For the last 50 years, fertility rates have decreased worldwide, due to women’s empowerment, lower child mortality and increased cost of raising children.

Source: How much has the global fertility rate decreased over the years? | World Economic Forum

This is now occurring everywhere:

China is far below 2.1, and India is now at 2.3 and falling rapidly. Together, that is 1/3 of the world’s population.

What changed?

  • Economics – those who are better educated tend to earn more, and those who earn more tend to have fewer children.
  • Economic and career opportunities for women, who may not have had similar opportunities 75 to 100 years ago.
  • Industrial economies rather than agricultural economies. My great grandfather had 12 kids in the 19th century; 5 died. High death rates and having kids to work on your farm were a big incentive for larger families. Today, death rates are low and modern economies no longer reward such large families.
  • Catastrophe and fear mongering. Many say that the fertility rate has dropped because young people think the world is going to hell and we are all going to die, so why inflict future pain on unborn children, typically with regards to climate. However, the drop started 50-60 years ago! Long before “The end is near” memes had become so ingrained.