Too Many Babies

This story showed up on my yahoo feed this morning:


Wow! Here I've been thinking that we were looking at a decline in fertility and that world population was expected to max out in 2050 and then fall precipitously. That whole angle is missing from this story. You'd get the impression that the world population is expected to continue to increase after 2050 and ruin the world. I wondered if I was missing something, so I went to look at the UN's newest "world population prospects report" for 2010 to see if something had changed. http://esa.un.org/peps/fertility_figures/interactive-figures_TF-trajectories.htm

I haven't had time to do more than look through it, but it looks to me like there's no change in the forecast that the world population is expected to begin falling in 2050 even in the developing countries (by 2050 the populations of the United States and Europe will already have fallen so low that immigrants from the developing world will be running them.) My initial scan of the report seems to be validated by the fact that the experts in the AP story are not quoted saying anything about what happens after 2050.

If in fact the AP story really did just leave out the whole issue of the population decline following 2050, it's hard to read it as anything other than a propaganda piece. Now, what would the purpose in that be? You'd have to guess that the majority of the people reading this article are going to be Westerners, and that this article's failure to tell the whole story is just one more reason for westerners diffident about having children already to think of procreation as a morally questionable thing to do.