There is an article in The Times today which talks about the fall in the Italian birthrate but it goes wider than that. Across the European Union births are down from 7.8 million in 1964 to just over 5 million in 2017. It is predicted that Russia will have half its current population at the end of the century.
Germany recently allowed in over 1 million migrants to shore up its reduced population size because of a lack of births from native Germans. There appears to be a general trend of a lack of desire to bring children into the world in the old, developed countries. The Times newspaper explains why they think Italy’s birth rate is falling and they do not point to a disillusionment with the current state of affairs on the planet.
However, I would like to suggest that there is an underlying reason for this population fall and that is that there is a disillusionment with the way humankind is managing the planet. People see less of a future. If they see less of a future for themselves it will be even worse for their children.
Personally, I would not bring a child into this world today. The future looks bleak. It is highly competitive. When there are more people there is more competition. Competition is becoming fiercer. It starts at school. There’s more pressure on children these days.
We are told that we are going through a mass extinction of wild species. Humans have destroyed vast acres of rainforest and continue to do so sometimes just to produce toilet paper. We’ve made tigers extinct in Java and Bali. The Bengal tiger is on its last legs – squeezed off the planet by a burgeoning human, Indian population growth and the same goes for Bangladesh where the Bengal tiger has a foothold. Trophy hunters are shooting elephants and they are going extinct as well. The iconic lion is being shot by trophy hunters despite a sharp reduction in population size on the African continent.
It is all so bleak. Climate change looks genuine. I’m convinced that there are less and less doubters about climate change. It appears to me that most scientists believe it actually exists. If it does it is a very serious situation with a very bleak outcome. People feel this. They are concerned about air pollution. But humankind seems incapable of stopping climate change. It is as if humanity simply cannot control itself sufficiently in order to make the planet habitable in the long term. People follow self-interest at the expense of community cohesion and coordination for general betterment.
We have to destroy nature in our quest self-indulgence. I just don’t get it and neither do large number of mothers and fathers who have decided not to have children. Not to bring them into this world which appears to them to have little in the way of the future. That’s what I think is one reason behind this fall in birth rates in Europe.
It is the old countries who have developed this refined view of life. The younger countries such as in Asia and on the African continent are still creating large families with massive population growth in Africa and migration to the north. They too will change and realise the reality. But it seems with population rises in Africa and population decreases in Europe, we are changing the demographics of humankind on the planet.