The Graying of the World

Foreign Policy takes a look at aging around the world in an article and a photoessay. The article analyzes a number of aging myths. For example, lower birthrates aren’t exclusive to rich countries: “[W]e see that birth rates are dipping below replacement levels even in countries hardly known for luxury. Emerging first in Scandinavia in the 1970s, what the experts call ‘subreplacement fertility’ quickly spread to the rest of Europe, Russia, most of Asia, much of South America, the Caribbean, Southern India, and even Middle Eastern countries like Lebanon, Morocco, and Iran. Of the 59 countries now producing fewer children than needed to sustain their populations, 18 are characterized by the United Nations as ‘developing,’ i.e., not rich.” [%comments]

TAGS:

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

 

COMMENTS: 17

View All Comments »
  1. Eric M. Jones says:

    R. Buckminster Fuller’s book Critical Path shows the reduction of birthrate vs the increase in kilowatt-hours per person. Beautiful graphs.

    Not a surprise. Educate and empower the women (it turns out) and they suddenly don’t want to be only baby factories.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  2. Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team says:

    If the World is getting Greyer, an outstanding investment opportunity is Grecian Hair Dye or Just for Men Hair Care Products. You can “Wash that Grey right out of Your Hair.”

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. Brett says:

    @Eric M. Jones

    “Not a surprise. Educate and empower the women (it turns out) and they suddenly don’t want to be only baby factories.”

    That’s an offensive look at motherhood. I’m all for ensuring women are educated about their choices, and able to make the choices they want, but mothers are not baby factories.

    I’m one of 8 kids to my parents; they knew what they were doing having a large family, they knew the struggles they would face, but they made their decision(s) and have never regretted it. The way they see it, it was a long-term investment. They never had the newest cars or the nicest things, but now they are proud of 7 successful children (one more still a minor) who contribute to society and they have ten grandchildren they absolutely adore.

    If she had it all to do again, my (educated, empowered, and adored) mother would no doubt make the same decision and at no point would consider herself to be just a baby factory. She was and is a Mom.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  4. Mike B says:

    Sweet, more room at the beach and more per capita natural resources. OIL FIGHT!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. @Eric says:

    Really, now, it’s that simple? What about male preferences? Your simplistic feminist-friendly theory predicts increasing conflict between husbands who want more kids and powerful independent women who don’t want ‘em. Doesn’t reflect reality.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. Chad says:

    Re: Eric

    I am also part of a large (6 children) family, but I agree, in general, with Eric’s point.

    If you give women more options (by freeing and educating them), it is inevitable that some women will choose those other options. It is not that women in other countries have a lot of children, but don’t want to. In general, it is the only option in the culture or it is necessary for the labor of the children.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. WholeMealOfFood says:

    “Of the 59 countries now producing fewer children than needed to sustain their populations, 18 are characterized by the United Nations as ‘developing,’ i.e., not rich.”

    As families move from agricultural occupations and child mortality lowers, families will have fewer and fewer children (farmers need more help, and lower mortality rates mean less need to have redundant children). These are also symptoms of becoming richer in real terms. “Rich” is a relative term in the way it is used int he post. But aside from a couple of Great Depressions and Recessions, most people are getting richer all over the world in real terms.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team says:

    The World is neither Black nor White, but increasingly Grey.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0