Thursday 16 July 2020

'Jaw-dropping' global crash in birth rates


'Japan's population is projected to fall from a peak of 128 million in 2017 to less than 53 million by the end of the century.
`Italy is expected to see an equally dramatic population crash from 61 million to 28 million over the same timeframe.'

This is from a BBC article headlined

Fertility rate: 'Jaw-dropping' global crash in children being born

about some research by American researchers, published in the Lancet

Of course scientists are nowadays required to make a progressive political point and these oblige.

Prof Stein Emil Vollset sternly warned: 

"Responding to population decline is likely to become an overriding policy concern in many nations, but must not compromise efforts to enhance women's reproductive health or progress on women's rights."
It would seem to illustrate the truth of Catholic (and until about 1930 Anglican) teaching on contraception and on the role of women. Birth rates have plummeted in Iran, which is not feminist but where thirty percent of married women nowadays go out to work. The Iranian state encourages birth control and organises compulsory classes on it for both men and women. They are now below replacement rates in Saudi Arabia, where women also go out to work and have interesting jobs.

Israelis, by contrast, are the one developed nation who are having children.

Perhaps this is a clue. Israeli Jews are at war, love their country and way of life and know it's under threat unless they have big families. European countries don't know this. I don't know if Saudis and Iranians care about their countries' way of life. 


  1. Modern society offers people a lot of options that are, to most people, much more attractive than having large families. Birth rates are low because people are having the number of children they want to have - one, or at most two.

    I don't think any pro-natalist policies are going to change that very much. The best we can hope for is to slow down the rate of decline but I suspect that declining populations are something we're going to have to learn to live with.

    Immigration won't help because demographic collapse is going to happen everywhere.

    In a modern society there is just no way to make large families attractive.

    To increase fertility rates above replacement levels would probably require the complete destruction of modern society, which in my view would be worse than having a declining population.

  2. Isn't Israel's high Jewish fertility mostly a product of the incredibly high fertility rates of Orthodox Jews? Which in the long run (for better or worse) is going to make Israel a country that will bear little resemblance to Israel today.

  3. Surveys show, according to Douglas Murray, that most mothers would like three children could they afford them. Yes the religious Israeli Jews are having most children but I know one British Jew who lives in Israel who tells me he doesn't believe in God but keeps all the religious rules and has four children for the sake of Jewry.

  4. Yes Israel is already changing, becoming more religious and less socialist. Bibi and the Likud are no longer on the right-wing fringe but in the middle.

  5. Orthodox communities in New York State also have families with 10-12 kids — families that end up being a financial drain on the state. Orthodox communities often resist vaccinations, then report outbreaks of disease like measles. Most would not view the Orthodox way as a panacea for declining birth rates.

    1. If they have 10-12 children surely that is the panacea for declining birth rates.