Part of the series God: From Magic to Motivation
The world is having less babies?
Hans Rosling is fascinated by statistics and information. He has studied trends in the birth rates of countries around the world. He has put together a kind of story of the last 50 years that suggests we can have a healthy, robust world without buying into the belief that we need bigger and bigger families.
The love of statistics is a form of emerging aesthetics. Rosling uses a program that animates statistical trends. Rosling also sees statistics as a way to wade through the “river of myths” in which we live.
So, what does he have to say about Religions and Babies?
Women are having fewer and fewer babies. Why?
You don’t have to get rich to have fewer children. It looks like you need some social stability (less war) and some education.
Some Key Points:
High mortality rates = fast population growth
Stable lifestyles with less overall poverty = slower population growth
Births decrease when:
1. Children survive
2. Many children are not needed for labour
3. Women get education and join the labour force
4. Family planning is accessible
The world’s population is expected to reach 10 billion, but it may not grow much higher after that.
“The number of children is not growing any longer in the world. We are still debating peak oil, but we have definitely reached peak child.”
Religion has very little to do with the number of children in a family. We may believe religions are a cause, but something else is clearly going on as well. Economics and education say more than belief.
Earlier in this series I brought up the Myth of Growth. We often think of good economics or finances as growth in terms of percentages. We often assume that growth in families should just be expected. And yet all across the world, we are responding to a more stable, educated, and global lifestyle by having smaller families.
What do you think?
What do we desire more? – growth or balance?
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Hans Rosling is a medical doctor, disease researcher, statistician and took part in the television documentary The Joy of Stats. Here is his wikipedia page, and here is another one of his TED talks (kind of similar to the one above, but more about life expectancies).