Birth In Reverse

People today aren’t making babies like they used to. Based on the research done in a recent report on global fertility from 1950 to 2017, people around the world are giving birth to fewer children than ever before. The impact this could have on society is significant, and possibly catastrophic.

According to the report, on average, women in the 1950s gave birth to 4.7 children over the course of their lifetime.  In 2017, that figure was a shocking 2.4 children, pretty much half of what it once was.

What this means is that half of the world’s populations are on a ”baby bust”. Residents are not giving birth to the required amount of children to maintain populations.

Based on current patterns and trends, there will be few children, and many people over the age of 65. These numbers are difficult to sustain globally.  Picture a society with more grandparents than there are grandchildren.

At some level however, the declining fertility rate is also a sign of some progress. More children are living long enough to make it adulthood, so a person has less of a need to give birth as often in order to have the family they always dreamed of.

It is also a sign that we have more access to employment, to educational opportunities for women, as well as to contraception. Back in the day, none of these things would have been possible.

When it comes to the environment, the decline in fertility rates could also be beneficial. It could buy us time as we try to solve issues such as global hunger and climate change.

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