Elon Musk on Tuesday predicted that Italians will disappear if current birthrates continue.
Musk, whose $44 billion acquisition of Twitter was "temporarily on hold" while he sought more information about the proportion of fake accounts, tweeted a graphic from The Wall Street Journal showing the U.S. fertility rate in 2021 remained below the level considered necessary for a generation to replace itself.
A Twitter follower posted a graphic showing birthrates in Italy were falling, saying despite Italy having "good welfare," the country's "birthrate is failing."
"Italy will have no people if these trends continue," Musk tweeted in response.
Italy in 2020 reported its lowest ever birth-rate at 1.29 children per woman, according to Italian statistical institute Istat.
Italy counted seven newborns and 12 deaths per thousand inhabitants in 2021, Istat said, Bloomberg reported.
Istat said Italy was headed toward a 20% drop (12 million fewer people) by 2070.
Musk began his string by posting the WSJ graphic and tweeting: "USA birth rate has been below min sustainable levels for ~50 years."
He then added: "Contrary to what many think, the richer someone is, the fewer kids they have. I am a rare exception. Most people I know have zero or one kid."
Musk had discussed dropping birthrates before.
"Most people believe that we have too many people on the planet. This is an outdated view," Musk said in 2019 at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, Bloomberg reported.
He added, assuming there was a benevolent artificial intelligence, the biggest problem the world will face in 20 years is a population collapse.
The birth rate in the U.S. increased for the first time since 2014, according to a report from the National Vital Statistic System.
The Wall Street Journal reported U.S. births remained at historically low levels after peaking in 2007 and then plummeting during the recession that began the end of that year.
The total fertility rate – the average number of babies a woman would have over her lifetime – was 1.66 last year, up from 1.64 the prior year, when it fell to the lowest level since the government began tracking it in the 1930s.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.