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Do you realize the rate of growth of the world’s population is declining, that there are not as many babies as their used to be, and, oh yes, why does this matter?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #136 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

Today, countries in the European Union, Canada, the U.S. – Japan and China too – are experiencing a birth rate below what is needed for natural population replacement. For example, the U.S. fertility rate, is 1.78 – the average number of children born to a woman over her reproductive lifetime – while the needed replacement rate is 2.08. If nothing changed in this trend, in a matter of decades the U.S. population would shrink out of existence.

For some perspective, consider that “the global population grew only very slowly up to 1700 – only 0.04% per year. In the many millennia up to that point in history very high mortality of children counteracted high fertility. Once health improved, and mortality declined things changed quickly.” In the past two centuries, world population has increased 7-fold.

Another way of grasping the numbers is to realize that “in 1800, there were one billion people. Today there are more than 8 billion.”

Population scholars predict world population will “reach a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s.”

Meanwhile, while 10.4 billion sounds astronomical, “the global population is (actually) growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen to less than one per cent in 2020. Fertility…has fallen markedly in recent decades for many countries:

today, two-thirds of the global population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman, roughly the level required for zero growth in the long run, for a population with low mortality. 

In 61 countries or areas, the population is expected to decrease by at least one per cent over the next three decades, as a result of sustained low levels of fertility and, in some cases, elevated rates of emigration.”

More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in (just) eight countries (most in sub-Saharan Africa): the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, the United Republic of Tanzania, (then) India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.”

Meanwhile, “the world should expect to see far more grey hairs by 2050: by then, it is expected that the number of persons aged 65 years or over worldwide will be more than twice the number of children under the age of five.”

“Europe is the continent with the oldest population. This is creating problems for healthcare and pensions.”

To alter this scenario, Finland is now paying families $10,970 per child. Other European countries are also trying to reverse the continent’s falling birthrate. Greece is offering cash incentives of $2,235 per birth. “Hungary’s Prime Minister…has described fertility clinics as a strategic priority for his country…All young families in Hungary are offered a loan, but that loan will be written off if they have a third child. While a woman who has four children will be permanently exempt from paying income tax.”

Migration (was at one time considered an answer to depopulation, but) has also proved to be a source of political tension in some countries.”

Now the question becomes, why is this happening? Why are people all over the world, except in a few Sub-Saharan and Far Eastern countries, having fewer children, so much fewer the populations of their countries are declining?

Why, after centuries of slow growth, then two centuries of astounding growth, are families across the globe having fewer children?

A few proximate causes come to mind:

  • Greater availability of birth control, the pill, various contraceptives, chemical, IUD, and other means,
  • Abortion on demand
  • Disease
  • Famine
  • War

While these variables may act as proximate causes of depopulation, none of these variables are really global. Most are regional if not local occurrences.

So why are most countries of the world declining in population? Well, they are having fewer births than deaths.

OK, but why? Well, they have access to birth control, etc. Yes, but these are a means to an end.

Why are people choosing to have fewer children? What is the ultimate cause of people from disparate cultures having fewer children? Have they forgotten how to make babies?

No, the root cause for family’s choosing to have fewer children is that they now look upon children, family, responsibility, sacrifice, and the idea of progeny much different than they did in the past.

Family was once a given in virtually everyone’s experience. Family was considered a key ingredient not only to a person’s healthy coming of age, but also as an essential building block to the maintenance and flourishing of a free society. 

One basis for the well-being of given families, and a primary reason that families were considered indispensable for strong and healthy societies, is because religion—certainly Christianity—blessed and provided values necessary for family function, meaning, and efficacy.

Not so anymore.

Now, in post-Christian culture in America, and postmodern culture worldwide,

  • two-parent families are often treated as one option among many,
  • nuclear families are not regarded as critical to children’s balanced upbringing,
  • children are themselves considered a luxury, a nuisance, an economic burden, obstacles to adults’ self-fulfillment.
  • and children, i.e., population growth, are viewed as a threat to controlling climate change.

For example, “climate doomsday cult member claims it is immoral and selfish to have children due to the amount of "carbon" they will emit over their lifetimes…Every single child in an industrial country like ours is around 500 tons of carbon over their lifetime. That's the equivalent of 1000 years.”

Postmodern couples worldwide are choosing to have fewer children because they:

  • hold religious views that diminish the idea of children or family,
  • look upon children as commodities or consumer choices rather than gifts from God,
  • value self-fulfillment, i.e., personal sexual liberation, professional advance, income, and travel more than they value children,
  • believe mass and social media proclamations about how dangerous it is to have children in the face of climate change,
  • have adopted pessimistic, fearful worldviews re the future – and perhaps understandably so, given these worldviews are rooted in non-Christian, unbiblical, ahistorical, and inaccurate understandings of life,

Meanwhile, population reduction is promoted by globalist elites, who by the way, also promote culture of death ideas like euthanasia, now being referred to by the acronym MAID or “Medical Assistance In Dying,” a philosophy and policy for which Canada is out in front of the U.S.

At genesis of the earth, time, and humanity, God created human beings, male and female, commanded them to be fruitful and multiply, and then reinforced the idea of family and children in other passages throughout the Scripture.

This does not mean that couples who choose not to have children or to have fewer children, for a variety of reasons including circumstances, health, and more, are somehow ipso facto out of the will of God or in some way second class citizens in God’s eyes. The commandments in Genesis 1 were made for all humanity and its wellbeing, not as a detailed plan for every person (Gen 1:27-28).

But the principle remains: children are an heritage of the Lord (Ps 127:3-5). Societies that try to play God as the Chinese did with their one-child policy, now reversed, will find they are not very good at being God.

Children, youth, young adults are needed not only to perpetuate humanity but to provide energy, innovativeness, work and productivity, strength and protection, care for children and the elderly, optimism, and hope. Children are a blessing.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024  

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