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…show more content…
Furthering this idea as women see having a career as more desirous than having a family their education level rises and as they seek higher levels of education they continue to delay childbearing. A woman in a less developed region in comparison to Europe firstly, does not have the access to birth control, or see the perceived advantages especially as women’s participation in the work force is low. (Weeks 245-258) It seems that only when two developed countries are compared does gender equality, (i.e. higher female workforce participation) equal a higher fertility rate.
Undoubtedly the widespread use of birth control has a strong influence in the decline of Europe, however, birth control itself does not account for it altogether according to several researchers.Eastern Europe uses modern birth control at a lesser rate than that of Western Europe (49% of women aged 15-49 in Eastern Europe use modern methods of birth control versus 69% in Western Europe) yet its rate of natural increase is -0.2 % while Western Europe’s is .1%(PRB 9, 13).As a whole when looking at the trends of fertility in the past century birth control does affect fertility especially as transitioning from high to low fertility but when comparing countries that have already declined those countries with lower birthrates have other factors to consider besides just the effects of birth control. The social value of being able to control the number of children a woman has is the driving
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