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Population Expert Welcomes Declining Fertility Rates

fertility rates study

By    |   Wednesday, 26 December 2018 01:51 PM EST

Declining fertility rates throughout the world should be welcomed, said Sarah Harper, an expert on population change at the University of Oxford.

Her comments came in a report by The Guardian.

She maintained the focus on boosting population was outdated and possibly bad for women.

Women now have an average 2.4 children in their lifetime, according to statistics cited by the newspaper. But in North America, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Japan, that number is under two.

However, in some sections of the world it remains high. In Niger, for example, it is more than seven.

Harper noted that artificial intelligence, migration, and a healthier old age mean nations no longer needed booming populations to achieve growth and stability.

“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.

And she added that improved family planning and declining infant mortality rates have led to declines in the fertility rates.

“A smaller number of highly educated people in the knowledge economy of Europe will vastly outweigh increasing our population because automation is going to take over many of the tasks,” Harper said.

“All the evidence is that if families, households, societies, countries have to deal with large numbers of dependents, it takes away resources that could be put into driving society, the economy etc.,” she added.

Her comments appear to echo a U.S. government report released in October.

"Overall, we saw continuing decreasing trends in total fertility," said report author Danielle Ely, a health statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics.

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An expert on population change says the declining fertility rates throughout the world should be welcomed.
fertility rates, population, experts
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 01:51 PM
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