Low birth rate is an issue of concern for most countries, especially for developed countries. Developing countries used to have higher birth rate compared to rich countries, but the birthrates are dropping rapidly almost everywhere around the world except for a very few countries in Africa. In some countries, such as China and India, have been trying to decrease the birth rate by improving women’s rights, sexual and reproductive health. However, this is a very rare case and most developed countries have been focusing on increasing the birth rate for their future economies.
Then why do most countries suffer from low fertility rates? The biggest reason is probably because of the struggling economy. According to Pew Research Center, the U.S. birth rate peaked in 1957, when the economy was booming and unemployment rate was below 5 percent. However, when inflation and other problems worsened the U.S. economy, the population growth had decreased. The graph below shows that the United States has been experiencing a sharp decline in fertility rates since 2008. In 2007, the birth rate of the U.S. was high but since that time, the population of the United States also continues to decline as most European countries and East Asian countries.
Then why do we have to care about our fertility rate? Stanford geographer Martin Lewis said, “”I find it extraordinary that the massive global drop in human fertility has been so little noticed by the media” His statement suggests that we should not treat his matter lightly. There are many crucial factors that impact our economies but the birth rate is one of the most important elements that has immediate connection or relation with economies.
Most people would wonder what the effects of low birth rate are since people are not directly experiencing the impacts in short run. Of course, low fertility rate does not affect people directly and immediately but its impact becomes powerful in the long-term. Some people claim that declining population is a good sign for the economy in a sense that resources are not enough for everyone in the world. This, however, is not necessarily true when we think of the power of technologies that lower the dependence on limited resources. Therefore, a growing population is not a barrier for the economy due to the advancement of technologies that reduce the amount of resources required to produce outputs. More importantly, however, if the population growth continues to decline, the nation’s workforce will decrease, which will undermine economies. Although majority of people expect that new technologies will replace human intelligence, we cannot deny the fact that we will not be able to rely everything on technologies. Therefore, our generation should try our best to have many babies as we can for the future and for our descendants.