Yale University Press book: fertility rates are in decline worldwide

I saw this article about a Yale University Press book on demographics, posted at Yale University’s web site.


It’s no surprise that the world’s population is at an all-time high – exceeding 7 billion – although many might not know that it increased by 5 billion during the past century alone, rising from less than 2 billion in 1914. And many people would be surprised – even shocked –  to know that over the past three decades, fertility rates have plummeted in many parts of the world, including China, Japan and even significant regions of India.

These Asian giants have not been alone. In much of Europe, North America, East Asia and elsewhere, the average number of children born to women during the course of their childbearing years has fallen to unprecedentedly low levels.

Our new book, The Global Spread of Fertility Decline: Population, Fear, and Uncertainty (Yale University Press, 2013) analyzes these trends and the demographic, political and economic consequences and uncertainties as low fertility has become a global phenomenon. Like other facets of globalization, low fertility rates are by no means universal: High fertility persists in sub-Saharan Africa and in parts of the Middle East, but elsewhere low fertility is more the rule than the exception. These underlying trends in childbearing mean that in the near future the rate of population growth both in Europe and Asia are likely to decline. The world is not on a path of unrestrained demographic growth, as some believe. People all over the world have hit the brakes.

It’s strange because a lot of people on the secular left are worried about overpopulation, which is one of the factors causing them to push for abortion – and even subsidized abortion.

6 thoughts on “Yale University Press book: fertility rates are in decline worldwide”

  1. Reblogged this on Patriactionary and commented:
    Counter-intuitive; most interesting.

    Notice that ‘high fertility persists in sub-Saharan Africa and in parts of the Middle East’.


  2. Hey WK, as far as I can tell, most people – especially young ones – just don’t understand the importance of “be fruitful and multiply.” I’ve been working on a quick little statement to help explain the problem, I was wondering what you thought of it?
    – War kills off a significant portion of the young men(and a pretty good part of the civilian population), which means there is a dearth of people to do productive labor, which means sooner or later we have less people to do productive labor and less wealth is generated.
    – War also destroys a large part of civilian property, requiring large sums of money to rebuild things; money that can no longer be used towards new businesses, inventions, cool things, the children, etc.
    – Late childbirth and/or failure to have children results in less young people to do productive labor and generate wealth(when the future generation starts working), which means far less future wealth over all.
    – Late childbirth and/or failure to have children results in a large amount of old people in comparison to the young, meaning that a large part of each person’s income(likely through taxes) will go towards elderly health care and taking care of them. This money will no longer be spent on new businesses, inventions, cool things, etc.

    Therefore, our failure to have sufficient children in a timely manner is effectively a war we’re waging on ourselves, just time-release like one of those headache pills. Or so I’m trying to argue. Is there anything you would suggest to add or subtract? Is my reasoning correct? Do you know about the total financial cost of either in terms of dollar amounts?


    1. There is a certain amount of truth to this. A growing, thriving economy and prosperous society needs a growing population. Not just replacement, but growth. There are many areas in which low fertility hurts a society, but economics is certainly one of them, and perhaps the strongest of them.


      1. It does but babies require income and 50% underemployment among young people means no population growth.

        As I stated above I am somewhat surprised birth rates are as high as they are

        In the US for example, the average wage won’t pay for a house where work is and decent people rightly say or maybe act unconsciously and end up with “I am not living in an apartment so the elite can prosper from my baby.” Its quite dysgenic actually and part of the cause of fairly radical and bad population changes and the recent immigrant flood.

        The people won’t cooperate, we’ll bring in new ones and replace the US with Central America (or Europe with Eurabia or whatever, same impulse) Its a stopgap measure though and in the end will only result in hardship. It also risks something that makes the Terror look like Mr. Rodgers but thats another matter,


    2. I have to disagree, the reaction people are having, less children is a sound reaction to a poorly functional system.

      Take Europe 25% of the European young people are living on the dole or a very meager income and another 50% don’t make very much money all things considered. They cannot afford a decent family life and have no obligation to help the rich by popping out favela babies or living in crud conditions so that other can benefit.

      The fact that birth rates are as high as they (nearish replacement among Whites in most places) are tell me people want kids mostly, that the Christian impetus of fruitfulness is there under the surface but they simply lack the wherewithal.

      And note too, the main cost, a decent place to live at an affordable cost is not possible in Europe do to population density. Even expelling every foreigner won’t work, there isn’t enough land in any place where there is work.

      Essentially urbanization is having its normal effect as it has since cities, they are a population sink with the fly in the ointment provided by birth control and in some places like Japan screwed up gender roles (the pill has only been there less than a decade and they birth rate is like 1.0)

      Complicating matters is the fact that wealth is not much generated by labor or by people having children these days. The goods that make up wealth are made in highly automated factories and as such, demand is what’s lacking not labor.

      Now many services still need to be done by machines but that’s changing and we aren’t that many years out from from everything being able to be done cheaper, faster and better by machines.

      Every time you make a call and use the automated call manager, you are talking to a robot that is replacing a human and this is spreading into every trade, retail clerk, security, wait staff, travel agent all that

      This labor glut will allow for unprecedented wage arbitrage and as such the natural short term thinking of any business cut what you can means everyone will be paid less and you’ll get a deflationary spiral.

      The current solution to this is stuff like zero interest rate policy, a welfare state and mass government spending along with some daft immigration policies to make up for the lopsided retirement markets (and to rig Leftist vts of course)

      This won’t work since its not possible to generate enough money to create real demand and the political rivalries mean that sooner or later, someone pulls the plug.

      This means basically the only way out of the trap is significant population decline or some means to ensure that a decent standard of living is had by all. The risk of course is immigration pushed by greedy treasonous elites and if that can be managed, the natural effects of population decline will correct maybe at half or less of current numbers


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