Essay on The Declining Population in Europe and the Decline of the Family

Essay on The Declining Population in Europe and the Decline of the Family

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In recent years it has become evident that the population of Europe is falling at a rate that could become problematic. This problem is contradictory to the idea of a population explosion promoted by the book “The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich which decries the rapid growth of the earth’s population as problematic for the environment and for quality of life. The decline of fertility points to a view of children that is particularly troubling. Europe simply does not want children despite its desperate need for a growing, productive workforce. Certain social factors have had a strong impact on this problem including migration, birth control, the role of motherhood and the economy. Population decline is indicative of the decline of the family in modern society most specifically in Europe.
Since 1982 the total fertility rate (TFR) for Europe has dropped below replacement levels, meaning women are not having enough children to replace those dying. (Grant 18) The standard replacement level is 2.1 which is the average number of children needed per woman for a couple to replace itself (Grant 17). According to the Population Resource Bureau the TFR for Europe in 2010 was 1.6, well below replacement level. Accordingly, the number of births per 1,000 of the population is 11 which so happens to equal the number of deaths this corresponds to a natural rate of increase of 0 (PRB 8). The same data predicts the population of Europe to increase from 739 million in 2010 to 747 million in 2025. While this seems to contradict the above data the next statistic states that in 2050 the population will drop to 720 million. What accounts for the first increase could be the net migration rate of 2 per thousand. (PRB 8) Specific countries have bigger p...


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...96. Planck Institute for Demographic Research. Web. 14 Mar. 2011. .
Monnier, Alainn. "Baby Boomers: towards the End of an Era." Population and Societies 431 (2007). INED. Web. 16 Mar. 2011. .
Parr, NIck. "Satisfaction with Life as an Antecedent of Fertility: Partner + Happiness = Children?" Demographic Research 22.21 (2010): 635-62. M Planck Institute for Demographic Research. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. .
Sobotka, Tomas, and Laurent Toulemon. "Changing Family and Partnership Behaviour: Common Trends and Persistent Diversity across Europe." Demographic Research 19.6 (2008): 85-138. Web. 14 Mar. 2011. .

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