Population expert says plummeting fertility rates should be ‘celebrated’
Plummeting fertility rates around the world should be cause for celebration, a leading expert has claimed, suggesting that ‘boosting populations’ is ‘outdated and likely bad for women.
Sarah Harper of the University of Oxford said that rubbished theories that European countries are in danger of a “depopulation disaster” or a “baby bust” claiming the prediction are “alarmist in nature,” saying that migration and artificial intelligence will replace the need for domestic population growth.
“This idea that you need lots and lots of people to defend your country and to grow your country economically, that is really old thinking,” she said.
“What we should be saying is no, [a declining total fertility rate] is really good because we were terrified 25 years ago that maximum world population was going to be 24bn,” Harper added, who ironically has three children herself.
According to recent figures, women now have on average 2.4 children within their lifetime – a measure recognized as total fertility rate (TFR).
But as figures other countries are higher, almost half of the countries, including the UK, Russia, and Japan, it has plummeted below two.
Harper said, suggesting it may anger the right wing, “Migration is that wonderful balancing act,” praising German Chancellor Angela Merkel “took a million refugees because she desperately needed to boost her working population.”
According to the Guardian report about Harper’s comments, there are also environmental benefits to having fewer children, suggesting research shows “that having one fewer child reduces a parent’s carbon footprint by 58 tonnes of CO2 a year.”
Harper, who is an expert on population change and the former director of the Royal Institutio, said that falling total fertility rates were to be embraced and should not cause alarm.
Meanwhile, the population of the UK has more than doubled from 1.6 million to 3.8 million between 2007 and 2017 as the influx of EU migrants continues to soar.
According to the Office Of National Statistics, those born those born on the continent grew from 1.9million to 3.7million in the same period – showing how some people adjust nationality after moving here.
The Uk’s population is now at its highest ever level, according to the ONS survey.
Sarah Coates, Centre for Ageing and Demography, Office for National Statistics, explained:
“The UK population has doubled over the last 140 years, reaching a new high of 66 million people in 2017. We project there to be almost 73 million people in the UK by 2041.”
China hoped it could slow the pace and aging population by ending its one-child policy three years ago, but the move hasn’t worked according to China analyst Yuwen Wu.
The sense of crisis in China is evident as the declining birth rate is now one of the most talked-about topics.
Following decades of attempting to reduce the population, propaganda slogans now advise couples to “have children for the country.”
The Chinese government is now even giving people cash incentives or tax breaks to have more children.
China is fighting the declining fertility rate much differently to the West.
But what course of action is right?
Only time will tell.