THE DEMOGRAPHIC BOMB

Sherry Listgarten sherry@timesten.com
Thu, 18 Oct 2001 17:32:58 -0700


> At 4:30 PM -0400 on 10/18/01, R. A. Hettinga wrote:
> However, if you do root around in that Google search, you'll see that
> as life expectancy goes up, something fairly well correlated with
> wealth, :-), fertility declines. If you're going to live longer, you
> tend to put off childrearing for a number of reasons

To pick a nit: Were they talking "fertility" (births/birthable-person) or
"birth rate" (e.g., births/1000)? I saw only "birth rate" quoted; and if
life expectancy goes up, and it was already beyond 40 or so, then birth rate
is going to decline even if everyone has the same number of kids at the same
ages, because there are more (old) people around who aren't having kids.
(Only new births are counted.)

Maybe it is true that higher life expectancy => older mothers (or lower
fertility), but it's not implied solely by birth-rate statistics.

-- Sherry.