23 July 2013

Loss of Fertility Not Just a First World Issue

...many people still believe that "overpopulation" is a looming problem.  But in reality, from Africa to Asia, from South America to Eastern Europe, and from Third World jungles to the wealthy desert petro-kingdoms, nearly every country in every region is experiencing declines in fertility.  In 1979, the world's fertility rate was 6.0; today it's 2.52.  From a current population of 6.9 billion, the United Nations and others predict that world population will peak somewhere between 10 billion and 12 billion in the next 85 years and then begin the long, inexorable process of shrinking back down.  The reason for these predictions is that all but a handful of countries are already experiencing long-term declines in their fertility rates.  All First World countries are already below the 2.1 line.  [SLC Note:  2.1 is the minimum rate of fertility to ensure "replacement", i.e., a stable population size].  And while the fertility rates in many parts of the developing world are still above the 2.1 mark, their rates of decline are, in most cases, even steeper than in the First World.

--from What to Expect When No One's Expecting, by Jonathan Last

1 comment:

Karen said...

This is fascinating! Please keep talking to us about it.

Also, OT, do you have Canon Ueda's sermon from last Sunday? Thanks.