Why aren’t we having enough children to replace ourselves?

Nov 26, 2021 by

The Pew Research Center has just released a study headlined “Growing share of childless adults in US don’t expect to have children.” It is plastered all over legacy media. The Washington Post headline from November 21 is: “More Americans say they’re not planning to have a child, new poll says, as US birthrate declines.”

Yes, there is a birth dearth – big time.

From 1964 to 2018 the global total fertility rate (TFR) plunged from 5.06 to 2.4 (replacement level is 2.1 children per female).

The 2019 TFR in the European Union was 1.53 — from 1.14 in Malta to 1.86 in France.

The US is slightly above 1.6, roughly the same as Russia.

In East Asia, China’s TFR is 1.3; South Korea’s 0.9; Japan’s 1.3; and Taiwan’s 1.1.

India’s TFR hovers just above 2.1 and is declining. Latin America and the Carribean are at 2.0. The continent of Africa has a TFR of 4.2 and falling.

Bottom line: this is the first time in the history of humanity that fertility has declined on a sustained basis.

Why is this happening? Even demographers, who relentlessly track such things, are stumped. Rather than rehash Pew’s research, let’s cut to the chase. Why?

I’ll take a whack at it. Here are some reasons, all interrelated and overlapping, in no particular order:

Read  here

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