So, as I once wrote, for a person to produce more than two children is unethical. If you want lots of kids, then adopt — preferably from an affluent country, as you only make things worse if you move people from cultures with a small environmental footprint to a land of big cars and hamburgers.
We need to give little girls worldwide a good education, because that makes them have fewer kids when they grow up. And we need to combat various religious organisations that sow doubt about the efficacy and moral acceptability of contraceptives.
The whole thing about adopting from affluent countries only seems kind of mean really. I get Martin’s point, but there are other terms for “small environmental footprint,” and they wouldn’t leave Jeremy Bentham smiling. In any case, here are the total fertility rates for nations below Martin’s homeland of Sweden from Wikipedia:
|1.23||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|1.64||Trinidad and Tobago|
|1.73||People’s Republic of China|
Martin’s recommendation about female education is a common one, and based on robust social science. But I recall that demographers have note that in many nations fertility rates have been dropping even faster than expected when noting the levels of literacy attained (e.g., Bangladesh’s TFR is around 3). But what other insights could we learn from these nations which best Sweden?
* Drink a lot, reduce male life expectancy. Slavic countries do really well on this list! I know that the Scandinavian countries have attempted to force reductions in per capita alcohol consumption through taxation, so perhaps that explains their higher fertility vis-a-vis Russia.
* Give up Communism. Lots of ex-Communist countries on the list.
* Have men live at home for a long time with momma. That’s the Italian solution.
* Similar to the Italian solution, have a lot of young Japanese men around. They avoid women apparently. If they hide, they can’t have sex.
* Also, be Korean. They’re playing video games all the time. I haven’t played video games since I was 16, but I don’t think that the sex ones are that realistic yet, right?
* The low fertilities in southern and eastern Europe, as well as East Asia, show that too much female empowerment can be a bad thing. For optimal low fertility it seems rather obvious that Saudi Arabia level female slavery is definitely the worst case, but, northern Europe style gender equality is pushing the fertility back up. Nations like Italy have enough female freedom where women have a choice, but men are sexist and immature enough that they make the choice not to settle down with men. By contrast, sensitive Swedish men like Martin are probably irresistible. The happy medium for population decline is one where the only women who can love an over-grown chauvinist man-child is his mother.