The potential impact of falling fertility rates on the economy and culture

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    May 27, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    Population growth tends to fall when women have control over their reproductive choices. Women in the wealthier nations have had rights to contraception for only a few decades now: the same rights will eventually be available in the planet's developing countries. And none too soon.

    Many are worried about the economic impacts of zero population growth and the resulting aging population, but what about the economic impacts of shortages of resources?

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    May 23, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    Wondering if this LDS owned newspaper is grasping this because of what the Mormon Church has always promoted.
    For centuries, Mormons have been advised by their leaders, in several different ways, to "go out and replenish the earth".
    Families do not live as they did in the past. Most people who were farmers, have sold their land, and moved on to different careers and lifestyles. "Many hands" were needed to make a farm work, not to mention, bring a profit.
    DuPonts, Rockefellers, Kennedys, had means to raise large families that others were not privy to.
    Once open a time it may have been lovely idea to have a large family. However, now it is very cost prohibitive, and other ways impossible for most of our American and world population.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    May 23, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    I would argue that it is not correct to say that having fewer children results in better investment into each. We have 8 children with 9th on the way. If we were to send any of them back, it would be a minus, we would be like a guitar that is missing a string. The "experts" that frequently have no children of their own just do not get it. The child does not progress just from the parents' input. Rather, it is more like the parents directing the orchestra with the children nourishing each other under the supervision of the parents. Each child is essential for helping his siblings develop. It appears that the farmers in Idaho understand this better than child psychologists in New York.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    May 23, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    Let's see. DN wants to see greater population growth. But it also opposes an increase in the minimum wage. Is it possible these two goals conflict? Has anyone measured the fertility rate of millionaires?

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 23, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    To "Irony Guy" actually it does result in economic problems. The problems are not seen immediately, but are delayed by about 20 years or so. Just look at the welfare and entitlement programs that we have in the US. How do we maintain those?

    For example, when Social Security was first established families averaged 4 to 6 kids, average lifespan was 65 years old. There were many workers per retired person. Now there are just a few workers per retired person, and people are retired for a decade or more.

    Without shifting much of the burden to the young and working, you can't maintain those retired people. When you shift the burden to the young, you reduce their buying power which means that they make fewer purchases.

    In effect you slow the economy by having to increase taxes.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    May 23, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    The problem here is that the quick-and-dirty way to maintain a society is growth.
    But growth at any cost, as preached by Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, is foolish and unsustainable. You cannot grow 3% per year.
    But our politicians and economists love two million immigrants a year because it solves a problem for them. The influx of new faces rings the register at Wmart, provides buyers for our old cars and renters for our income property.
    Pay no attention to the byproducts of importing high school dropouts from the third world.
    The elites are trying to save us from ourselves. I wish they'd keep their hands off.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 23, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    People can, and should, have children of their own choice and circumstance, not for the benefit of the economy, culture, or anything else. Besides, and this is pretty much always overlooked here, the developed world may see falling fertility rates but the developing world does not. And a huge portion of humanity in the developing world is bent on turning itself into the developed world, with all the associated consumer demands on the planet, in one generation. This is a fantastic change in the entire nature of human kind that will put a huge strain on the worlds resources, directly at our expense. And we're going to have to live with it. Looking at it globally, it looks to me like bemoaning low birth rates here while the developing world is stepping up consumption exponentially is short sighted.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 23, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    Stable or been slight declines in fertility do not spell bad economic news if the population is educated. Productivity growth now comes from maximizing intellectual capital, not from industrial growth spurred by more and more mouths to feed.