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A world without children

Original post made by Paly mom on Jun 22, 2008

IN 1965, the population of Italy was 52 million, of which 4.6 million, or just under 9 percent, were children younger than 5. A decade later, that age group had shrunk to 4.3 million - about 7.8 percent of Italians. By 1985, it was down to 3 million and 5.3 percent. Today, the figures are 2.5 million and 4.2 percent.

Young children are disappearing from Italian society, and the end isn't in sight. According to one estimate by the UN's Population Division, their numbers will drop to fewer than 1.6 million in 2020, and to 1.3 million by 2050. At that point, they will account for a mere 2.8 percent of the Italian nation.

Italy isn't alone. There are 1.7 million fewer young children in Poland today than there were in 1960, a 50 percent drop. In Spain 30 years ago, there were nearly 3.3 million young children; there are just 2.2 million today. Across Europe, there were more than 57 million children under 5 in 1960; today, that age group has plummeted to 35 million, a decline of 38 percent.

Gary Becker, a Nobel laureate in economics, emphasizes that nothing is more indispensable to growth than "human capital" - the knowledge, skills, and experience of men and women. That is why baby booms are so often harbingers of economic expansion and vigor. And why businesses and young people drain away from regions where population is waning.Web Link

Comments (11)

Posted by motorcyclist, a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 22, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Less kids = less global warming, very altruistic of the Italians, I hope it catches on elsewhere.

Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 22, 2008 at 5:34 pm

If we don't have kids, others will, and they may not feel as benevolent toward us as do our own children. They also abuse the earth much more per capita than do we.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2008 at 8:51 am

Like many western European countries children are being replaces with illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe and North Africa. When these immigrant groups get established they will start breeding in huge numbers. Very soon Europe will have a more divers population than the US. That's the future.

Posted by Different Resdent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2008 at 9:08 am

Resident, have you been to Europe recently? Many countries are already at the more diverse population stage. There are ghettoes of foreigners in most western European countries and these are often the people doing the service industry jobs, the homeless and the petty criminals. What is becoming even more evident and possibly worrying, is that these people are also becoming better educated and are beginning to infiltrate law and order, professions such as teaching and also the political arena. Now there is nothing wrong with becoming more diverse, but many countries are losing their own particular cultural identity and even more worrying is that at times the original nationals are being forced out of certain areas, being forced out of doing what they have always done, and are becoming strangers to a new type of normal which feels strange to them. When safety rules such as protective headgear rules are changed to suit one segment of the community and the police are disobeying the laws of the country because they feel that honoring fellow believers of their own personal religion is more important than following the rules they are supposed to be upholding, it gets frightening.

The sikhs in Britain have "won" the right not to wear helmets while riding motorcycles and working on dangerous construction sights. Muslim police have given delicate information about the whereabouts of muslim women who have been removed from their homes for their own protection to the males in their family who can then snatch them back for their own reasons, are violations which go beyond the "when in Rome" philosophy that should be the case when you move to a new area.

These immigrants are destroying national identities in a way that is not only unethical but also quite dangerous.

Posted by Stop overpopulation, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2008 at 9:55 am

Overpopulation all over the world is our biggest problem, and in Palo Alto too.
If the Italians are out-thinking the Pope, good for them. Most religions try to over populate other groups, making it a duty to have lots of children. Of course the men go along with it. It is heartening to see that some people are more enlightened.

Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 24, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Another Ehrlichite Malthusian heard from. In more advanced societies, numbers are an advantage.

Posted by Toi Khong Hieu, a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2008 at 10:19 pm


Two quotes from you:

"If we don't have kids, others will, and they may not feel as benevolent toward us as do our own children. They also abuse the earth much more per capita than do we."


"In more advanced societies, numbers are an advantage. "

I don't understand what you are saying here. The two statements seem to be contradictory. Can you clarify?

Posted by Advancing Walt's Argument, a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 24, 2008 at 10:20 pm

"In more advanced societies, numbers are an advantage."

So Walt, I take it that you would agree that given our large 300 million population, the 4000 US soliders that have died for Bush/Cheney's folly in Iraq is a mere trifle that should not be of concern to us, eh?

Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 25, 2008 at 5:38 am

Advancing, thanks for an example of extrapolatia ad absurdum. As a member of an infantry division that lost more in one battle than we did in the whole Iraq war, I believe a society large enough to diversify into specialties will function better than self sufficient villages. The only thing that will negate the advantage of a diverse society is the tyrany of a government that trys to mold citizens into an amenable package.

Posted by Bravo Walter, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 25, 2008 at 7:02 am

WELL SAID Walter!!

Bravo. I am going to keep it, ok? Don't worry, I will always source you if I use it.

Can I?


Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 25, 2008 at 8:01 am

Be my guest, Bravo, and don't worry about atribution. I am not running for office, just trying to spread rational discussion.

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