Thursday, October 15, 2009

Birth Rates... or something of the sort

The changing of birth rates throughout the Age of Empire is incredibly interesting to me. I think it is such a rarity that the birth rates and mortality rates simultaneously declined in 'industrializing' countries. How these two could could decrease, at the same time, is a statistical anomaly, as well as a highly important cog in the machine of the future. Current birth rates (in so called industrialized states) are commonplace, so much that large families are the rarity in this day and age. Interestingly enough, barely 100 years ago, this was not the case. Commonplace in society has been shaped in little under 100 years, and it's rather miraculous.

Even more interesting is that third world countries will soon begin this decline in birth rates as well as (hopefully) mortality rates. This could actually lead to a stabilized world population. If you think in very hopeful terms, and ones that are just one possible way the future could pan out, this stabilization of world population could ultimately lead to a more peaceful world. I, personally, believe that basic problems, such as shelter, food, and basic rights, or lack of either really, are the fundamental basis of all complicated problems in our world.

Ultimately, everything is interconnected. So even if you don't agree that our world's problems are based off of hunger, you could easily see the connection between it and other problems. If we had a stabilized world population, we have the potential to obtain a production rate actually equivalent to our consumption rate. This is hopeful, and ideological, but none-the-less a possibility. I hope that in our world it is something we strive for, especially as globalization continues to become a rising expectation among people. We can eventually aim to solve stable global-problems through global-means.

What do you think of this hopeful fantasy for the world?


  1. I agree. I think most of the world's problems are based off lack of basic amenities like food and shelter. A stabilized world population would definitely help solve the world's economical problems. If the world wasn't in debt the wealthy countries would be able to help the third world countries.

  2. All levels within the working-classes found their family and life style affected by adverse personal circumstances that were aggravated by fluctuations in living standards occasioned by cyclical, seasonal or other economic factors. Family size began to fall rapidly in this period. I think that fertility rates diverged between social classes and within the working-class itself. Within the working-classes martial fertility declined substantially faster for families headed by skilled, semi-skilled and textile workers than for those headed by miners, agricultural labourers and the unskilled. Women of these skilled and semi-skilled families were marrying later because the female job market was opening up and women were working for whatever they could.

  3. The only issue with this "fantasy world" is that the human population will probably never stabilize. Besides uncontrollable pandemics, and our habit of starting wars, the concept of "carrying capacity" comes into play. If you remember back to ecology, carrying capacity is the maximum number of organisms (in this case people) the environment (the Earth) can support. For most species, the environment's carrying capacity can only affected by natural occurences, drought, famine, new species being introduced, etc. However, this is not the case for mankind. We have the ability to innovate, and to create solutions to the problems the environment poses. For example, new agricultural technologies and bioengineering allow farmers to grow crops in areas that were once considered impossible to farm. And now, more food can be produced, dramatically changing the Earth's carrying capacity. Mankind can probably grow enough food on Earth so that no one would have to grow hungry, (did you know the US government actually PAID farmers NOT TO GROW CROPS in the 1980's? look up the "payment in kind" program or go to,9171,953811,00.html) Why food and technology is so unevenly distributed is another matter entirely. But for now I say, until we stop inventing, and stop innovating, the homo sapiens' population will not stabilize.

  4. I believe in order to solve most of the worlds problems is to actually have a united goal between countries. It is impossible for every country to achieve the level of America or any other great country. I feel that if America doesn't accept the fact that in order to help other countries, we need to strip ourselves of "extra amentities" just so the third world countries can recieve basic amentities.