Sunday, August 5, 2007

The World Is Getting Older

It is one of the most ironic facts in modern day history. European and industrialized Asian countries, having led the way in providing state-sponsored abortions for their womenfolk, are now in a struggle for their survival because...
...they are shrinking.

An article at indicates that no country 's birth rate has ever recovered if the birth rate drops below 1.5 children per woman. In Korea, the rate is already 1.16.

On the face of it, it makes plenty of sense, really. If you kill your babies, you're going to have fewer people. But what happens if you become culturally addicted to killing your babies? And add to that the strange modern trend of higher rates of infertility. After awhile the aging population cannot be supported by the much smaller younger population. If this were your problem, what would you do?

Some of the things being tried in Europe and Japan: In Portugal they are debating making those with fewer children pay more into their retirement accounts, a sensible idea. At the other end of the practical spectrum, some local governments in Japan are subsidizing speed dating. Speed dating. Do they, I mean really, think that if they speed up the time it takes to line up a date they'll speed up the rate of population increase? I suppppppose that might work. I guess I'd like to see the studies.

Suffice it to say this is a real problem, particularly among Europe's relatively "small" countries. The latest, hippest idea is IVF--in vitro fertilization. See the article cited above to read about that.
For a map showing birthrates worldwide, see this

What is that German word meaning "pleasure deriving from someone else's misfortune"? Schadenfreud. I'm tempted, but I'm not going there.


Anonymous said...


One of my favorite auf Deutsch words.

And I need to repent of it when I even think about it, which is often(like now)..... and that's not even counting the times when I verbalize my thought to others.

There is a reason, of course, that the numbers of church recorded infant baptisms are dropping in Western Nations.

In order to increase the numbers of babies baptised first the babies need to be born.

Bruce Gee said...

Interesting also is the current chic theory that the drastic reduction in crime rate in the early '90's was because the black boys who would have been teenagers then had largely been aborted. NR has an analysis of that this month in its print mag, concluding that abortion increases crime, rather than the other way around. Research now indicates that abortion raises the murder rate by about 7%. Also, Canada liberalized its abortion laws years later than the US, but its crime rate started dropping at the same time as the US rate did. That seems to point to other causes for the rate decline.

Unknown said...

I wonder about the statement that no country/culture survives if the birth rate drops below 1.5. The Black Plague literally decimated Europe in the Middle Ages. While nations struggled to survive this crisis, historical studies showed that it changed the status of serfs from valued tenants to virtual slaves (simply because there were not enough people to farm the land and the lords decreed that no one could leave).
The 1940 pograms in Ukraine might be another historical parallel. Of course, it was not that the birth rates fell as much as the death rates increased—on purpose.

Bruce Gee said...

theodore wrote: "I wonder about the statement that no country/culture survives if the birth rate drops below 1.5. "

Well, first, I stand corrected, and have corrected the text of my post. The actual finding is that no country's BIRTH RATE' has ever recovered, when dropping below 1.5/woman. This limits the measurable perspective quite a bit.

I am going to guess, that those countries that do survive a catastrophic drop in birth rate make up for it in immigration. This is partly why the US is considered "stable". It becomes a problem when your immigrants are anti-cultural, as is becoming the case in France and other European countries where the main immigrant population is muslim.

As for your examples, I'm not sure demographers would look at the Black Death as birth-rate-related, as you mentioned. The same with the pogroms against Jews: these were communities within countries--and often conducted against Jewish immigrants or refugees--and so may not be measurable from the stand point of a country's birth rate.
I suppose