According to research, people will be having fewer children in the coming decades due to a variety of factors- technology drift and possibly targeted interventions.
In some countries, the age distribution of their population reflects the results of their birth control interventions. Countries like China which implemented a one-child policy in 1980 show a clear picture of what the future world could look like if this generation have fewer children.
Fertility levels remain low in developed countries like the United States, but in Africa, the population is burgeoning.
People are projecting that the African population will continue to grow and grow. On the other hand, there is continued advocacy for reduction in fertility in these developing countries. Initiatives like ending child marriage and educating female children in sub-Saharan Africa are at the forefront of the interventions to whittle down the fertility rate in this region. Right now, sub-Saharan countries have the highest fertility rates in the world, with Niger being the highest at 7.17 births per woman.
Another factor which will affect the size of the successive generation is the spotlight on technology. Technology influences economic conditions, which in turn directly affects fertility. In rural areas where people generally have many children in order to ease the burden of labor, a more sophisticated world translates into a reduction in the need for manual labor. Women in regions riddled with poor healthcare have been known to have many children in case some die at childbirth. Better healthcare means a lower mortality rate, erasing the need for many children to raise. In a related way, the world is also getting more expensive, so having several children is becoming an impractical option.
This means that the current generation of young people are likely to have fewer children than their parents did. The implication of this is that the current huge generation of young people is a landmark event of the current age and will certainly not last for ever.
Are there opportunities or challenges associated with this astounding fact?
What do you think?