New figures from Statistics Canada show that fertility there has decreased for the third year in a row. It hasn’t been above the replacement level of 2.1 children since 1971, and was just 1.61 children per women in 2011.
New published demographic research by Albert Esteve at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, reveals Latin American society is changing at an unprecedented rate. For generations people have been focussed on early marriage, family and child-rearing, but now co-habitation rather than marriage is becoming a norm and having children is being postponed. It took “rich” countries 50 years, with changes occurring in sequence, while in Latin America the changes have happened in half the time and all at once, resulting in faster, less predictable social change.
While most people are used to considering the female ticking body clock, we tend to think that men have a lot more time. Though true is one sense, if we want healthy babies maybe they too should be considering the age factor. An interesting article in the New Republic highlights this issue among many others associated with the rising age of parents – it’s well worth a read.
Even the United Nations, with its dire statistics about the number of babies overpopulating the earth, is now becoming worried about falling fertility rates and gender imbalance in Asia. The head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) called for countries to urgently tackle population concerns with “foresight and justice” at the Asian Population Association conference held late last month. The question will be just what the well recognised virtue, ‘justice’, means in practice.
A New York Times blogger raises interesting questions this week about the effect on us all of the growing socioeconomic divide between parents. That is, more and more educated, well off woman will just be becoming mothers as their less well off, less educated peers are becoming grandmothers.
More and more women desperate to have babies in New Zealand are going overseas to find egg donors because they cannot get them in New Zealand. It seems that the main reason overseas ‘egg markets’ are more lucrative is because women are allowed to be paid for their eggs.
For the first time a recent study has found that a greater number of highly educated women in their late 30’s and 40’s in the United States are deciding to have children, something that Newswise describes as ‘a dramatic turnaround from recent history’ in an interesting article based on a new study by Ohio University (reported here in the Journal of Population Economics). In fact, fertility increased at almost all ages since the late 1990s or 2000 across all groups of women studied.
DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY
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