Is the fear of having children bringing the West to the brink of extinction?

Jul 9, 2024 by

by David Thunder, Mercator:

We are living at a time when a large segment of the world — particularly societies in Europe, North America and Asia — no longer views having children as something desirable or worthwhile. Whereas before, remaining childless was something people often felt shame over, even if it was through no choice of their own, we are now living at a unique historic moment in which many people proudly broadcast the fact that they have no children as something to celebrate or be proud of.

Of course, there are many people in between, who want to have children, but can’t, for biological reasons, or who want to have children, but just feel too economically squeezed to make it work. But the overall pattern is clear: the more having children becomes undesirable or becomes viewed as “impractical”, the more we are seeing a population implosion.

Many societies across the globe are seeing their average birth rates dip well below population replacement level. This 2021 “Our World in Data” map (based on World Population Prospects data published by the Population division of the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs) indicates that outside of Africa, there is a relatively small handful of countries that continue to have birth rates above replacement level — and in case you’re curious, none of those countries are in Europe or North America, nor do they include Russia, China, Japan, or India.

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