(OPINION) The Rich World’s Fertility Problem Will Force a Rethink on Immigration

The rich world can produce more of everything it needs with greater and greater ease: except people. For a population to remain stable, the average family needs to have 2.1 children: two to replace them, with the rather surreal sounding “0.1” on top to make up for the people who won’t, for reasons of infertility, preference or bad luck, be able to have children themselves. Overpopulation has its own problems, but we have a much better idea of how to bring birth rates down than to bring them back up again. Greater reproductive rights, easy access to contraception and better education all mean women have fewer children: across the world, the fertility rate has fallen drastically. In 1950, the average woman had more than five children; now she has fewer than 2.5.

Stephen Bush, Financial Times, June 1, 2022
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