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Birthrates Are Plummeting Worldwide. Why?

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Innehåll tillhandahållet av New York Times Opinion. Allt poddinnehåll inklusive avsnitt, grafik och podcastbeskrivningar laddas upp och tillhandahålls direkt av New York Times Opinion eller deras podcastplattformspartner. Om du tror att någon använder ditt upphovsrättsskyddade verk utan din tillåtelse kan du följa processen som beskrivs här https://sv.player.fm/legal.

For a long time, the story about the world’s population was that it was growing too quickly. There were going to be too many humans, not enough resources, and that spelled disaster. But now the script has flipped. Fertility rates have declined dramatically, from about five children per woman 60 years ago to just over two today. About two-thirds of us now live in a country or area where fertility rates are below replacement level. And that has set off a new round of alarm, especially in certain quarters on the right and in Silicon Valley, that we’re headed toward demographic catastrophe.

But when I look at these numbers, I just find it strange. Why, as societies get richer, do their fertility rates plummet?

Money makes life easier. We can give our kids better lives than our ancestors could have imagined. We don’t expect to bear the grief of burying a child. For a long time, a big, boisterous family has been associated with a joyful, fulfilled life. So why are most of us now choosing to have small ones?

I invited Jennifer D. Sciubba on the show to help me puzzle this out. She’s a demographer, a political scientist and the author of “8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death and Migration Shape Our World.” She walks me through the population trends we’re seeing around the world, the different forces that seem to be driving them and why government policy, despite all kinds of efforts, seems incapable of getting people to have more kids.
Mentioned:

Would You Have Four Kids if It Meant Never Paying Taxes Again?” by Jessica Grose

Are Men the Overlooked Reason for the Fertility Decline?” by Jessica Grose

If We Want More Babies, Our ‘Profoundly Anti-Family’ System Needs an Overhaul” by Jessica Grose

Book Recommendations:

Extra Life by Steven Johnson

The Bet by Paul Sabin

Reproductive States edited by Rickie Solinger and Mie Nakachi

Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Mixing by Isaac Jones. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Jessica Grose and Sonia Herrero.

  continue reading

322 episoder

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iconDela
 
Manage episode 407714765 series 2858887
Innehåll tillhandahållet av New York Times Opinion. Allt poddinnehåll inklusive avsnitt, grafik och podcastbeskrivningar laddas upp och tillhandahålls direkt av New York Times Opinion eller deras podcastplattformspartner. Om du tror att någon använder ditt upphovsrättsskyddade verk utan din tillåtelse kan du följa processen som beskrivs här https://sv.player.fm/legal.

For a long time, the story about the world’s population was that it was growing too quickly. There were going to be too many humans, not enough resources, and that spelled disaster. But now the script has flipped. Fertility rates have declined dramatically, from about five children per woman 60 years ago to just over two today. About two-thirds of us now live in a country or area where fertility rates are below replacement level. And that has set off a new round of alarm, especially in certain quarters on the right and in Silicon Valley, that we’re headed toward demographic catastrophe.

But when I look at these numbers, I just find it strange. Why, as societies get richer, do their fertility rates plummet?

Money makes life easier. We can give our kids better lives than our ancestors could have imagined. We don’t expect to bear the grief of burying a child. For a long time, a big, boisterous family has been associated with a joyful, fulfilled life. So why are most of us now choosing to have small ones?

I invited Jennifer D. Sciubba on the show to help me puzzle this out. She’s a demographer, a political scientist and the author of “8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death and Migration Shape Our World.” She walks me through the population trends we’re seeing around the world, the different forces that seem to be driving them and why government policy, despite all kinds of efforts, seems incapable of getting people to have more kids.
Mentioned:

Would You Have Four Kids if It Meant Never Paying Taxes Again?” by Jessica Grose

Are Men the Overlooked Reason for the Fertility Decline?” by Jessica Grose

If We Want More Babies, Our ‘Profoundly Anti-Family’ System Needs an Overhaul” by Jessica Grose

Book Recommendations:

Extra Life by Steven Johnson

The Bet by Paul Sabin

Reproductive States edited by Rickie Solinger and Mie Nakachi

Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Mixing by Isaac Jones. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Jessica Grose and Sonia Herrero.

  continue reading

322 episoder

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