Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Next Media Animation thinks low birth rates in the U.S. and China aren't all good

During the past month or so, Next Media Animation gave their take on falling birthrates in the U.S. and China along with their unintended consequences. Since I haven't been writing and posting Silly Sustainability Saturday entries lately,* I haven't been including these reports regularly in my entries. Time to make up for my inattention.

First up, Economy is the best form of birth control, which makes light of the situation in the U.S.

US birth rates have been falling ever since the recession started, and studies show that this year they've fallen even more! In 2007, there were over 4.3 million babies born, the most ever. It's supposed to go up every year. But now it's down to 4 million. This year, young women from their teens to early 20s have the lowest birth rate ever!

Modern women have certain goals and dreams they want to experience before having kids, so they're having kids later in life. But these days, they just want to keep their jobs and be able to pay for gas! And if you have any fear of losing your job, you wouldn't try to get pregnant at a time you could lose your health insurance! The number of vasectomies has also gone up in the last few years! Why keep paying for condoms or pills if you know you don't want more kids?

You may think low birth rate is good, for population control. But down the line, it could actually be harmful. In the near future we will see more and more of the "4-2-1 problem". You have four grandparents, two parents and one child, and in countries where people are expected to take care of their old folks, it's a lot of responsibility! But either way, if old folks don't have retirement money or savings, the responsibility goes to the government and taxpayers. Careful, or you could end up like Taiwan, where they're trying to bribe people into making babies!
Whereas the above video was only secondarily about the unintended consequences, the next is all about the externalities of China's One Child policy. I present to you "No Girls Born" in China anymore.

We have a country-style song for you today, about one of the consequences of China's one-child policy: a massive gender imbalance in the country.

The Chinese government imposed the one-child policy in 1979. It has prevented 400 million births and allowed China to limit its population growth much faster than most developing countries.

But the one-child policy has also resulted in gender-selective abortions and female infanticide that have distorted the ratio of male to female births, with 118.1 boys currently born for every 100 girls. The natural ratio of boys to girls at birth is 1.05:1, according to UN figures.
Lyrics at the link.

As for the consequences of the gender imbalance on the rest of the world, I used to fear war, as that was one way to eliminate excess young males from a population. I'm not so sure about that anymore. China seems more interested in buying the world instead of conquering it. Instead, I expect that China will start importing brides from poorer Asian countries. That would be one way of paying tribute to The Middle Kingdom!

*One of my New Year's resolutions is to resume Silly Sustainability Saturday posts. I can start a day early on New Year's Eve, which is this Saturday.


  1. In what way is "not enough oxygen and dying a slow, horrific, miserable death from carbon dioxide poisoning" a ~good~ thing? o_O

    We need *LESS* people...EVERYWHERE...preferably before we're all DEAD and we irrecoverably screw the entire environment with the global warming caused by our viral like breeding patterns.

    1. What we need and what we're going to get are two different things. Still population growth is slowing down. The U.S. is now at 0.7% growth, the tied for the lowest in the country's history. As for the rest of the world, its growth rate is slowing down, too. We won't have fewer people in our lifetimes, unless we survive an absolute catastrophe, but we won't have as many as feared.