Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Links, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Interesting Recent Articles on the Ongoing Global Demographic Decline

Interesting Recent Articles on the Ongoing Global Demographic Decline

Recently, I came across a number of articles about the ongoing demographic decline in developed countries all over the world. FYI- I plan to write a short series about this topic soon.

Link # 1: The End of Babies

If any country should be stocked with babies, it is Denmark. The country is one of the wealthiest in Europe. New parents enjoy 12 months’ paid family leave and highly subsidized day care. Women under 40 can get state-funded in vitro fertilization. But Denmark’s fertility rate, at 1.7 births per woman, is roughly on par with that of the United States. A reproductive malaise has settled over this otherwise happy land. It’s not just Danes. Fertility rates have been dropping precipitously around the world for decades — in middle-income countries, in some low-income countries, but perhaps most markedly, in rich ones. Declining fertility typically accompanies the spread of economic development, and it is not necessarily a bad thing. At its best, it reflects better educational and career opportunities for women, increasing acceptance of the choice to be child-free, and rising standards of living.

Link # 2: The Global Fertility Crash

While the global average fertility rate was still above the rate of replacement—technically 2.1 children per woman—in 2017, about half of all countries had already fallen below it, up from 1 in 20 just half a century ago. For places such as the U.S. and parts of Western Europe, which historically are attractive to migrants, loosening immigration policies could make up for low birthrates. In other places, more drastic policy interventions may be called for. Most of the available options place a high burden on women, who’ll be relied upon not only to bear children but also to help fill widening gaps in the workforce. Each of the following indicators tells a part of the global fertility story: not just how many babies women have on average, but also how well women are integrated into the workforce, what slice of the income pie they receive, and level of educational attainment.

Link # 3: Armenia’s Looming Demographic Crisis

The sharp drop in births seen in 2001 has continued for another decade. In addition, the births are heavily weighted toward male children (15% more males than females). One can easily understand the additional strain this will cause by 2030 in family formations. Diasporan communities being formed today, who are prospering in their host nations, offers no guarantees of repatriation to Armenia, or even of having close ties with a country their parents chose to leave. The first 30 years of independence set in motion a demographic crisis so deep and lasting that it is unclear whether anything can be done today to rectify it. The resulting national security issues for Armenia are so serious as to jeopardize the viability of the country for the next 30 years.

Link # 4: How to Overcome Losing 600,000 People a Year

A banner at a traffic roundabout urges onlookers to marry North Koreans. Another, with a photo of a pregnant woman, reminds passersby that freelancers and self-employed female workers can benefit from government stipends for expecting mothers. A church hall contains a busy office, staffed by government social workers, that supports brides from Southeast Asia who wed lonely farmers unable to find a local mate. Uiseong’s efforts are laudable, but government programs like these have done little to address the commonly cited barriers to having children. The cost of living, particularly in urban areas, is astronomical; meanwhile the brutal competitiveness of the education system and a work culture that has traditionally placed a premium on long hours leaves little time for family-rearing. Last year, President Moon Jae-in reduced the maximum work week to 52 hours from 68, though not all firms are covered by these restrictions.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. OhioStater
    November 19, 2019 at 3:57 am

    Liz Warren’s two income trap suggests white people like living around white people, the cost of living in a white neighborhood has gone up forcing mom and dad to work.

    The solution is to have more stay at home moms which I’m already seeing happen voluntarily.

    This article was controversial because liberals are pursuing gender equality in the Ivy League so we can have more female presidents and CEOs but many are using it as a dating market to meet rich men and stay at home.

    • November 19, 2019 at 11:28 am

      Yep, but we know that’s a very expensive gamble haha. Women hold 2/3rds of all student debt. The moment we cuck out and nationalize a pass for them is when I have to let go of the American flag and exit stage left. Breaks my heart. USA! USA! USA! I’ll really miss that.

    • Gern Blanderson
      November 20, 2019 at 5:45 am

      OhioStater’s post reminds me a few years back when Susan Patton (who is a Princeton alum), sent a letter to the Princeton paper advising women that if they want to get married, then the best time and place to start looking is when they are in college. I seem to recall she even wrote a book about marriage.

      • P Ray
        November 20, 2019 at 10:42 am

        Ya, pick a guy who is stronger, richer and better educated … while the only thing she brings to the table is her youth, and then after being with him for the magical 10-year mark, talk about domestic abuse, financial abuse or psychological abuse because she is weaker, earns less and is less intelligent and wring him for half of all he has.

        There is a reason why men have to be very careful about husband-hunting women: they appear weak, but have the full force of the blueshirts behind them.

  2. doldrom
    November 19, 2019 at 6:34 am

    It’s not ideology or even economics, though perhaps the urban cost of living is playing a role recently. It’s the pill.

  3. P Ray
    November 19, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Exposure to fake social media has made many women think they are missing out by “marrying the man they can get” …
    “the men they are attracted to, don’t hang around”.
    and right there are the seeds for demographic destruction.
    MeToo doesn’t help, especially when rich, connected or powerful men either avoid those women or take full advantage ala Epstein … or false rape accusers are empowered with their anti-patriarchy revenge fantasies.

    Plus when a judge ruling that a man who is married has a right to sex with his wife – and that makes women outraged, again, another seed of demographic destruction.

    • P Ray
      November 19, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      On the flip side, Jeffrey Epstein had good taste, those people he chose to engage with could and probably did get ahead on their looks.

      It’s good that the media circus is out, so more of those people are revealed.

  4. Yusef
    November 19, 2019 at 8:54 am

    People always had sex mainly for pleasure rather than procreation, but economic forces or governmental pressure had previously placed SOME pressure on procreation. For example, in the days when agricultural production was primary, children were cheap farm labor. Or, when wars were won by big marching armies on foot, there was always a need for cannon fodder.

    There’s a lot of evidence showing women do want one or two children, not a dozen or so. (Many men would be fine with none at all.) There’s no so-called malaise at work here. People are getting, at least in this instance, a world more suited to their own desires. Most people are going to choose going skiing in the Rockies while they’re young to changing diapers.

    I won’t be terribly surprised to see even the Catholic Church come around in the near future.

    • P Ray
      November 19, 2019 at 9:03 am

      Well … the “Catholic” Church has already made some interesting modifications
      – consecrated virgins don’t actually have to be virgins
      – Pope Francis has not denied reports that he doesn’t believe in the existence of hell, or that Jesus returned alive and not undead after getting the woody.
      – Pope Francis has also said homosexual tendencies are not a sin
      – There’s no word yet about why pastors and churches are allowed to continue their tendency of foisting single mothers … on men who are single.

      All in all an interesting round of challenges from God, towards people who think that religion will stand on the side of those who are disciplined and act responsibly.

      When the bad apples outnumber the good, many religions … learn to accommodate. Or reach an understanding like “Well, those people may be nasty, covetous and untrustworthy … but they put a lot of riches in contention, AND they’re our nasty, covetous and untrustworthy brethren … maybe we can convince them to donate some of their takings?”

      • November 19, 2019 at 6:02 pm

        I’m a 63-year-old atheist, so, understand my comments from that reference point.

        Always beware of charging supernaturalists with things they themselves don’t believe — condemning or criticizing theists for beliefs or conclusions they DON’T hold can unwittingly discredit any valid objections or criticisms which can be made against the beliefs and conclusions they do hold.

        That said, and as someone familiar with Roman Catholicism…

        1)”consecrated virgins don’t actually have to be virgins”

        Not recent at all…”the 1970 Ordo Consecrationis Virginum states the following requirements for women living in the world to receive the consecration: ‘that they have never married or lived in open violation of chastity; that, by their prudence and universally approved character, they give assurance of perseverance in a life of chastity dedicated to the service of the church and of their neighbor; that they be admitted to this Consecration by the Bishop who is the local Ordinary.’ ”

        Romanist documents are carefully worded — with their 2,000 years of organizational experience, they state only and precisely what they mean and mean no more than they state in their documents. And, very significantly, that document nowhere states that a requisite for consecration is VIRGINITY in any technical nor biological sense. There’s a deliberate allowance for “case by case” evaluation, going back decades if not centuries. Not all individual Catholic members nor lay organizations are happy with that built-in ambiguity (some Catholics have always been more extreme or radical in their personal interpretations than official Church practice establishes) but that ambiguity does represent official Romanist doctrine and statement.

        2) Pope Francis has not denied reports that he doesn’t believe in the existence of hell, or that Jesus returned alive and not undead

        “Scalfari, who famously does not take notes during interviews, has misrepresented Pope Francis in the past.
        “In 2018, he claimed the Pope denied the existence of hell, and the Vatican subsequently said that the Pope had not granted an interview, and that the journalist had inaccurately represented a conversation between the men during a private Easter visit.
        “’What is reported by the author in today’s article is the result of his reconstruction, in which the literal words pronounced by the Pope are not quoted. No quotation of the aforementioned article must therefore be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father,’ a Vatican statement said in March 2018.
        “The first time Scalfari reported that Pope Francis had made comments denying the existence of hell was in 2015. The Vatican dismissed that reporting as well.”


        Official Roman Catholic doctrine affirms the existence of “hell”, yet, as it does on many if not most basic doctrines, allows various personal speculations on the specifics of what that involves…that’s been their formal policy for centuries. As long as a person holds it as a personal opinion, it does not contradict official doctrine, and he does not actively promote his private speculation as “the correct one!”, then Romanism allows the variations.

        3)– Pope Francis has also said homosexual tendencies are not a sin

        Not quite true.

        “The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved…the number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided….Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

        Romanism doesn’t condemn the TENDENCY (which Romanism ascribes to the destructive consequences of sin warping the very substance of the world, which they believe causes some to be born with homosexual tendencies and/or to be tempted to homosexual behaviors)…rather, Romanism condemns the actual engagement in, participation in, and doing of homosexual acts and sexual activities, including willfully fantasizing about such. heck, my own 87-year-old devout Catholic mom has understood that distinction for decades…I’ve even heard her articulate it in the past couple years. Long as someone doesn’t yield to his/her homosexual tendency, Romanism does not consider them to be sinning.

        Meaning, Francis isn’t saying anything novel, but, rather, reflecting long-held official Romanist doctrine. No doubt, as a good salesman, emphasizing the parts which currently put Romanism in more favorable public light…but, he’s saying nothing really new.

      • February 12, 2020 at 7:40 am

        Another, current example of how, despite strategic and tactical posturing to gain credibility and favor in the world’s eyes, Roman Catholic doctrine and most of its core applications of doctrine remain essentially unchanging:

        “Pope Francis has for now rejected a landmark proposal by bishops to allow the ordination of married men in remote areas, a potentially momentous change that conservatives had warned would set the Roman Catholic Church on a slippery slope toward lifting priestly celibacy and weakening church traditions.
        “Francis’ decision, in a papal letter made public on Wednesday, surprised many given the openness he had displayed on the subject and his frequently expressed desire for a more collegial and less top-down church.”

  5. Bearbabo
    November 19, 2019 at 10:41 am

    How long will it take for the artificial wombs to take off? That might deal with it, although genetic diversity could take a hit.

    With sexbots, VR, and all the other nonsense coming up, dudes who are less attached will not go the family route if they can help it.

    Robot caregivers will probably get rid of the justification of needing kids in old age, although that also depends on ability to save for retirement.

    I’m pretty certain the robots will be there to care for me by the time I’m old enough to need them.

    It’s just humanity evolving, I haven’t got a problem with it.

  6. November 19, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I think it’s great. Fewer people means a lower chance of a peasant revolt as automation increases. Less stress on the planet. We all get to breath. Utopia incoming.

  7. A.B Prosper
    November 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Looking forward to your take on this A.D.

    Cities kill population growth and with West being like 80% urban and the rest of the world, who knows how much, this a natural outcome.

    In any case the world will be fine with less people in it, well big business, big religion, and big government won’t be happy but those guys are part of the problem anyway.

  8. Gern Blanderson
    November 19, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    This topic reminds of an interview I watched awhile ago from the authors of the book “EMPTY PLANET: The Shock of Global Population Decline” This is a topic I am interested in.

  9. bonzo
    November 20, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    These things go on cycles. Technology and cultural changes (pill, legalized abortion, etc) allowed those people who don’t want children to easily opt out, while still having sex for pleasure. Once those people die out, all that will be left are the people with strong desires for children for their own sake. Those desires are learned, but usually come as part of a social framework that can be passed on to the next generation. In other words, in 50 years most whites in the USA will be fundamentalist Mormons, Amish, Hasidic Jews, and similar groups that create a social framework where having lots of children is considered the auntie most important measure of a well-lived life. At that point, the white population will stop shrinking and start growing again.

    In much of Africa, the social framework strongly encourages reproduction, so world population will be mostly African in 100 years (global warming could affect this prediction, however).

    In Europe, Gypsies aka Roma and Muslims reproduce at high rates, so Europe will be mostly Gypsy and Muslim in the future, and population will start growing again.

    There are surely minority cultures or castes in India which reproduce more rapidly than average, due to a social framework which can be transmitted to the next generation. Once these cultures/castes become the majority, Indian population will start booming again. And so on.

    There is ALWAYS some group in the world which encourages reproduction in such a way that this encouragement gets passed on the next generation. Mathematics of exponential growth says such groups, and their culture, will eventually be a majority of world population, at which point world population will resume growth and continuing growing until it hits the Malthusian limits.

    Note carefully, however. Another group of zero growth reproducers might retain control of most of the world resources, despite being just a tiny fraction of world’s population. That is, the top 1% elite pf slow reproducers might control 99% of the world’s resources and live lives of extraordinary luxury, while the bottom 99% of fast reproducers is crowded into shantytowns and lives one step away from starvation.

  10. bonzo
    November 21, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Forgot to mention. In the past, there was a limit to how badly a top 1% of slow reproducers could hoard resources and oppress a bottom 99% of fast reproducers, because the masses could revolt. Robotics, mass surveillance systems and other forms of technology changes things.

    • hoipolloi
      December 3, 2019 at 3:31 pm

      The digital money is here. Money hoarding made easy. I don’t under estimate the power of the 1%. Thanks.

  1. June 25, 2021 at 9:37 pm

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