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‘Remarkable’ decline in fertility rates

‘Remarkable’ decline in fertility rates thumbnail

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”.

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.

“It’s a remarkable transition.

“It’s a surprise even to people like myself, the idea that it’s half the countries in the world will be a huge surprise to people.”

Which countries are affected?

More economically developed countries including most of Europe, the US, South Korea and Australia have lower fertility rates.

It does not mean the number of people living in these countries is falling, at least not yet as the size of a population is a mix of the fertility rate, death rate and migration.

It can also take a generation for changes in fertility rate to take hold.

But Prof Murray said: “We will soon be transitioning to a point where societies are grappling with a declining population.”

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

‘We’d rather give our daughter the best of everything’

Rachael Jacobs, 38, of Kent, had her first and only child seven years ago

I’d always focused on my career. When I was pregnant I was still focusing on my career.

I know now that we can survive on what we earn as a family and still go on holiday every year. If we had more than one child we couldn’t go on holiday.

We’d rather give our daughter the best of everything than have multiple children that we can just about feed and clothe.

My partner and I are also thinking about the future. We want to be in a position where we can help her financially with university or housing. I don’t want to ever have to say that she can’t go to a party or have a new Christmas jumper.

Why is the fertility rate falling?

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.

What will the impact be?

Without migration, countries will face ageing and shrinking populations.

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.

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.

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.

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The fertility rate in Niger, west Africa, is 7.1

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 think Japan is very aware of this, they’re facing declining populations, but I don’t think it’s hit many countries in the West, because low fertility has been compensated with migration.

“At a global level there is no migration solution,” Prof Murray says.

But while the change may challenge societies, it may also have environmental benefits given the impact of our species.

What about China?

China has seen huge population growth since 1950, going from around half a billion inhabitants to 1.4 billion.

But it too is facing the challenge of fertility rates, which stood at only 1.5 in 2017, and has recently moved away from its famous one child policy.

The reason developed countries need a fertility rate of 2.1 is because not all children survive to adulthood and babies are ever so slightly more likely to be male than female.

But in China, the report shows for every 100 girls born there were 117 boys which “imply very substantial sex-selective abortion and even the possibility of female infanticide”.

That means even more children need to be born to have a stable population.


23 Comments on "‘Remarkable’ decline in fertility rates"

  1. makati1 on Sun, 11th Nov 2018 6:39 pm 

    The West/North is shrinking. The East/South is growing. The slow contraction of new births is a good thing, but too late.

  2. twocats on Sun, 11th Nov 2018 7:48 pm 

    what are all these children supposed to do? there’s no jobs for them now. take care of the elderly as they suck the last surpluses down their gullets? how much of global population is farming and core manufacturing? how much could that be reduced?

    Almost every job I’ve had is so easy it can and often is/was done easily by 75 yr olds. And if you’re so decrepit you can’t work even 20 hours a week – why would you want to be alive?

    Until the cost of having a child falls to a manageable level, there is obviously little reason to put another body into the meat-grinder of late capitalism.

    the entire way we look at living and a productive economy is so asinine it beggars belief.

  3. I AM THE MOB on Sun, 11th Nov 2018 8:48 pm 

    Don’t worry there are plenty of migrants who can be imported!

    This is what white genocide looks like!


  4. I AM THE MOB on Sun, 11th Nov 2018 8:51 pm 

    The best of times, the worst of times: art in the age of rising white supremacy

  5. Cloggie on Sun, 11th Nov 2018 10:19 pm 

    Receding populations are wonderfull, 1 billion people globally should be the goal, but declining populations should happen everywhere and that is not the case. What is happening in Africa is an absolute disaster and threatens to whipe out any higher form of civilization. And to make it worse, wothin the US you have these George Soros and Michelle Goldberg types…

    …who are using the opportunity to destroy white civilization. Our forum kike mobster perfectly illustrates what their intentions are. They need to be “addressed” in the classical manner:


    Ironically, the fact that the US goes down the drain, because of the actions of the Soros gang, is not necessarilly a bad development from the viewpoint of global white survival. Americans (and Anglos worldwide) do anyway what the gang wants them to do, so a severe weakening of Anglos offers survival opportunities for continental Europe (PBM). Anglosphere is turning into an ever more incompetent and impotent political entity, with an ever more demoralized population. Anglosphere is turning into Orwell’s Oceania. The consequences are that the empire loses the power to dominate, like it could in the middle of the previous century. That’s a marvellous thing, well, from a Eurasian perspective. And then there is DJT, making it painfully clear that the Soros gang is far from invulnerable and that tastes like more. White America is preparing itself for separating itself from Washington and hence the Soros/mobster gang. And Europeans, Russians and Chinese should be standing by to ensure that the coming operation is going to succeed, in everybodies interest (except George Soros of course).

    It’s going to hurt a little.

  6. makati1 on Sun, 11th Nov 2018 10:24 pm 

    National Debt per capita:

    The US – $66,000
    Japan = $10,000
    China – $ 1,800
    Russia – $ 1,200
    The Ps – $ 1,250

    Who is going down the hardest? Slip slidin’…

  7. Cloggie on Sun, 11th Nov 2018 10:29 pm 

    “The best of times, the worst of times: art in the age of rising white supremacy”

    “Unfortunately” the LA-times does not enable its content to be read in Europe, but I can guess the gist.

    Los Angeles, a city known in Europe as one where its new inhabitants shit on the pavement, in line with their evolutionary abilities, can be relieved: they soon will be freed from “white supremacy” and “rrrrrraaaaaycism”, courtesy Eurasia, that will put the entire SW under control of Mexico, again, after Eurasia has separated the waring factions in North-America, that descended into chaos after the demise of DJT.

  8. makati1 on Sun, 11th Nov 2018 10:35 pm 

    BTW: Take a close look at the TOTAL US debt per capita: ~ $218,000. and growing! LMAO

    Or the “Unfunded liabilities”: ~$360,000 per capita and growing.

    Slip slidin’…

  9. Cloggie on Sun, 11th Nov 2018 10:39 pm 

    National Debt per capita:

    The US – $66,000
    Japan = $10,000
    China – $ 1,800
    Russia – $ 1,200
    The Ps – $ 1,250

    GDP (PPP) per capita:

    US – $59,500
    China – $18,000
    Ps – $9,862

    Somehow I would prefer to be an American in the light of these figures (if I were not a European). Even if you subtract 35-40% from US gdp after the demise of the dollar reserve currency, with 40k income you can still service a debt of 66k.

  10. makati1 on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 1:19 am 

    Ah, but most Americans do not make even close to $40K/yr now Cloggie. When the dollar is no longer the major trade medium, the US will devolve into third world status. It will be more than just a cut in buying power It will be the end of America as a nation.

    US Median income NOW = $32,410. not $59,500. (Check the calendar again) as you claim. Drop that by 40% and you are well under the poverty level in the US today at $19,446.gross/year. Take out the 30%+ in taxes and you end up with <$13,612.. The Ps is $2,900.US/$7,600. PPP/yr per capita, with few taxes, mostly on things you buy.

    Not to mention the chaos and killing that will happen in the US when the SHTF and the dollar shrinks drastically or hyper-inflates to worthlessness. Maybe you would be jumping from the Titanic onto the Lusitania if you went to the US? I'm already in the lifeboat with a front row seat to the sinking of USS Debt. LOL

  11. Cloggie on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 2:02 am 

    “US Median income NOW = $32,410. not $59,500. (Check the calendar again) as you claim. ”

    I quoted average, not median income. But you are right. The US is oligarch country, the Walhalla for the globalist rich. In Europe the lower 2/3 are better of than the lower 2/3 in the US.

    Italian median wealth 120k
    US median wealth 50k

    Neverthess, it is still better to be a poor American than a poor Philipino.

  12. makati1 on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 3:43 am 

    Really Cloggie? They still have freedoms here. You and Americans have none, only the shadow of freedom. Here, only a small percentage have any bank connections and even fewer have any loans.

    They may not have much, but what most have is theirs. They are, by far, happier as a people than Americans or Europeans. Kids here can have a nafternoon’s fun kicking a 10 cent balloon around, laughing and enjoying life. They don’t need expensive stuff.

    Westerners want to equator happiness with $$$. That is faux happiness and faux security, as you are going to find out. I made my decision to watch the Western collapse from the Philippine shores over 10 years ago and have no regrets. It was the best decision I have made in my 74 years.

    Now argues with me about what it like here, if you dare. I know. I live here. You do not.

  13. makati1 on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 3:51 am 

    The march to a One World Government continues:

    “UN Member States: Migration Is A Human Right”

    I’m glad I live in a place few want to migrate to. That is a good thing. lol

  14. I AM THE MOB on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 4:10 am 

    Mak and clogg

    We don’t have to pay the entire debt back at once..Just the min payment plus interest..And we can print unlimited money because we have the worlds reserve currency.

    Sorry Grandpa but your scaremongering doesn’t work with younger and more educated people..

  15. Davy on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 4:31 am 


    “The US – $66,000 Japan = $10,000 China – $ 1,800 Russia – $ 1,200 The Ps – $ 1,250”

    Billy, where is the reference for your numbers? You reference is a debt clock and these numbers are not there. Are you being a truth thief?

  16. Davy on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 4:34 am 

    “Italian median wealth 120k US median wealth 50k”

    In Europe the lower 2/3 are better of than the lower 2/3 in the US.”
    Nah, neder, maybe the lower 1/4 but not 2/3, sorry exaggerated.

  17. Davy on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 4:35 am 

    “Really Cloggie? They still have freedoms here. You and Americans have none, only the shadow of freedom.”

    listen to billy stutter. LOL

  18. Davy on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 4:37 am 

    “I’m glad I live in a place few want to migrate to. That is a good thing. lol”

    Billy, you do realize there is no room in the P’s for migration. the place is one of the most overpopulated places in the world. It is already importing food and fuel. You are in trouble if SHTF.

  19. makati1 on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 5:16 pm 

    Loony Davy is back protecting his child killing country. Arguing with statistics. LOL

  20. makati1 on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 5:20 pm 

    MOB, The US debt is NEVER going to be paid back and the rest of the world is starting to realize that fact. It has to borrow the money every year to pay interest due, plus more to pay the $800 billion military budget. That is why the national debt is increasing over $1,000,000,000,000.00 per year.

    Debt is killing America. Government, corporate and personal. The US is a third world country covered up by lies and fake statistics. I escaped that prison over 10 years ago. No debt. No taxes. Real freedom!

  21. I AM THE MOB on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 5:31 pm 

    Parkland shooter registered to vote from jail — as a Republican

  22. boney joe on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 9:20 pm 

    “Los Angeles, a city known in Europe as one where its new inhabitants shit on the pavement.”

    And a European issue. Paris is installing street lavatories to reduce the growing problem with feces and urine.

  23. joe on Tue, 13th Nov 2018 9:57 am 

    Oh well. Same thing happened to the Spartans. In an age of no birth control the Spartans economic and military success caused them to limit the number of children they were having in order to maximise the wealth available to their offspring its like when a wealthy couple have one boy one girl and spend their lives happily in Disney world and spending millions on collage education for their kids.
    Poor people have lots of kids, it helps share the burden of labour and care of the elderly. The net result is that the more successful your lineage is then the more you want to protect it. Ironically it means your numbers will be limited but your domination unassailable, just like white/Greek rule in ancient Egypt, European imperialism and American global domination, but genetic dilution is weakening the grip, Islam is doing its part to provide moral justification for the destruction of the western world it so badly seeks to undermine. Wealth causes greed (hoard power), poverty causes sharing (need to build up social networking and resources to confront and take wealth/power from those who have it).

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