Since the sixties, many governments around the world have turned demographic control into a priority. As a result, humanity has reduced deliberately fertility for the first time in history. As a consequence, according to statistics of the United Nations (ONU), over 61 countries face a phenomenon, called “low replacement fertility”. This means, populations of these countries eventually will start to diminish. The implications of this phenomenon barely start to be taken into consideration.
One of the principle allies of the movement in favor of fertility reduction has been the principle social communication Media. Nevertheless, in the United States, the mentioned Medias have gone on to inform about the problems many countries are facing due to this reduction. This constitutes a reaction to the changes happened, regarding the experts’ way of thinking about population matters.
A few years ago, the ONU fostered a meeting with these experts where various demographers, coming from distinct parts of the world, alerted about “low replacement fertility”. The heaviest part of their critics arose from the economic problems related to population’s aging. In Italy(its fertility rate having descended, reaching 1,15 children per woman, much below the required 2,1 rate), fear became manifested that this country would not find sufficient workers to bring further Italian economy. An inform reports, Italy will have to fall back more and more depending on immigrants employment.
It has been proven that since 1960, population did not increase that much; the so called “demographic winter” had started. “Available statistic data had never before registered similar records”. An extended low fecundation rate provokes a principle of aging population which later on will be accentuating; until the point the respective culture is extinguishing. Demographers consider, the number of children per woman for generational replacement is 2,11. Today, only Ireland hits this threshold. Spain has a sad world record: 1,23 according to recent registered data (to be verified).
Jean-Claude Chesnais from France presented a veiled moral argument when he suggested that “a society has no success without the presence of children”. France is counting today with 1.7 millions of young people less than in 1975. A higher loss than the one suffered during the First World War 1914 – 1918.Now, government has provided fiscal facilities for families with children. It seems society would be dominated now by an aged and conservative population. Nevertheless, there is no other wealth than… persons…: when there are no people, there is no future.
Every new estimation regarding the future about world population, supposes a drop. Nicholas Eberstadt, researcher at the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies alerts how demographic implosion should affect the family experience of many children. In accordance to his estimations, fecundation rate has dropped in developed regions from 1,7 at the beginning of the nineties to 1,5 and will drop to 1,4 during the next decade.
This demographic diminution will have repercussions considering the idea of a family…; threatening the actual and correct idea we all have. In Italy, within two generations, three of each five children will not know brothers or sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts; they only will have parents, grand-parents and great-grandparents. According to this, less than 5 % of the Italian children of the future will have brothers and cousins at the same time. There will be children who never will know one of their parents (this, without wanting to enter into the incidence of divorce).
In Spain, the intellectual Julián Marías is exposing: “Of course, there is no optimal number of children per family; this will depend, upon many other factors, the very physical and moral vigor of the parents, the means they possess etc.; each family is a particularly case. Nevertheless he is pointing out what ordinary happens within families consisting of various brothers and sisters. It is less likely to give them overprotection, often in an anguishing manner. The presence of various brothers relieves the charge of the parents because they contribute to the improvement of the parents. There is a predominantly young and open ambience within the family. When conjugal difficulties present, an effort is done to overcome them “because of the children”. The experience of the parents is increasing meanwhile new children are arriving. The first-born is accustomed to present more problems than all the others after him.
Moreover (or mathematics fail or parents’ energies multiply), a study realized by Dr. Huntington about former students at the Yale University discovered, those students who achieved a brilliant career, in average, came from families having three times the number of children as the other ones.
As an example of damage produced over a long period by a short-sighted demographic politic there is the case of Japan. Elder people over 65 years represent now 16,7 % of the 126 millions of Japanese and already form a population more frequent than young people lesser than 15. Imbalance has the tendency to accelerate: until 2050, one of three Japanese will be retired, and the problem will be: who will take care of a country consisting of only old people? Letting apart the evident economic problem.
In 1950, 32 % of world population lived in western developed countries, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Today, this percentage has diminished reaching 12 %. In 1900, Europe owned 25 % of world population. In the year 2050, Europe will only have 7 % of world population. Spain, among other countries, forms a paradigmatic example. Abortion is much diffused in this nation… and it is submerged in a moral decline…Spanish women have an average of 1,07 children, much lower than the needed 2,1 to maintain a population. Today, Spain has 39,4 million habitants, rate which will reduce during the next decades.
After the decades of alarmist propaganda concerning “over population” and government supported programs for “zero population growth”, most of European countries are not anymore replacing themselves demographically. The United Nations (ONU) informed, 61 countries and entire Europe were already suffering a “fertility below the replacement rate”; which means below the mentioned 2,1 rate. Experts say it has increased up to 80 countries in 2001.
Experts predict that until 2050, population in Italy will reduce 28 %, which means, 41 millions of inhabitants less than supposed. They predict as well, European Community will have an implosion of 18 millions superior to the one the United States will have, its population still being growing due to immigration. Nevertheless, demographic problems are not only affecting Western Europe. Former communist countries in East Europe have even worse demographic problems. A recent report emitted by the Economic Commission of the ONU for Europe predicts: population levels will drop about 33 % in the former communist countries by 2050. The same report declares Eastern Europe countries have the lowest fertility rates in the world. Late statistics, dating from 1998, reveal women have an average of 1,3 children in Eastern Europe, compared to 1,6 inWestern Europe.
During thirty years, we have heard discussions about the demographic problem. Nobody thought about anything else than over population. But this has showed up to be a myth reality has denied. Now, ONU’s Population Division is rectifying its calculations. In the World Population Prospect: The 1996 Revision, ONU prognostics world population will decrease and this will happen in all the zones of the world. ONU, for the first time, even called for a reunion conformed by experts where the discussed problem was: the decrease of fecundity and the foreseeable fall of population. Thus, the drop of birth rate is universal.
In an article of its magazine, the International Bank of Development remembers how, a generation ago, many demographers thought Latin America and Caribbean countries were directing to a demographic catastrophe. In the mid-sixties, Latin-American women had a birth rate which, according to the always wrong ecological lamentations, should cause a demographic explosion which would menace the capacity of many countries to educate, nourish and give employment to their citizens. But the crisis did not happen. Just the opposite; according to new previsions, world population will reach a top of 9,400 millions inhabitants in the middle of the XXI century, and then it will start to drop.
To reach a low growth rate was the aim fomented irresponsibly by the industrialized world, and especially directed towards the Third World. Now, this is causing alarm. Many developed countries have disturbed and unbalanced societies, unable to sustain themselves because there is a great number of old people and there is a loss of young people to work. The New York Times points out; this change affects all the programs using public funds (health, education, pensions, defense). The dramatic fact is there is no European country where population has enough children to replace their parents when they die. The most recent example is Italy; first nation in history having the doubtful honour to have more people over 60 than young people under 20. Germany, Greece, Spain have reached the same situation. Jean Claude Chesnais from the French Demographic Institution declares: “Governments are observing with worry how their nations are fighting to no disappear, while colour populations in Africa, India and Asia still grow. Europe is old and rigid and therefore becomes weak”.
This is the real harm which happened in these societies. No only economically, or due to immigrants invasions… but they are societies where the family concept has become broken. A lawless anti-birth campaign has at long and at last undermined the family concept. According to the New York Times (10/07/98), millions of young men and women enjoying of a prosperity and freedom more than never before, have always less children, subordinate and suppress marriage. This is an index for family disintegration, family being the real nucleus of society, creating the values of solidarity.
Family has been damaged dramatically and when family becomes destroyed, society collapses.
Translated from Spanish language