March 5, 2014
Last September, the U.S. government announced that our birthrate fell to “another record low” in 2012, following a long, steady slide since the Baby Boom after World War II.
It goes without saying that, morally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s natural, in a way. All over the world, birthrates tend to fall along with economic development, for numerous reasons including (a) the move away from a labor-intensive small-farm economy and (b) women’s ascendance in the workforce, which uses time that used to be devoted to child-rearing. Families in richer countries tend to have fewer kids. In places like Japan and Western Europe, national populations are actually peaking.