Tuesday, February 21, 2006

More on Demography

The National Post is running a series on the decline of children in Canada this week. Here's a snippet from the opening article, which is probably the one worth reading:
Margaret Somerville, founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, says the most profound impact of this decline in fertility may be in changing attitude. She sees the trend toward delaying or avoiding child-bearing as just another aspect of society's drift toward a culture of "intense individualism," where children are seen more as "a desirable thing to have, rather than as new individuals to repopulate the world."
Somerville points out something that's important to realize: the fertility crisis isn't a sui generis phenomenon, but a symptom of the culture of individualistic liberalism Western societies have been cultivating since the enlightenment. In a very real way, we are seeing something resembling cultural suicide.

There's also a quote from Alain Belanger, a demographer at Statistics Canada, who was kind enough to answer a question I sent him a few years ago.

I wrote at some length on the implications of demographic change about a month ago here.


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