The Low Birthrate Misunderstanding

We hear of the doom of Western civilization because Caucasian women in Western Europe, the United States and elsewhere, have elected not to have babies, driving the birthrates seriously below the replacement level of 2.1 live births per childbearing-age woman. The 2.1 number is the number of births required to maintain the population level. Any number above 2.1 leads to an increase in population and any number below 2.1 leads to a decrease in population. These numbers are variables, depending on the circumstances in which a population finds itself. Currently, because of the rise of feminism and the birth control pill, the birth rate in the West is below 2.1, in some cases, such as Italy and Spain, far below, leading some to cry that we are heading for ultimate extinction. But species extinction is not decided by birthrate per se, but on how long the low birthrate continues. A species becomes extinct when its numbers fall below a given level, where there are no longer enough individual members of the species to maintain the existence of the species. The West is nowhere near that. Just because the birthrate in Spain is around 1.3 live births per childbearing age woman does not mean coming extinction, for there are still millions of Spanish people to maintain the population level well above near extinction levels. Think about it for just a moment. There was a time, just 2,000 years ago, that the estimated population of England was 4 million, while today the population of England is 53 million. England has a current birthrate below replacement level, but it would take thousands of years of steady low birth rates to reduce the population to 4 million again, and they would still not be anywhere near extinction level. Birthrate is a variable, and while a current seriously low birthrate is a cause for concern in a social context in which fewer young people are available to pay for the social contracts governments have given to its now older populaces, it is not a cause for panic.

Grandmothers outnumber the kids
But kids will grow with age
To be adults in measured time
When grandmas leave the stage
Till presently imbalances
Reverse as they will do
And stable populations rise
Though numbered by some few
And yet those fewer numbers are
Still greater than the past
When war, disease and hunger ruled
Yes, humans will still last
In greater numbers than before
Though fewer than they now
Live cheek by jowl in squalor and
Just pray it isn’t ciao

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