Do Falling Birthrates Pose a Threat to Human Welfare?
When questioning whether or not we are a species in decline, one has but to look at two different numbers. One of those numbers is birthrates, or the number of live births in a given area. For this paper I will concentrate on the United States primarily to provide a more centralized view. The other number you can look at is the mortality rate, or number of deaths in that same area. From these two numbers one can glean much knowledge about the state of human population growth or decline. Looking at a high birth rate and a low death rate could signal a growth in a population, while the opposite could signal a decline.
To answer the question, one must first look at the evidence. The birth rate for the U.S. was 13.83 births/1,000 population (2010 est.). That puts us 151st in the world in that statistic. In a world made up of 193 countries, that puts us close to the bottom of the barrel. It would seem that we are reproducing less and less these days. Recent economic turmoil could be one reason, gender politics could be another. Whatever the reason, we are not having as many babies as we used to.
Looking to the death rate which was 8.38 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.), we were ranked 91st in the world. This time we were more in the middle. Looking at these two numbers you can see that we have more births than deaths in this country which to me signals a growth in population while a country like Haiti (24births/32 deaths per 1,000 population) would be a country in decline.