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Where are the Babies?

July 10, 2017
Plain English Version

Babies in cardboard boxes at the Domingo Guzman Lander hospital in Barcelona, in Venezuela. (Courtesy: Cong. Manuel Ferreira)

Women in most of the world are not having enough babies.

At the rate women in the U.S. are giving birth, the U.S. population will decline. Those are the findings of a new study.

The campaigns to lower the number of babies born to teen-agers have worked. Teens have far fewer infants than teenagers did twenty-five years ago. This is true for teenage girls from all backgrounds.

Women in their prime birth-giving years also are having fewer babies. Only one group of women is having more children. That group is women over the age of thirty.

Unmarried women also are having fewer babies. Unmarried white women are having the fewest babies. Unmarried black and Hispanic women are about twice as likely to have babies.

In Greece, the birth rate is going down. Experts say the decline is greater there because of the crisis in the economy.

Europeans ares having fewer children. Some of the countries, such as Greece, have the lowest birthrates in the world. One outcome will be fewer people. That means less money for the support of welfare and pension payments.

Some countries are responding to these changes. The Singapore government is giving women money to have babies. Russia is putting more money into pension accounts. Germany and Japan are giving bonuses to women who have babies.

China also is facing a decline in its population growth. But China still takes some old approaches to manage even the reduced population growth. The government still fines married couples that have more than two children. It fines women who give birth to out-of-wedlock babies.

Two things appear to affect countries’ birthrates. They are the economy and the culture. The world of jobs is improving. But men and women are still favoring less marriage and fewer children.

Where will the children come from next? Experts say lower-income families migrating to Western countries, including the U.S., are the answer.

If your country is losing population, you have more worries than if your country is growing.

Source: The New York Times July 3, 2017

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