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Birth dearth: over 60 million fewer children in developed world than in 1965

Catholic World News - October 10, 2011

The National Marriage Project, joined by universities in five nations, has published The Sustainable Demographic Dividend--a report that links the strength of families and the economy.

“A turning point has occurred in the life of the human race,” the report found. “The sustainability of humankind’s oldest institution, the family—the fount of fertility, nurturance, and human capital—is now an open question. On current trends, we face a world of rapidly aging and declining populations, of few children—many of them without the benefit of siblings and a stable, two-parent home—of lonely seniors living on meager public support, of cultural and economic stagnation.”

The authors of the report continued:

In almost every developed country, including most in Europe and East Asia and many in the Americas— from Canada to Chile—birth rates have fallen below the levels needed to avoid rapid population aging and decline. The average woman in a developed country now bears just 1.66 children over her lifetime, which is about 21 percent below the level needed to sustain the population over time (2.1 children per woman). Accordingly, the number of children age 0–14 is 60.6 million less in the developed world today than it was in 1965. Primarily because of their dearth of children, developed countries face shrinking workforces even as they must meet the challenge of supporting rapidly growing elderly populations.

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  • Posted by: filioque - Oct. 11, 2011 12:42 AM ET USA

    The tragic irony: the peacenik liberals tried to frighten us with the nuclear war scare: the world would end in massive death. Instead their anti-life culture means the world will end by not being born.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Oct. 10, 2011 7:54 PM ET USA

    This what I have been warning about for nearly twenty years; if we had taken action to promote larger families in 1990, we would at least have a significant improvement in family size and family formation by now. This is the death-knell of social security in every developed country, and that's the least of the problems.

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