Declining birthrates: is it a good thing or not?

Declining birthrates around the world are alarming many people, yet, for too long generations of people were pressured into getting married and having kids, because it was what one was expected to do. Now people are realizing they have other choices and are happy to live their lives how they wish.

While this means that some people won’t become grandparents or aunties or uncles, I applaud people’s decisions, because we had too many people living lives of quiet desperation feeling trapped, or they became abusive towards their spouse and kids because the resentment was too overpowering, or they numbed out with drugs and/or alcohol, creating damage to those relationships.

Too many people and families are living with the emotional, physical even the sexual fallout of those old expectations.

Some people just aren’t cut out to be good parents, and I believe if they are given choices in how they wish to live their lives is a better thing overall, not just for the possible misfortunes of their kids, but for the outward ripple effect on community resources such as foster care, prisons, drug treatment facilities, domestic violence shelters, etc.

I’ve heard people arguing against some people’s choices to stay childless, saying they will be lonely and alone when they are old.

Having children doesn’t guarantee one won’t be lonely or alone. Many children who have grown up in homes where there was abusive treatment have opted to go low-contact or no-contact with their parents as soon as they can get out. Later when the parents are old, they are often left alone in senior homes, their children not calling or visiting.

This has been happening for generations, and isn’t likely to change. So for the mental, emotional and physical well-being of individuals and the children they choose not to have, I support their choice not to have children.

We may bemoan the divorce statistics these days, and speak about people not having loyalty anymore or the will to stick things through the good and the bad, yet if we think that all long-term marriages in the past were happy or healthy ones, we fool ourselves.

If we are to become emotionally and physically healthy as a society, we need to be able to continue to make those important decisions for ourselves and not be forced into becoming parents.

People who choose not to have kids report being happier, and I think there are many factors that play into their increased life satisfaction.

Why point a finger at them and call them selfish? What if they’re right? What if they are better off not being parents?

They know their inner truth better than we do, and they may choose not to speak of being severely damaged by their parents, and do not wish to pass on the troubles to their children, because they’re still learning how to heal and to have better relationship skill. After all, that is no one’s business except their own.

I myself am very happy to have 1 amazing daughter and 3 awesome grandchildren. They are part of the air that I breathe, and I wouldn’t wish to be without them in my life.

Even though I have wonderful relationships and have no regrets over becoming a parent, I also fully support other people’s choices not to be parents, or even to get married.

Eugenics has played a large part in pressuring white people to have children

Eugenics was promoted as a way to “improve” society by declaring the white race was superior to all others and it was the “duty of all whites to procreate and keep a strong white population”. This has been a long underpinning on the various government and community campaigns to urge people to procreate.

Eugenics also pushed the wrong notions that limiting the births of nonwhites was in society’s best interests, so the forced sterilization of large swathes of the population was done actively for decades.

Read: U.S. Scientists’ Role in the Eugenics Movement (1907–1939)

“It was Francis Galton, a cousin of Darwin, who coined the term “eugenics” in 1883 while advocating that society should promote the marriage of what he felt were the fittest individuals by providing monetary incentives.1 Shortly thereafter, many intellectuals and political leaders (e.g., Alexander Graham Bell, Winston Churchill, John Maynard Keynes, and Woodrow Wilson) accepted the notion that modern societies, as a matter of policy, should promote the improvement of the human race through various forms of governmental intervention. While initially this desire was manifested as the promotion of selective breeding, it ultimately contributed to the intellectual underpinnings of state-sponsored discrimination, forced sterilization, and genocide.”

U.S. Scientists’ Role in the Eugenics Movement (1907–1939)

In the Women’s Rights advocacy groups, there were 2 distinct rights being advocated for: white women were pushing for the right to have birth-control and access to safe abortions, while nonwhite women were pushing for the right to be allowed to have children and not be forcibly sterilized.

Today we still experience the fallout of how eugenics permeated the medical schools teachings – even how pain levels were supposed to be perceived by different races – white women were delicate flowers and black women supposedly didn’t feel pain; how the judicial system is administered, as well as how the demographics of cities were divided and “desirable” and “non-desirable” areas affected generations of families and wealth.

If you have an opportunity to see these effects in many major US cities, you will notice that the “redlined” areas, square mile after square mile, many buildings and houses are in extreme states of decay, to the point of looking like a war zone, there are very few grocery stores offering fresh food at reasonable prices (apart from expensive corner convenience stores), few local businesses, and the roads are in terrible repair.

All of this has contributed to high levels of gang activities and violence, depression, domestic violence and substance abuse. If my family lived in those areas for generations, we too would be struggling with depression, feeling rejected, isolated, and have little hope for improvement in the future.

Living in a desolate environment that doesn’t look like it will change will do that to people.

These are the real life results of how deeply Eugenics permeated our entire cultural, judicial, banking, and medical landscapes, to the point that many people today cannot see the cause and effect.

The message of Eugenics has been so internalized and believed that even though the Eugenics laws were struck down decades ago, many whites still teach the principles to their children, believing them to be true, because the leading scientists and thought leaders at the time strongly promoted and pushed laws supporting their ideas, most of which was actually based on folk ideologies, and not on any facts.

Environmentalists have warned about overpopulation of the planet for decades

Environmentalists have long sounded the alarm regarding overpopulation affecting the future health of our planet and the effect of overcrowded cities polluting the air and waterways.

The environmentalists’ ideas were seen as spreading dangerous ideology that countered the promotion of white birth rates, and so were derided.

The people who were actively creating negative campaigns against the environmental movement were willing to sacrifice the well-being of our planet in order to see their personal eugenics views supported, at all costs.

They were the industrialists, the mega-rich who owned large conglomerates and also needed lots and lots of workers to keep their businesses running.

The same ideas are being promoted today by the billionaires, and for pretty much the same reasons as before. Dig below the surface and we don’t have to go very far to see white-supremacist beliefs held very strongly, and often passed down from their parents.

Read: Eugenics and Involuntary Sterilization: 1907-2015

“In England during the late nineteenth century, intellectuals, especially Francis Galton, called for a variety of eugenic policies aimed at ensuring the health of the human species. In the United States, members of the Progressive movement embraced eugenic ideas, especially immigration restriction and sterilization. Indiana enacted the first eugenic sterilization law in 1907, and the US Supreme Court upheld such laws in 1927. State programs targeted institutionalized, mentally disabled women. Beginning in the late 1930s, proponents rationalized involuntary sterilization as protecting vulnerable women from unwanted pregnancy. By World War II, programs in the United States had sterilized approximately 60,000 persons. After the horrific revelations concerning Nazi eugenics (German Hereditary Health Courts approved at least 400,000 sterilization operations in less than a decade), eugenic sterilization programs in the United States declined rapidly. Simplistic eugenic thinking has faded, but coerced sterilization remains widespread, especially in China and India. In many parts of the world, involuntary sterilization is still intermittently used against minority groups.”

Eugenics and Involuntary Sterilization: 1907-2015

As you can see, views about the declining birthrates, if it is a good thing or not, are intertwined in long-held beliefs that have become so internalized into our societies, that we can’t separate out the old myths.

I’m sure this piece may have stirred up some emotions and thoughts in you too!

I welcome civil discussion here, but discourage any name-calling, or overtly negative responses.

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24 thoughts on “Declining birthrates: is it a good thing or not?

    1. Right?! This was noted many millions of people ago by scientists, but we seem to ignore those warnings, and believe we can do whatever we want to our planet, indefinitely!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. The marketing admen have done their jobs too well, as we collectively seem to have this idea. There isn’t any feeling of urgency with most folks to change their throwaway habits! Throwaway, single use and convenience are the hallmarks of the rich, Instagram lifestyle. If the Influencers could make upcycling and buying used a glam thing, then that would be awesome!!


  1. Wow you did cover quite a serious topic Tamara. It is unfortunate that so many white people still think they are superior over others. I believe that we all are human and deserve all rights and be respectful. As for children, I never wanted any and at 57 don’t have any. At times I think that maybe to keep the family growing I should have had a child but that’s not a good reason to have one when I felt so strongly about not being a parent. Good post Tamara.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to hear from someone who chose not to have kids, as too many people are really negative towards those who make that choice. Bravo for living the life you know is best for you, and not just following what may have been expected of you! I believe your mental health benefits from it; it gives you an opportunity to heal past family trauma, which is a big thing!

      LOL! Yes, I do tend to face serious topics head on. We need to be able to have open discussions about all the elephants in the room, sometimes it is quite a herd isn’t it?! As white women, I feel it is important to not keep quiet about these issues, when there are so many fires burning in people’s minds about this. Creating a place where people see white people confronting these issues and at the same time giving space to everyone is important too. I think many are uncomfortable talking about these issues, because it is well, uncomfortable, and that’s not necessarily politically correct to choose to be uncomfortable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post is so incredibly on point. I very much agree with you on everything you said. I’m so glad people have more choices about whether or not they want to have kids. As you mentioned, medical fields have not focused much pregnancy/birth (or anything that has to do with conditions that primarily effect females) and this makes pregnancy and birth extremely risky which has made lots of people rethink having kids. Plus, the fact that costs are increasing, population is increasing etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there are so many considerations to take into account, and I’m grateful to live in a time where people aren’t being forced into parenthood roles they really don’t want or feel they have the skills for given certain family dynamics. I believe this will do a lot for helping improve the domestic violence problems, the addiction issues etc. We will only see the results in 1 or 2 generations, as people have an opportunity to heal from their family history traumas.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we have seen a lot of that going on, haven’t we?! Thankfully people are becoming aware of their choices. If one of the choices is to heal family traumas instead of having children, then we as a society will benefit down the road.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Now a days people either prefer to have 1 child or no child.

    Maybe due to high living standards, or maybe some rules, people are refraining from having a child.

    Then opposing views in couples is another reason.

    This is bad for countries like Japan as it’s killing a culture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true points. There really isn’t one ideal answer, since there’s a few reasons why people are making these decisions for themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a valid point. No matter the power of points to have children, I still support people’s right to select what they feel would work best for them. :-))

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m sure there will always be folks who feel smug about their choices. I have one daughter and 3 grandkids who I’d never trade for anything, yet I support everyone’s right to make their own choices. I’m in agreement, no matter what choice we make, if it is the best one for us, yay, but let’s not turn it into a moral high-ground pissing contest!


            1. LOL! Guess that’s what happens more often than not, unfortunately! Thanks so much for your kind words!

              Liked by 1 person

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