Go Forth and Multiply (Less)

In recent months, Jon and Kate Gosselin have reminded us what Thomas Robert Malthus has been warning about since the 1700s: unbridled population growth can be a very dangerous thing. This week, the Economist has an interesting look at why our worries may be unfounded, as long as TLC goes off the air some day soon.

In a cover story on falling fertility rates around the world, the magazine looks at economic and other benefits to tidbits like this: "sometime in the next few years (if it hasn't happened already) the world will reach a milestone: half of humanity will be having only enough children to replace itself. That is, the fertility rate of half the world will be 2.1 or below." Assuming fertility continues to fall at current rates, the United Nations estimates world's population will rise from 6.8 billion to 9.2 billion in 2050, at which point it will stabilize.

That raises this question: is a stable global population good for the globe or no? It's probably good for the environment of course. And yet without more kids, who is going to pay for the growing ranks of the elderly and rising health care and retirement costs around the world? Take a read and lets us know your take.

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