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Thread: GDP per Capita and Fertility Rate

  1. #1 GDP per Capita and Fertility Rate 
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    Statistical studies have always shown that people from poor nations have much higher fertility rate than the people living in high income nations.

    What is the real reason driving the phenomena in the world to occur? Doesn't it make more sense that a couple having good economical situation to be able to support more children?

    For example: Congo, Liberia and Eritrea having very low GDP per Capita, have almost the highest fertility rate in the world and Nations like Switzerland, Singapore, Austria and Norway have very high GDP per Capita but low fertility Rate.

    How does this happen?

    Fertility rate of women has a strong negative correlation with GDP per capita |


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  3. #2  
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    This is far too simplistic. Try Hans Rosling's TED talks for some good work on linking population, income, resources and social factors.

    This one Hans Rosling: Religions and babies | Video on TED.com is his most recent, but I'd strongly recommend the others. The best-known one is Hans Rosling: The magic washing machine | Video on TED.com.


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    I'd guess that proffessional aspirations of females in high GDP countries plays a big part in reducing childbirth rates. On top of this is higher levels of education which preaches it is irresponsible to have to many children and drain the earths resources.
    Factor in that if a woman in a high GDP country has a lot of children, then the household will be more chaotic and less apt to produce well behaved children who do well in school, another reason for reduced child birth rates.

    I've always felt the government doesn't like big families for various reasons... more cetralised authority=smaller families
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    This is far too simplistic. Try Hans Rosling's TED talks for some good work on linking population, income, resources and social factors. .
    Wow, I've never heard any talk of Hans Reosling before. I am really Impressed with this professor, his theory is very convincing.... So it is not only a factor of family income.

    So according to Hans, fertility rate of women depends on:
    1- Children survival rate (in countries with high mortality rate, there is higher fertility)
    2- Children are not need for work
    3- Women get education and join the labour force
    4- Family Planning is accessible

    I will certainly spend much more time researching his work... Thanks a lot of the links.
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  6. #5  
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    Watch Rosling's talk.

    Most countries in the world now have average birthrates around 2 children per woman. The highest birthrate countries are the high violence / high child death rate countries - Afghanistan and the Congo being the worst examples.

    The idea that children from high income, large number of children families are badly behaved is just silly. If you're a school teacher, most of the children you deal with will be from families with 2 or less children. Some of them will be the precious-little-snowflake only child of a household that indulges their every passing whim. Children from larger families with responsible parents will have learned some basic social skills like taking turns, allowing others to have their say - many of them know unusual words like 'bedtime' and 'please' and 'thank you'. Any adult can be a good or bad parent of any number of children.

    (I confess to being a bit disillusioned. Establishing a business catering to children with problems, I fondly imagined that I'd be dealing with the best of the best. Parents willing to put in time and their own money to improving their children's education. I was often bitterly disappointed. I wouldn't have let some of those people look after a potplant if I went on holidays. They all seemed to love their children, but many of them were absolutely clueless.)
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    I don't think the idea about famillies with a lot of kids being chaotic is silly...

    I'm thinking when the are seven kids in one family and 3 kids in the other... the parents with seven kids have less time for each of them individually, so they become more self relliant. Yes being in a big family would give you better social skills, doesn't mean you're more likely to do as the teachers say does it?

    On the otherhand i agree with what you say about single child families.
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    I've known two families with seven kids - not clients. They were the most organised, calm, sensible level-headed parents anyone could imagine. And the kids were really nice.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Did I say something about the relationship between amount of children and niceness of children?

    How many siblings do you have ade?
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    Me. Standard one sibling. Standard 2 children of my own. My sibling also standard 2 children. Both of them standard 2 children. My own don't have any yet but that's likely to change in the next little while. All pretty nice people - we were very well brought up.

    Going in the other direction. Mother only child. Husband only child - his mother only child. My father, 3 siblings. FIL, 6 siblings.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    How do you define standard exactly?


    Maybe it has something to do with a deep seated instinct that when things are tough, there is an evolutionary need to have children?

    We want to prolong our genes, when life is hard then you have as many kids as you can to give your gene the best chance of survival, this mechanism of survival thing is found in other organisms, many organisms reproduce more then can survive.

    That's why I always think the reduction of offspring is a more modern phenomena that we see in place where life is comfortable.

    I wouldn't be suprised if the correlation between birthrates and premature death rates in areas is more pronounced than the correlation between birthrate and income... i'm not doing the research
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  12. #11  
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    GDP, education, and availability of contraceptives, is contradicted by the US Baby Boom. Women then were being laid off to make way for male breadwinners in deliberate restructuring of the postwar economy. So I think it's the relative financial independence of women that lowers birthrate. If true, it means poor countries with crippling birthrates don't need an economic miracle or 1st world sugardaddy - they only need to narrow the gender gap.

    Japan does not fit my hypothesis because that country anachronistically idealizes housewife 'w salaryman nuclear family. However I reason the insane academic competition there prompts parents to have fewer children they can invest more heavily into. Also two kids will have to share a room, living space is so tight.
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    That's why I always think the reduction of offspring is a more modern phenomena that we see in place where life is comfortable.
    No. Reduction of offspring is pretty well automatic when women have access to contraception and the infant mortality rate is low.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    That's why I always think the reduction of offspring is a more modern phenomena that we see in place where life is comfortable.
    No. Reduction of offspring is pretty well automatic when women have access to contraception and the infant mortality rate is low.
    What do you mean No? we said the same thing didn't we? or did I miss something?

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  15. #14  
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    Not the same thing at all. Comfort or an easy life don't come into it.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Not the same thing at all. Comfort or an easy life don't come into it.
    So lowered infant mortality rate and access to contraceptions has nothing to do with comfort and an easy life? Did you interpret my comment as suggesting woman don't have as many kids when they spend all day on a nice sofa and don't work? Because if so you missunderstood what I try to say. by comfort and easy life I meant, the creature comforts that exist in High GDP countries, but don't exists in low GDP countries. The sort of creature comforts include everything from medical services, to availability of contraception, to availability of food, all these things which reduce mortality rate... rather than how comfy a sofa or a matress is.

    i did that was obvious, my apologies if it wasn't clear what I meant.

    I said in my original post I thought birthrate was related to mortality rate.
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  17. #16  
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    by comfort and easy life I meant, the creature comforts that exist in High GDP countries, but don't exists in low GDP countries.
    And that's what I meant. Most low income countries have already reduced their average birthrate to about 2 children per woman - and they've done it where most people don't have running water or electricity or cooking stoves - let alone comfortable sofas or glass in their windows.

    I strongly recommend you watch this whole video. Hans Rosling: Religions and babies | Video on TED.com
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  18. #17  
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    I watched the video and can also reccomend it to anybody interested in this subject.

    This is what i said earlier in the link:

    "Maybe it has something to do with a deep seated instinct that when things are tough, there is an evolutionary need to have children?"
    "I wouldn't be suprised if the correlation between birthrates and premature death rates (mortality rates*) in areas is more pronounced than the correlation between birthrate and income... i'm not doing the research"

    This is the man's words in the presentation:

    "it's the countries in the world today with the highest mortality rates which have the fastest population growth"

    I didn't do any research or scientific analysis (as such), yet I was right... I do that quite a bit to be honest

    Again I'm going to paste my comment which you disagreed with adelady...:
    "That's why I always think the reduction of offspring is a more modern phenomena that we see in place where life is comfortable."

    This was posted in the same post as the two other quotes in this post, and what I meant by comfort was the ability to live and survive as well as creature comforts and health care which reduces mortality rates. So we were in agreement and there was no need for you to disagree with my comments.

    Looking back through this thread I see you already comented on the corrolation between mortality rates and birthrates pointed out in the presentation... I missed that first time round.

    What I'd also say is:
    The subject of the presentation was the effect of religion on birthrates. Hans claims there is no corrolation, yet it's clear from the statistics that the european christian countries (along with japan) led the way in lowering birthrates and the rest of the world has followed suit with the exception of war torn places like afghanistan and the congo.

    Also, he shows capitol per person in us$... and so claims it isn't really wealth that determines birthrates... yet I feel this does not take into account the cost of living in ccomparison with earnings. Which could potentially be misleading?

    It's a shame none of us will be around to see if his global population estimate turns out to be true or not.
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