Decades ago when a family had 9 or 10 kids we thought of that as large, however, today, anyone having 4 – 5 children is considered large. The average home in western society now has two to three children. Is population exploding or declining?
Couples are also deciding to have only one child while many choosing not to have kids at all but rather have a fur baby instead. The shift is worldwide in most western countries, indeed in the city areas.
Even in regional areas, there is a marked decline in the number of children re household. While it is still regarded as an advantage to have several children to work on the land and pass on the family farm, in the city’s children are deemed more of an added expense to our lifestyle. We often complain about the changes to our lifestyle that are required when our kids come along. Women seem now to be challenged career-wise when they have kids, whereas it makes little to no difference to dad.
What the UN says population is exploding before declining
The United Nations maintains that the world’s population, now seven billion, will grow to 11 billion (exploding) before it levels off. However, there is growing belief now pointing to the population peaking at nine billion between 2040 and 2060. Then it is expected to start declining steadily. We all understand an exploding population will drain our already limited resources, be more challenging to feed the population and threaten climate change. W find the balance very challenging to obtain. Too many people can destroy our plant while not enough population means a lower quality lifestyle.
Many governments, including the Australian government, is aiming to grow its population with paid maternity leave, subsidised day-care and after school care, family tax payments and child support where applicable. The population is now under the sustainable amount of 2.1 per cent. It is immigration that is used to sustain our population.
One of the reasons for this is urbanisation. More people are moving away from the regional areas into urban and highly populated city areas. This results in more women working, fewer children being born and more isolated family structures. Lower religious affiliations may also have an impact on having fewer children than previous generations. Traditional forms of religion pointed to more subordinate women encouraged to marry, have children and care of the family. With many ignoring religious following, women are becoming independent, educated and enjoying choices for perhaps the first time in history.
Did China One child policy work?
If we look at the one-child policy in China, that ended in 2015, we find fewer families choosing to have more children even though they can have two children now. Something the Chinese government did not expect. They, like many countries in years to come, are struggling to find enough children to take up the multitude of jobs needed to grow a thriving community while caring for its ageing population.
With lower population growth, we will have fewer people working, less jobs being filled, lower taxes being paid and higher drain on government spending. How we will move in the future with our decision to have children, how many or even not have any at all, will depend on how kids may fit in with our lifestyle. While this is not wrong for our couples, nor the planet, it may be of concern for the economic development of countries. Therefore, is our population exploding before declining?
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