Monday, March 27, 2006
Germany is not alone as a prosperous country with births falling far below replacement levels, but it has its own reasons. High unemployment creates insecurity, and many professionals don't want the responsibility of balancing work and family. Germans tend to stay in college longer than students in other countries, and young people get used to a carefree life paid for by Germans with jobs. Germans call a university the nation's most effective form of contraception.
Before the decade of the '90s, almost 60 percent of German women between the ages of 25 and 29 had had a baby. That figure is closer to 30 percent today. The birth dearth has relentless implications; 100,000 more Germans die than are born every year. Pessimists estimate that the current population of 82 million could fall to 50 million by 2050, giving new meaning to the phrase "Old Europe."
I could go for a carefree life paid for by workers with jobs right about now. Hell, I could go for someone to do my Networks homework for me and I'd be happy. Unfortunately, life requires me to work hard and procreate.
I wonder if Andrew has any theories as to why the Germans aren't reproducing . . .