. . .demography is an existential crisis for the developed world, because the twentieth-century social-democratic state was built on a careless model that requires a constantly growing population to sustain it.
Problem is, most of the developed, Western world’s population is in serious decline. For a stable population — i.e., no growth and no decline — you need a total fertility rate of 2.1 live births per woman, which is where America hovers. Canada has 1.48 and Japan 1.32. Europe as a whole has 1.38 and experts predict it will lose at least 100 million people by mid-century. But Russia currently has the world’s lowest fertility rate at 1.15. Which makes the following story even more interesting.
According to MSNBC,
Ulyanovsk Gov. Sergei Morozov has decreed Sept. 12 a Day of Conception and is giving couples time off from work to procreate. Couples who give birth nine months later on Russiaâ€™s national day â€” June 12 â€” will receive money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes.
. . . Russiaâ€™s population has dropped since the 1991 Soviet collapse, fed by declining birthrates, a low life expectancy, a spike in emigration, a frayed health care system and other factors. The country â€” the worldâ€™s largest â€” now has just 141.4 million citizens, making it one of the most sparsely settled nations. And experts estimate the population could fall below 100 million by 2050.
While Russia’s declining birth rate has to do with numerous factors — including a horrific 70% abortion rate! — Steyn suggests that America’s population plateau has to do with, among other things, myths that we’ve allowed ourselves to believe. Namely, the myth of an overpopulated earth.
I’ve never bought into it. It’s why me and Lisa have done our part in advancing the American population. Either way, I’m hoping Russia’s idea for a Day of Conception will catch on. I mean, who wouldn’t like a day off for procreation? Just think of it men. No more headaches about romance. And no more excuses about headaches. I mean, who needs a candlelit dinner for two when “money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes” are in the offing.
Still, what does it say about our world that once great populations are in serious decline? And is offering prizes for procreation the best that we can do to stop it?