Worldwide Baby Bust

Fertility is crashing in pretty much everywhere except sub-Saharan Africa. This is a good article covering that phenomenon and some of its ramifications.

Archive link if you are paywalled out:

Germany managed to do the impossible, raising its fertility rate by making childcare more accessible, something the US is about to do:

After expanding access to affordable child care and paid parental leave, Germany’s fertility rate recently increased to 1.54, up from 1.3 in 2006. Leipzig, which once was shrinking, is now growing again after reducing its housing stock and making itself more attractive with its smaller scale.

But ultimately this is mostly a zero-sum game. Countries need to attract more immigrants at other countries’ expense. I think the US has a unique advantage here, if only we can stop scoring own goals.

From forced abortions to can’t have enough babies in one generation:

Archive link if you are paywalled out:

Births in China have fallen for four consecutive years, including in 2020, when the number of babies born dropped to the lowest since the Mao era. The country’s total fertility rate — an estimate of the number of children born over a woman’s lifetime — now stands at 1.3, well below the replacement rate of 2.1, raising the possibility of a shrinking population over time.

The real number is likely far worse, that’s why the highest level of the party took action just days after the census went public.

1 Like

We will need more automation to deal with a shrinking working population.

Archive link if you are paywalled out:

The United States today is producing roughly the same amount of goods and services as before the coronavirus pandemic — but with 8.2 million fewer workers, equal to the combined payrolls of every employer in Virginia, Arizona and Iowa.

Greater productivity is the rare silver lining to emerge from the crucible of covid-19. The health crisis forced executives to innovate, often by accelerating the introduction of industrial robots, advanced software and artificial intelligence that reduced their dependence on workers who might get sick.

Shrinking population is not good?

It’s a double-edged sword. It’s what environmentalist want. However, the entire financial system of the world is dependent on population growth. That’s how they collect taxes today and promise benefits in the future. If the population and more importantly work force isn’t growing, those entire systems collapse.


Population provides manpower that can be used in myriad of ways: as voters, laborers, and even looters of the kind we saw in Portland.

China just switched to three child policy.

One of my college friends was a second pregnancy. His parents fled China to allow him to live. Who knew it would be internal financial pressures that would make China stop it’s worst women’s rights abuse? Glad forced abortion will hopefully come to an end there.


Nordic countries have some of the most child-friendly policies and it hasn’t worked.

1 Like

India and Africa will have growing population will into the 22nd century.

1 Like

This is not correct. Just look at Auto production. we may have been more energy efficient but still people working from home will use more energy than in centralized location in office.

Not my problem

One thing I don’t tend to see is the question of whether the fertility bust is by choice. When I got married 20 years ago, the infertility rate was 1 in 4 for women. That’s really high, IMO. Some of that is probably people waiting until too late because fertility wanes and infertility is probably mostly measured on people trying to get pregnant, but there are environmental and diet effects as well. Offering childcare isn’t going to do anything if people want to have kids but can’t conceive.

How about egg freezing? Heard it’s offered free of charge in companies like Facebook and Google.

Some of the young women in my relation feel it is unfashionable to bear a child. They would adapt a baby than to have one of their own. Being a mother used to be a matter of pride at least till a generation ago.

1 Like

I think waiting too long plays a big part in it. There is so much pressure on young couples to jumpstart their careers and get their finances in order that starting a family takes a backseat. It’s especially true in VHCOL areas like the Bay Area. When their mid-30s role around and it’s now or never, having a kid is surprisingly hard. I would estimate ~60% of couples in our peer group had or have had fertility struggles.


Didn’t go over well when FB offered it, and rightly so. Women would rather they allow part-time work so that they can be moms too than be told to freeze their eggs, work your butt off for Zuck, and try to be pregnant at 40 (pregnancy at 40 is rough! BTDT and nearly died).

Of course, FB can’t fathom the idea of allowing their moms to go part-time. Worse than Google. I had a female friend who is a satellite designer arguing with a(n unmarried male) FB manager about why part-time work is perfectly doable and he kept saying that they couldn’t allow it or else everyone would do it (really? With the COL here?!!!?). Of course, she is allowed to go part-time as needed as long as she isn’t the team manager, and she’s designing satellites which have to launch on time - there’s no wiggle room there. If FB’s release is late, who cares???

Wow! That’s really high. :frowning:

Ours came pretty easily, but we don’t mention it to friends or even family though, because we never know if the couples we think just don’t want to have kids have been having infertility issues and aren’t letting people know. :frowning:

I am early 40s. Many, MANY people in my world both at work and personal friends are not having children, though they are married. Several reasons: 1) cant afford 2) Don’t want to slow their career. A friend who is 36, engineer at Google, married, has decided she doesn’t want children because she is sure her career progression will be impacted which will definitely happen. another friend couple who are PMs at Apple making excellent money are trying to model the negative financial impact of having a kid, the time off and the career impact to the woman before having a child, and trying to see how they can afford life in the Bay Area.

my kids were born in my early 30s and I’ve made career choices where I had some flexibility but less pay, and I do regret those choices, since I wish we were richer, but I also got to hang out with my young children from 5-8pm daily, and honestly, I treasure that too. but memories don’t pay the bills. :joy: So I regret making those career choices since we would have been ahead financially if I had decided that it was worth it coming home at 7pm and kissing my kids goodnight, and having the nanny feed, bathe and put my kids to bed as many friends have chosen to do.

So, yes, having kids is a bad choice in today’s economy. One I am glad I did but we definitely feel the economic impact.


Most of these millennials are so commitment averse they won’t even own a dog