In the middle of the world, people are no longer making children. The Lancet magazine published a new report on global fertility between 1950 and 2017. According to research, people around the world are making fewer children than in the past. This could have a catastrophic impact on the evolution of society.
In 1950, each woman gave birth to an average of 4.7 children throughout her life. In 2017, the average was 2.4 children per woman. The fertility rate has halved over the span of a century. This means that in half of the countries there are more elderly people than children, so the number of inhabitants is falling.
If the trend continues, in a few years there will be very few children and many people aged 65 and over. What's the problem? In this condition it will be almost impossible to support the world economy, especially at the levels we are used to. It is therefore likely that there will be profound social and economic consequences. Society will have to adapt to a situation in which grandparents abound, but grandchildren are less and less.
In some respects, the collapse of the fertility rate is also a sign of progress. Less and less children are born, it is true, but those who reach adulthood are more and more. This is one of the reasons why women give birth less: most of their children overcome childhood and reach adulthood. Furthermore, in recent years we are witnessing a growing awareness of issues such as contraception.