The Falling Fertility of Europe

Europe's birthrate is falling

Europe's birthrate is falling

Total Fertility Rate

In Europe there are significant decreases in birthrates. The replacement fertility rate is roughly 2.1 births per woman for most industrialized countries. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime. All of the European countries have a TFR less than the replacement rate of 2.1. The average is 1.53 and Lithuania records the lowest TFR at a rickety 1.22 (see the table at the end of this post).

Why?

So why are women in Europe having less babies? A New York Times article No Babies? attempts to answer this question. It concludes that there would seem to be two models for achieving higher fertility: the neosocialist Scandinavian system and the laissez-faire American one. The socialist model helps families with generous government support. The U.S. has a much more flexible work environment which can be helpful to families. In the article, Arnstein Aassve, a sociologist, put it this way:

You might say that in order to promote fertility, your society needs to be generous or flexible. The U.S. isn’t very generous, but it is flexible.

The article briefly mentions that some blame the low birthrate to secularism. That “the West has divorced itself from God and church and embraced a self-interested and ultimately self-destructive lifestyle abetted above all by modern birth control.”

Religion and Fertility

In 2007 the TFR in the United States rose to 2.1, the highest since the 1960s. A factor contributing to this healthy birthrate is the conservative and religiously oriented nature of American society, which encourages larger families. Closer to my home, Utah has a TFR of 2.6, attributed to the 69% Mormon population that traditionally have larger families primarily motivated by religious belief. Even closer to home, my wife and I have five children. Prior to my adult conversion to the Gospel I had planned for no children. As a member of the Church my views on children changed as I learned about the purpose of life and why God has placed us here on Earth.

A Warning

Not only in Europe but world-wide there are declining birthrates. The world TFR has fallen to 2.61 in 2008 from 2.80 in 2000. But Europe is in the most critical situation. Carl Haub of the Population Reference Bureau, in discussing Spain and Italy said:

Maybe tinkering with the retirement age and making other economic adjustments is good. But you can’t go on forever with a total fertility rate of 1.2. If you compare the size of the 0-to-4 and 29-to-34 age groups in Spain and Italy right now, you see the younger is almost half the size of the older. You can’t keep going with a completely upside-down age distribution, with the pyramid standing on its point. You can’t have a country where everybody lives in a nursing home.

And a more direct warning from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

Children are so often seen as boat anchors, a drag on society, and consumers of resources. But children are the future. Only by populations increasing into the millions have many advances been possible. Let’s not throw it all away.

European 2008 Total Fertility Rate by Country

Click ONCE on column headers to sort.

Country TFR
Albania 2.02
Andorra 1.32
Armenia 1.35
Austria 1.38
Azerbaijan 2.05
Belarus 1.23
Belgium 1.65
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.24
Bulgaria 1.40
Croatia 1.41
Cyprus 1.79
Czech Republic 1.23
Denmark 1.74
Estonia 1.42
Finland 1.73
France 1.98
Georgia 1.44
Germany 1.41
Greece 1.36
Hungary 1.34
Iceland 1.91
Ireland 1.85
Italy 1.30
Kazakhstan 1.88
Latvia 1.29
Liechtenstein 1.51
Lithuania 1.22
Luxembourg 1.78
Macedonia 1.58
Malta 1.51
Moldova 1.26
Monaco 1.75
Montenegro 1.83
Netherlands 1.66
Norway 1.78
Poland 1.27
Portugal 1.49
Romania 1.38
Russia 1.40
San Marino 1.35
Serbia 1.69
Slovakia 1.34
Slovenia 1.27
Spain 1.30
Sweden 1.67
Switzerland 1.44
Turkey 1.87
Ukraine 1.25
United Kingdom 1.66
Average 1.53

 

Sources

CIA World Factbook
European Demographic Data Sheet 2008 (PDF)
Population Growth Rates — Pick your own countries to compare with Google Public Data Explorer

External Articles

This list is updated occasionally, with newer additions listed first.
The vanishing workforce — Germany will lose 20% of its workers.
Lithuanian census reveals population slump — Dropped 10% in a decade.
Germany Faces Economic Downturn with Falling Births — Aging also a factor.
The new baby boom — Average number of children a woman has is 2.8
Spain’s cash-for-kids plan fails to boost birth rate
Hungary Population Drops to Less Than 10 Million for First Time Since 1960
Rumkin.com Population Counter — Watch the German population decreasing.
Latvia: The Demographic Price Of Procrastination
Population Consequentialism
In need of a miracle
Eastern Germany Confronts Skilled Labor Shortage

Rickety signature

Comments

  1. So Europeans only have one and a half children per couple? I feel sorry for the half kid.

    Seriously, this is a symptom of atheism (secularism) which affects so many aspects of modern thought. What’s worse, is the Chinese or Indian attitude that girl babies aren’t as acceptable as boy babies, causing cultures of infanticide. What a sorry state.

    • People should not be controlled by religion or the church; the catholic church is so corrupt that it made me lose faith! It is unlikely there is a “God” and if there is he or she probably does not care about us. Most religions emphasise on reproduction without considering how it is affecting their congregation, for instance, in the Philippines where the Catholic church refuses to give communion to government workers who distribute contraception – that is ridiculous!

      I am fine with people practicing their faiths but when they try to enforce their beliefs on others then I start to get annoyed. As an agnostic/atheist I would like to say a massive [edited] to anyone who blames atheists for the world’s problems!

      The Catholic church has had a paedophile scandal, and extremist Muslims and Irish Protestants have recently been linked to terrorism. Sort out your own problems before you start preaching to the rest of the world.

  2. You are right in that the falling birthrate is a symptom of secularism. Sort my table by TFR and out of the top ten countries with the lowest TFR, nine of them are former communist states. Thanks for your comment. You have a great blog with insightful posts.

  3. I’ve read the “No Babies?” article in New York Times. I also agree with you that secularism might be the reason for low birthrates.

    I wonder why there are some couples who opt to not have children. Children are wonderful blessings from God. So, these people must be thankful that they can conceive because there are lots of couples out there who can’t conceive because of medical problems.

  4. This post reminds me of the talk given by President Packer. In the talk he states that the U.S. is above replacement rate only due to immigration and the higher birthrate of the Hispanic population.

  5. Thanks for the link, I haven’t read that talk before. Here is the quote you mentioned: “The United States is barely above the replacement rate. Only because of immigration and the higher birthrate among the Hispanic people do we maintain our population.” I noticed that the talk was given in 2006. It was in 2007 that the TFR rose to 2.1 (replacement level), the highest in 40 years. The TFR does not include immigration. Without immigration we would just barely be at replacement levels. And as President Packer says, the higher birthrate of the Hispanic population is helping the TFR.

  6. Astrologieausbildung, Agreed, children are blessings from God. Of course it is a personal decision on whether one wants children or not. For decades governments have promoted the myth of over-population so it is no wonder that some couples shy away from building a family. Fortunately, most governments have backed off this over-population nonsense. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Anna Betrieb says:

    That was a really interesting post. I can understand why people are having less and less children. The way society works today is making children unrespectful, vulnerable and powerful all at the same time. I know that right now, I wouldn´t want to bring a baby into the world. The West is going through a big of an economic crisis and people are hanging on to what they have – that´s no place for a baby if it´s really not wanted! I can´t tell whether or not I´ll ever have children – I think it has to be thought about long and hard – some people use having a child as a get-out-clause which is certainly not a good reason to bring a human life into the world.

    I think it´s a woman´s choice – if she doesn´t want to have children then she shouldn´t have to.

    Anna

  8. Anna, Thanks for a very thoughtful comment. Where I live (Utah) the atmosphere is friendly towards families so it is easier to have children. My daughter gave birth in October and my daughter-in-law has her first child next month. The economics in my state is doing better than many places so I can’t see many families delaying children. When I married my wife and I decided on four children, ending up with five. I didn’t know how I would be able to support them but we went ahead. It turned out that my earnings and abilities rose with my responsibilities and we always had enough and to spare. I have not met many people that disagree that it is a woman’s choice to have a baby. Where people differ is that once she is pregnant then it is a whole different matter. I have a great time with my children. They were a lot of fun when they were teenagers and we got along great. Being a grandparent is also a great experience.

    From your website I take it that you are German. Your English is excellent if you don’t mind me saying so. You know a thing or two about websites, it is quite highly ranked.

  9. Entwicklungen von Medizinprodukten says:

    Very interesting posts. Many country having a problem with the high birth rate.

  10. Almost half of the countries of the world are below the replacement rate. We will be hearing more about this situation in the coming years, especially about Europe. A high birth rate by itself is not a problem. Usually there are other factors like political unrest, war, ethnic rivalry, mismanaged economy, etc.

  11. Same here in romania

  12. Well, with India bursting at the seams, maybe Lithuania can up its immigration!

  13. India’s fertility rate in 2008 was 2.76, just a notch above Utah’s.

  14. I would honestly say the falling birth rate is actually a good thing. Think about it – the planet is overcrowded as it is. We are steadily destroying it by spreading further and further. So surely a population reduction now will ease pressure on resources and, mainly, land?

  15. The problem with low fertility rates is that you only notice that you have a problem when it is too late. For example, most of us are working and when it comes time to retire there are suddenly very few workers. If the population is replacing itself, no problem. But in Europe it isn’t. Most of us have been indoctrinated to believe that we are over-populated and are steeped in the scarcity mentality. Whereas the reality is the Earth can sustain a much greater population and there is no shortage of goods. When was the last time you saw empty shelves in the stores? When you see hunger and shortages it is normally the fault of war or negative political action. In most cases as the standard of living rises, the fertility rate falls. Hence as we become more prosperous the real enemy to guard against is the reluctance to bear and raise children. The greatest wealth of a nation is stored in its children.

  16. Hello , i’m from Lithuania.Fertility in Europe now is much much bigger :) .The stats in this post is a little bit old .

    Please look at new stats :

    http://www.miestai.net/forumas/showthread.php?p=310632

    Sorry for bad english :)

  17. Mindaugas,
    Thank you for your comment. The statistics I give in the post are for 2008 which is as up-to-date as it gets. The confusion lies in the different measures we are using. I am using the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) which is the number of births expected over a woman’s child bearing years. Your reference uses the Crude Birth Rate. For 2008 your chart shows a Crude Birth Rate for Lithuania of 10.5 but a Crude Death Rate of 13.2. This is not a good scenario, you have more people dying than are being born, which of course is indicated by Lithuania’s TFR of 1.22, the lowest of the 50 European countries. By contrast, here is Utah our TFR is at 2.6.

    By the way, great English — it is as good as mine.

  18. Rickety,

    It would be worthy of discussion to talk about what contributes to the falling birth rate, what could be done to prevent it, and what are the consequences. I believe trends in individuals cause trends in countries. All humans need to realize the importance of motherhood and children, wherein lie ‘the future of the years’:

    “Alone of human beings the good and wise mother stands on a plane of equal honor with the bravest soldier; for she has gladly gone down to the brink of the chasm of darkness to bring back the children in whose hands rests the future of the years. ”
    The Great Adventure, 1918
    Theodore Roosevelt

    I am certainly glad you choose to have more children than our countries average, as I am your 4th child. I am grateful to you for the opportunity to be born, raised, and ultimately have a life to live. Perhaps you would agree with TR on this:

    “For unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.”
    An Autobiography, 1913
    Theodore Roosevelt

  19. Jake,
    This is one of my favorite quotes:

    “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
    Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them…” (Psalms 127:4-5)

  20. Free PS3 says:

    Rickety,

    I’d agree that the planet can sustain a much greater population, but I’d argue that in doing so we’d lose a lot of what is truly beautiful about Planet Earth – the wilderness, nature in all it’s splendour. We as humans would gradually encroach on any remaining space.

    Having taken your comments on board I can see how a lowering in fertility rates also has it’s disadvantages. An ideal situation would be maybe for the population to remain completely stable? Or maybe a slight reduction can easily be handled… there is, remember, a lot of unemployment in the world at the moment.

  21. Having just driven from Utah to Texas it is truly amazing how much open space there is. When I rode the train in England years ago I was struck by the open space even in a country that has a high population density. There is room to grow but in not too many years the concern will be falling birth rates, for example in Russia where they are losing 700,000 a year in population. Interestingly. most nations in the west have figured out it is not good to have a sudden drop in population, hence the tax credits for children. I have observed too that unemployment is a result of mismanagement, for example the current rounds of unemployment are not caused by too many people but lack of regulation in the banking sector and artificially low interest rates contributing to a bubble. We are not used to the idea of low fertility rates, hence it will take awhile for populations to realize it will be a problem for everyone. Thank you for your excellent points.

  22. @Free PS3: There are plenty of resources on this earth for all. The problem is just that we don’t use them the right way. For example, currently the bottled water industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. If everyone decided to drink tap water, and we diverted those billions to digging wells in 3rd world countries, the entire world’s population could have clean water AND the landfill waste of plastic bottles would virtually disappear. There is room and resources for all, if we use our brains. It’s time to re-establish the importance of the family in our society.

  23. I never did like to spend the money on bottled water. Here is how one organization is getting wells dug for villagers: Helping Villagers Help Themselves. See also Humanitarian Efforts.

  24. Rickety

    When you live in the city you get the perception that there is nothing but urban sprawl all around. It is very hard, even for educated people, to truly grasp just how big the world is and just how unpopulated most of it is. What the average city dweller sees as their world is but a microscopic spec.

    As to the birth rate, the causes vary. But I believe one to the main causes is socialism. At its core socialism is turning the entire society into one family unit where everyone takes care of each other. The problem with that is it takes away the incentive to have a family. With out socialism if you want to be taken care of in that way you need to have a large family. With socialism you can rely on people you have never even met to do it. So you get the benefits of a large family without actually have to put up with kids. In the short run its the best of both worlds. The problem is that in the long run its unsustainable. Someone somewhere needs to be having the kids. And not the one – two kids drop them off at the sitters trophy children. The socialistic model is no different than the large family model. There needs to be a lot of kids. The 4-8 drive you crazy pull your hair out from time to time number of kids.

  25. Tom,
    An excellent comment. I haven’t heard of the falling birthrate explained that way before. What do you see having to happen to turn things around?

  26. Debbys Diet says:

    Same here in romania

    ——————-
    Yes indeed!

  27. Lilliput says:

    Rickety and Co,

    do you guys not think that empty spaces ie nature as it naturally evolved is an essential. We are ruining all available habitats for wild animals driving them to extinction.

    There are enough humans in the world. We are not in danger of becoming extinct. We do not have to fill every square inch of this planet with people and we do not have to cram into high rise apartments that drive us crazy.

    I don’t believe in any demographic timebomb but it pains me to lose any more species to extinction!

  28. rickety says:

    Lilliput,
    When I lived in England, a country far more densely populated than the United States, I once rode the train to London from the midlands (as mentioned in a previous comment). Being a city dweller I was amazed at all the wide open space I saw on that journey. Living in cities, many tend to think of the whole earth as concreted over. Not so. Living in Utah there is so much open space that I am always truly amazed when I drive a few miles from the Wasatch Front.

    The problem with Europe is not one of the 50 countries populations is replacing itself. Most of us tend to think that if only there were less people we would all be happier. But it is only when populations grew into the millions that quality of life improved in most countries. Many previously luxury items and treatments became affordable because of economies of scale.

    When one wants to elevate one’s own argument above another, one tends to take the opposing argument to the extreme and say things like, “We do not have to fill every square inch…” Of course I could argue that if we have no more babies we would become extinct, just like the animals you are worried about. Looking at things sensibly it becomes apparent that if there is a scarcity of young people then the elderly will not be cared for well.

    The earth has enough and to spare. There is room for all. There is not room for selfishness and saying, “Hey, look folks, I have a wonderful body and a great life. Please don’t spoil it by having more babies.” That thinking is all wrong and won’t work anyway. Most well-adjusted people just love children and want to welcome them into the world.

    Thanks for your comment, it has added to the conversation.

  29. yougottabekiddingme says:

    Okay where do we get these numbers? I found that the US has a 2.1 rate. Mormons have a 2.6 fertility rate? So in other words we need to have more sex and make more babies or the terrorist win? I can’t wait to use that line in a bar.
    And no one is ‘born’ a religion. Don’t believe anything you read or see in a video if it doesn’t have solid and documented proof and /or references of research. What cultures disappeared with these numbered birth rates cut off? And how does anyone know?
    Afer all the Chinese, by law, can only have 2 kids or less and I don’t see thier culture decreasing any time soon.
    Kida are great (execpt for the 13 to 17 years) have them and raise them well. Send them out to do good and to cause no fear or harm to themselves or others. Its a big enough world and for the record, 99.9% of everyone of every religion only want a few things. To be left alone, raise their kids healthy, and to worship God as they feel comfortable. This is where peace is. This is what almost everyone wants.

    • yougottabekiddingme,

      The numbers (2.1 and 2.6) come from my post called “United States Total Fertility Rate Increases” to which there is a link in the “Related Articles” section. It is Utah that has a 2.6 TFR to which Mormons likely are the major contributors. For the last 30 years the U.S. population has only grown through immigration. And I am not sure what your objection is to children, we all were children once.

      Worldwide the fertility rate is decreasing but we still see a population increase. This is because parents and many grandparents of the children who will likely bear less children of their own are still alive. So even though many countries have low fertility rates, the population decreases are not seen until grandparents and parents begin to die. At that point the population is out of balance such that workers are in short supply, thus lowering everyone’s standard of living.

  30. personally, i think a lot of this is simply selfishness. To wit, we have a society in Europe that really believes in nothing beyond the self and cares for nothing beyond the self: a continental community like that is going to have a hard time getting people to have children when children distract individuals from themselves. The other thing we need to bear in mind is that western women are an unusual anomaly in a global sense: in most cultures (at least at the moment), being a mother is something about which one feels pride; in europe and in north america, being a mother is frowned upon in many quarters (it’s not sufficiently progressive, in other words, and is perceived by feminist opinion-makers as an anachronism that squeezes women into old gender roles). In a related vein, we must bear in mind that the west has done a good job of delegitimizing men and the unborn over the past half-century: men are (if you contact your local feminist studies department) deemed sexual predators, peverts, lay-abouts, indolent losers and God knows what else; the unborn aren’t even considered human beings (a mere bundle of cells) and can be killed without any scintilla of regret. I don’t know what the situation in Europe is, per se, but in North America the legal system is grossly biased towards women when it comes to things like sexual harassment, job hiring, alimony and child custody; my guess is that similar biases exist in western european societies (particularly a country like the UK which is not deemed family-friendly or father-friendly). Add it all up and it’s no wonder that fewer young men are willing to have children in these cultures – and no wonder that the abortion rates are so high.

    Frankly, i think europe deserves what it is getting – and it deserves to be over-run by muslims, too.

    • bk,

      The culture not being family friendly, that is the traditional family, is a contributor to low fertility. Selfishness and general attitudes do not help either, as you eloquently stated.

      I lived in England for 28 years and I well remember the propaganda about the earth being over-populated. That is something of which some governments are reaping as they have sown. It is a lot easier to convince couples not to have babies. Much harder to get them to change their minds afterwards.

      I am glad that I have spent my married life in an environment (Utah) where large families are encouraged.

  31. Max Kummerow says:

    Work out world population in 200 years if everybody had the Utah TFR of 2.6. Then consider that even the modest 50% increase forecast for this century will cause serious problems of poverty, soil depletion, climate change, species extinction, energy supplies, crowding, economic stress and violent conflict (These are not forecasts–these are news reports from high fertility countries. And being Christian is no protection from these problems–Rwanda is over 90% Christian and Christians participated in the genocide where people chopped up 800,000 of their neighbors with machetes.)

    What does God think about the destruction of creation by humans? I think the story of Noah gives a clue. God says, “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” Genesis 6:6-7

    We have choices to make and will be held responsible. Choosing to have more children than the earth can support and thereby destroying the creation the gives us life (the ecosystem or spaceship earth in lay language) is folly and evil.

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on sustainability.

    • Max,

      Thank you for your thoughtful response.

      >> …if everybody had the Utah TFR of 2.6.

      Everybody doesn’t have Utah’s TFR. In all of Europe no country comes close. If every country had a TFR of 1.0 where would we be in 200 years? The point is the questions are not based on reality.

      >> …even the modest 50% increase forecast for this century will cause serious problems…

      Look at this world chart and you will see that for the last 60 years world TFR has been declining. The United Nations projects that “by 2050 the World TFR will stand at 2.02.” The population will still increase as you say but the seeds have already been sown for continued population decreases later in this century.

      >> What does God think about the destruction of creation by humans?

      God’s command is still in force: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Gen. 9:1). The problem in Rwanda was hatred of one’s neighbor which violates God’s commands.

      Apparently “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5) The problem in Noah’s time was wickedness and corruption of the flesh (adultery, fornication etc.), not environmental. Man can live in peace and righteousness if he so chooses.

      >> Choosing to have more children than the earth can support…

      There is enough and to spare (D&C 104:17). God knows what the earth can bear, and has warned the people of the world about curtailing their families.

      I’m glad that my parents didn’t listen to some theoretical “sustainability” argument and went ahead and gave me life. My five children feel the same way about my wife and I. And no doubt our many grandchildren (born and yet to be born) will feel the same way also.

      The way ahead is bright if we would just look at the good news that is all around us. I am excited for the future.

  32. I agree…it has a lot to do with birth control. Poverty level people who tend to not plan as well or not have as much money don’t have access to it, so as a result the 1st world countries tend to have few children than 3rd world countries.

    It’d be nice to see countries outside of Europe as well.

  33. it’s so sad…smth should be done to cope with this!

  34. I all can say is that all Europe really needs get back with GOD right now.

  35. Having lived in Europe for ten years, I believe culture and economy plays a big part in population growth.

  36. Children really give lot of happiness and playing with children is a great pleasure in life. Why does some people wont opt for children? They need to know the importance of children.
    Steven.

  37. SKU Tracking says:

    It is sad that the birth rate is decreasing. Children are the main happiness in a family so I think people should check on this to increase the birth rate.

  38. That’s some real eyeopening stats, I wonder where the Asians will be, I feel they do better in the birth rate.

    Another important stats to consider is the proportionate of women to men.
    Jason

  39. If your having children because you believe its God’s will I am forced to believe your an idiot. Ofcorse I can’t really complain because people have children for all sorts of idotic reasons.

    The world currently has over 7 billion people on it. Were still breeding faster than were dieing off. No I don’t believe were going to have world famines or any of the other crap that is mentioned in books like “The Population Bomb” but were are going to iravertably effect the outcome of the planet in a BAD way which will effect countless generations to come.

    The fact that slowly one by one countries are falling BELOW replacement level is a good thing. Yes it will cause long term changes in how countries operate and will eventually lead to a lower Gross Demestic Product but I think countries will be able to deal with this.

    As for the arguements presented in the article they left out the basics. If you want to decrease the number of children being born you do the following.

    1. Give women access to effective means of birth control.
    2. Give women education on family planning.
    3. Give women access to education, the more education the better.

    If you do these 3 things you will have fewer babies.

    • The three items you listed to decrease the number of births is not necessarily true. Consider Utah, where women are educated and have access to family planning. Utah women have a fertility rate higher than any other U.S. state and slightly higher than the world total fertility rate. My own wife bore five children, and has a bachelors degree. My daughter and daughter-in-law have bachelors degrees and both are starting their families and I look forward to many more grandchildren.

      By being educated women are also likely to learn that children are an asset to a country and bring joy and happiness to their families.

      You might want to outline the “BAD way” the planet will be affected so that the readers here can understand your concerns. In the 1960s I never expected to live to the 1990s because of predicted food shortages, nuclear annihilation, an ice age, energy shortages, etc. None of this happened and for many in the West life improved as the population grew.

      So give us your best predictions, they can’t be any worse than those that were told to me in my youth.

  40. This is all a very worthy discussion on why the birth rate is decreasing and we have to really think on it.

    Zia Khan

  41. You would better not forget that the lowest birth rates occur in states which are the most conservatives. In Greece are f. e. just 5% of all births out of wedlock – compared to Utah´s 19%. The birth rate is quoted as 1,34 (currently 1,27 %). In Iceland having a TFR around 2,1 in the years 2000 -2010 the actual number of illegitimate births is around 60%.
    The lowest TFR occurs in states who experience a succession from a very conservative society to a progressive society. The “socialist welfare state” belongs to the progressive society achieving TFR from 1,9 – 2,2 which is enough to maintain its population. The progressive society is essential for a true democracy to maintain individual liberty and equality in all areas without discrimination due to some strange interpretation of the bible or of God´s word. Democracy has to be secular as any democracy is only democratic while respecting the value of THE INDIVIDUAL not of any given group.
    Conservative and religious states may have a higher TFR but all advantages arising of it are meaningless compared to the lack of acceptance of sex equality and homosexuality – just to name some – in some segments in their society as the Latter-Saint-Days-Church.

    • I would hazard a guess that most conservative states do not care for homosexuality, especially homosexual marriage. But certainly in Utah there is high regard for families and the individual though I agree, less tolerance for deviant behavior, which is as it should be.

      The numbers do not seem to indicate that the “socialist welfare state” will be able to maintain their populations over time, although there are exceptions.

      It is interesting to me that as a Utahn I enjoy more freedom that I did in my 28 years of living in England.

  42. Can you program yourself to say:

    “Hi, I’m a blogger too and recognize great content when I see it [but go easy on the flattery, it’s a huge red flag]. I’m interested in populations so I will be checking back again [a bit pointless to write this because commenters hardly ever check back].”

    In addition, make a profound observation like:

    I suspect that the continuous population decline in Europe will eventually hurt their economy rather than help it. Population growth actually brings prosperity.

    And then ask a question that no prior respondent has asked:

    When you write, “…we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets,” what specifically are you referring to?

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  45. This post was as informative as it was unsettling. Not that I expect to be around when the results of an ever falling fertility rate are going to play out. But still…

    Can these rates just keep on plummeting until there is no fertility left? You’d think there’d be a bottom to how unfertile the human race can get. Or at least… that’s what I’m hoping for. Otherwise, mankind has a big, big worry on its mind right now.

Trackbacks

  1. […] embarrassed of its origins and its history, and is consequently dying — in some quarters, literally so.  There is no joy in Esolen’s prognosis: he loves Western culture and would see it restored […]

  2. […] and almost all of Europe are far below ours.  The European fertility rates have dropped so far as to be considered a crisis, and Canada’s is similarly low, yet our American rates are […]

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