The end of women

The Economist has an amusing reductio ad absurdum in its regular Daily Charts section. At current fertility rates, The Economist predicts it will take 25 generations for Hong Kong’s population to drop from its current 3.25 million to just one – which by their calculations will occur in the year 2798. China and Japan will be down to their last woman around 3500 AD, with Canada holding out until almost 4500 AD.

If you browse through any official projections of population in developed countries, they tend to suggest that the current below replacement levels of fertility are here to stay. But would anyone argue that fertility rate in developed countries will not, at some point, increase?

2 thoughts on “The end of women

  1. Or are we just moving towards a sustainable population level?

    In my opinion we are just moving towards a more sustainable population level.

    I think that the reason for a decline in fertility rates is not due our needs and wants not being as closely matched as before( bit too superficial nowdays).

    To have these wants met in a booming country often would mean putting marriage and kids on the backburner.

    This forces woman and men to work longer and harder hence putting reproduction on the back burner.

    But as asian countries  improve their our living standards they will hopefully be moving towards a more sustainable population level . 

    Right now as they all move into middle and higher income households they just can’t sustain the natural increase in resources needed hence the drain on the fertility rate.

    But as the population stabalises and natural immigration away to seek better opportunities I think we reach a sustainable level of fertility to match the resources.

    But I am interested to hear your response Jason.

    1. There is a large difference between what is good for the group (“the sustainable level”) and the good of the individual. Those that restrain their fertility (regardless of the reason) will soon be swamped by those who don’t.

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