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Falling total fertility rate should be welcomed, population expert says

By the Guardian

Figures showing declining birth rates are ‘cause for celebration’, not alarmRead full story

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  • Tripti Lahiri
    Tripti LahiriAsia editor at Quartz

    Falling fertility is generally a sign of women having more choice over their bodies and lives. Still, it's hard for communities that risk disappearing entirely--like the Parsis of India--to be quite so sanguine.

  • Chris  long
    Chris longScientist

    I think I have been reading this same article for the last 20 years?

  • William Wood
    William WoodOwner at William Wood

    This article oversimplifies fertility rates. For instance, the Japanese economy has Ben in a malaise since the early 90s, a primary reason is their low fertility rate. The article needed to go into regional fertility rates, and what do they portend. Here in our country, social security is stressed, due to lower fertility rates and a large group retiring.

  • Hannah Leung
    Hannah LeungHighschool Student

    Great article! It’s very interesting to hear this modern point of view. This was a good enrichment from the current grade 9 geography curriculum and it’s crazy to think that the population could possibly reach 10-12 billion in my lifetime.

  • Glenn S.
    Glenn S.

    About time that not having children in these dark times was looked at under positive light. We are well over populated and it has been detrimental to our planet, the food we eat, animal abuse, our own health and the list goes on and on. I knew from an early age that Having children wasn’t something I wanted or would ever want. As I got older I just saw and learned how over population had been destroying our world and how the quality of life has been declining. This gave me more of a reason to not have children.

  • Professor Sarah Harper is a champion for the elderly and I feel like her words here are twisted. The earth is not a spaceship of limited carrying capacity.

    Whether you want to have 0, 2.4, or 10 children is your prerogative. There are just as many people using the women’s rights movement to pursue their own agenda as there are those pushing for increased fertility rates. Choice (without condemnation or manipulation) is always the right way to go.

  • Moé Aye
    Moé Ayeentrepreneur

    The falling fertility rate is due to governments putting their hand in marriage and divorce courts. Men do not want to get married let alone have kids theres no point, at least for men. This decline is in direct correlation with increased vasectomy’s in men. Direct correlation with infidelity, divorce rates, single parent household rates. People like to gamble but not with their entire lives.

  • Robert Hughes
    Robert Hughes

    Many people cannot have families simply because of economics. The notion that less women having kids means that women have more choice is wrong: financial support and tax exemptions need to be implemented if we truly want women to have the freedom to realistically choose the course of their lives.

  • Jason Richards
    Jason Richards

    The United States social programs can't sustain themselves in a declining population. SSI and Medicare and Medicaid depend on a growing working paying incoming population to not go broke. There is 100 trillion $ of currently unfunded liability in those programs. Get rid of those programs and you'll have nothing to worry about as far as declining fertility rates are concerned. It's a much more complicated topic then presented. Just saying.

  • Michael Erisman
    Michael Erisman

    Reading the comments here is frightening, all sounding like Bond villains, or Scrooge. All we need is someone saying “let them die and decrease the surplus population”. As for the issue, if this declining fertility is all the result of changing social decisions about children, then great. If it’s a change in physical fertility (as much of the research shows) then that’s not good.

  • Catherine Tannahill
    Catherine Tannahillprof, teacher

    I've often suspected that many of today's environmentalists would prefer An earth with no human beings, or at least only themselves. Evolution generally indicates that declining fertility means a species is on its way out - think cheetahs.

  • Allison Schrager
    Allison SchragerReporter at Quartz

    + 1 Lots of declining fertility reflects economic advancement of young, Hispanic women.

  • Marc P.
    Marc P.product marketing

    Robots don’t pay taxes. This article, like many, is based in assumption and personal ideology. Birth rates were historically higher because the death rate was higher and demanded by economies that required rural/farming labor. Although, there were little if any social services. Today, economies do not require such a family workforce but we have governments that have created social service dependencies. The math behind that reality dictates a certain birth-rate or there will be a massive economic

    Robots don’t pay taxes. This article, like many, is based in assumption and personal ideology. Birth rates were historically higher because the death rate was higher and demanded by economies that required rural/farming labor. Although, there were little if any social services. Today, economies do not require such a family workforce but we have governments that have created social service dependencies. The math behind that reality dictates a certain birth-rate or there will be a massive economic upheaval since that needs to be paid for in the form of taxes.

  • Mike Smith
    Mike Smith

    Were over populated now So this could be good News or. Bad They start having more because of this?

  • Álisøn Hęnslęr
    Álisøn Hęnslęr

    Seriously. Should’ve happened 10 years ago

  • Louise Sumrell
    Louise Sumrell

    Over-population is a looming threat, equally as dire as global warming.

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