Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, January 13, 2006

Make Love, Not Children?

The population of the United States will break the 300 million mark this year. Every minute about 8 Americans are born, 4 die, and 1 person immigrates to this country (net)--we add about 2.5 million more people in the U.S. every year.

Contrary to popular belief, however, world population growth has begun to decelerate. The greatest annual increase in population was actually back in 1989, at 88,000,000 (this year it is projected to be 74,000,000) and of course the annual percentage growth has fallen commensurately. It is widely predicted that population will crest somewhere around 10 billion sometime in the latter half of this century.

The reason for the deceleration? Reproductive freedoms. The worldwide post-war population boom--from under 2.5 billion in 1945 to 6.5 billion in March of this year--was actually due largely to decreasing death rates rather than a change in reproductive patterns; now, at last, fertility rates have begun to decline. The total fertility rate worldwide has fallen from an average of 5 children per woman in the late 1960s to about 2.5 today--and it is still falling.

The Malthusian disaster predicted for so long may well be averted thanks to family planning, women's rights, contraception, and abortion. But this brave new world has not come without cost. In a world where we no longer rear litters of children but put all our hope and energy in just one or two, it is easy to see why "March of the Penguins" has struck a nerve.


Anonymous said...

This revolution in reproductive control (largely by women) is not without personal and political costs. Many women in the world can only take advantage of birth control in secret and at serious personal risk. Local authorities in many of the poorer parts of the world are openly hostile to family planning - indeed the Republican party in the United States is moving in that direction now.

But it is amazing that a population of human beings can - as a more or less disorganized mass - recognize a problem (excess population growth) and adjust to it. We are a bunch of clever monkeys! 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

One of the most interesting and the most controversial aspects of “Freakonomics” was the abortion chapter. But when you actually read it as opposed to going off of someone else's summary, it makes sense.

The conclusion is that when you let women decide whether to keep their babies or not, they often make the best decision for themselves and thus, the society as a whole. When the state intervenes, it alters a natural and delicate balance that has long-term negative effects. The numbers prove it.

// posted by USwest

Yul Rich said...

Come to us - in Bulgaria, Europe. You're welcome! The population here reduces from year to year with an unbelievable speed. Some people said, that this is a piece of Paradise on Earth, but the nation is dying...