Only One Developed Country in the World Has More Births than Deaths. Who do you think it is?

If you have been reading me for a while, you know I am concerned about the dramatically decreased birthrates in developed countries and what it means for a toy industry largely dependent upon children.

A country needs a fertility rate of 2.1 to maintain its population. The U.S., for example, has a fertility rate of 1.64. The only reason the U.S. has population growth is due to immigration.

Other countries wish they had a fertility rate of 1.64. Japan’s birth rate is 1.34, China’s 1.15, Taiwan’s 0.96, and South Korea’s is cratering at 0.81. According to the website Next Big Future:

Countries with very low fertility rates of 1.1 or less will have populations at one third of their current levels in 2100.

Countries with very low fertility rates of 1.6 to 1.8 will have populations at 60-70% of current levels in 2100.

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According to Next Big Future, if China, South Korea, and Japan were to maintain a fertility rate of 1.0 for the next 270 years, their population would drop to 2% of its current level in 2300. That means Japan, whose current population is 126 million, would have roughly two and one-half million in 2030. China’s population would drop to 282 million.

If you see population size as an indicator of power, the future favors the United States and any country that encourages immigration. It is much easier for a country like the U.S., which is a multi-racial, multi-cultural country, to have high immigration rates. Other countries like Japan or South Korea have long discouraged immigration because they want to maintain the racial status quo.

And It is much easier to encourage people not to have babies (ask China) than to enable them to have more babies (again, just ask China).

So, what is the only developed country with a positive replacement rate? Israel, with a 2.9 fertility rate.

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