Demography: Quality time

Audio and Video content on Economist.com requires a browser that can handle iFrames.

FATHER, mother and two children: surely the perfect family size. For those concerned, it is neither too big nor too small. For the national economy, it ensures that two new workers will replace the parents in the labour force. And eventually the children will have children of their own and keep the population stable.For that happy state to be achieved, the “total fertility rate” (a measure used by demographers for the number of children a woman is likely to have during her childbearing years) needs to be above two: around 2.1 in the rich world and more in poorer countries, because some children, particularly in the developing world, die before adulthood. For many years the United Nations’ population forecasts—the gold standard in the demography business—have assumed that, in the long run, fertility the world over would converge on the replacement level and populations would stabilise. But fertility rates everywhere have been declining for decades. Even in Africa, where large families are still the norm, the number of children per woman in 2010-15 is forecast to fall to 4.7, compared with 5.7 in 1990-95. Global average…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/international/21603024-why-shrinking-populations-may-be-no-bad-thing-quality-time?fsrc=rss|int

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.