Re: The great baby bust

Written by Olivia Nater | Published: June 17, 2024

One of our members made us aware of an article bemoaning the “baby bust” in the print version of The Week. We responded with a letter to the editor which we are featuring here as we did not hear back.

We encourage all our members and supporters to make their voices heard! See our media guide for advice on how to do that.

Dear Editor,

Your June 21 Magazine article, “The great baby bust,” omits three very important points.

The first is that infinite growth on a finite planet is simply not feasible. To have a chance of ending our environmental crises, including climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, and pollution, we desperately need to stabilize our global population at a sustainable level. Low fertility rates are key to getting us there.

Secondly, the article doesn’t fully acknowledge that low birth rates are a result of women gaining more choices over their bodies and lives – something to celebrate rather than lament. Wherever women have access to modern contraception, education, and career opportunities, fertility rates plummet.

Finally, shrinking populations come with many socioeconomic benefits too. These include, for example, more affordable housing, less competition for jobs, higher wages, and reduced pressure on public services and infrastructure. At the family level, having fewer children means more available resources per child, which helps set them up for success and also brings wider societal benefits.

Best wishes,

Olivia Nater
Communications Manager
Population Connection