly dangerous for other people. Not sure about that solution.

On the bright side maybe the kids will be stuck at home long enough to have to care for the parents when Social Security further diminishes to repay their parents later.

California is spending way too much time buffering special interests from taxation. You have people paying less then 10% of the property taxes their next door neighbor is in perpetuity. If you want to have a market you cannot freeze people out of it as special exceptions and still expect it to work.

If only the immigration hardliners about keeping all laws enforced strictly felt that way about taxation we would solve a ton of problems. Investing money into the IRS is basically a no-brainer. At the current level for every dollar you put into enforcement you get more then a dollar in revenue. We do not budget for it because there are people who desperately do not want tax law enforced. In a civilized country these people would be called criminals.

And many people can make it work. I am one of seven children and like being in a large family. But not everyone can make it work. Without a religious imperative would you have had six children and taken that risk?

It is a little early to pass judgement on this yet but if current trends continue and the world as a whole develops the problem should solve itself. It will cause different problems but that is the story of human history and I doubt we will get out of it until the King returns.

True, but the solution will have to involve everyone. Assuming we bother to solve the problem. I won't hold my breath.

I would do my part but the gospel frowns on fathering ******* children. If you can get that gospel law rescinded I will try to help as best I can.

Property taxes in CA can go up a couple of percent a year while prices can go up many more percent.  Seniors who owned their property a long time were having to sell their houses because they appreciated so much and the taxes grew with the appreciation- but not inflation- so the taxes were going up at double the inflation rate or much higher.  My house has appreciated 500% in the last 30 years.  So the law was passed - Proposition 13 in 1978 iirc that your property taxes would only go up at a low fixed amount- at first it was 1% - as long as you owned the house BUT the house is re-assessed when it is sold at the price for which it sold.  To me, with other taxes being so high- sales tax here is 11% -  so you pay more than tithing on everything you buy.  And that hits poor folks hard because they spend nearly their whole income just to survive.  State income tax runs around 10, and then we still get Federal taxes like everyone else.

So yes- I pay much less for my property taxes than my neighbors because I have been here so long, and they would have been 500% more than they were when we bought if that was not the case.  But that is the way the law works- and it no longer prices seniors out of the homes they have owned for their entire lives while they are on fixed incomes.

And Utah would have even more California refugee seniors if the property taxes went up.  :)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...