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I’ve seen several recent articles worrying about declining fertility rates. Two of them caught my eye today:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/11/25/india-birth-rate-replacement-population/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/11/25/fertility-rates-keep-falling-there-are-no-easy-solutions-fix-it/

In one of them, government spokespersons complain about the falling birth rate in India, the worlds most populous country. The other lamented falling birth rates in the United States, the richest. Both of them complained that economies would suffer if people didn’t rev up their baby production. Both of them offered no explanation for declining birth rates except to say that people just don’t want kids like they used to.

Do People Want Kids?

People are hard-wired to have children whether they want to or not. The difference between today and the past is that more people have a choice. Thank Margaret Sanger for promoting birth control. Thank millions of women for fighting for their rights. The fight is certainly not over, but women have made some gains, and one of those important gains is that they get a little bit of say-so over when and whether they will have children.

At the risk of offending the religious and anti-woman crazies, one could make a strong case that people don’t really want children, or at least they don’t want a considerable number of them. Start with the scandalous treatment of foster children in Texas, for example. The Texas Tribune says there are 28,000 of them. Many have no foster “families.” Some of them sleep unprotected in Child Protective Service offices!

The United States has 12,000,000 children living in poverty, according to The Anna E Casey Foundation 2021 report. Texas has 1,401,000, or 19% of its total. Texas ranks Texas 46th in taking care of children. It has the most severe anti-abortion law on the books. Texas, one might conclude, has no use for children after they are born!

Is More Population a Good Idea?

At last count (2020), this planet was supporting 7.753 billion human beings. It was 7.673 billion the year before. Some of them are at war. Some of them are dying from disease. Some are being killed by the effects of climate change. Many of them are transient immigrants. 1 in every 10 is undernourished.