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Are you part of the global 'baby shortage'?

Posted: January 25, 2015 12:38 p.m.
Updated: January 25, 2015 12:38 p.m.
Matthew Jelalian/

Dropping birthrates and shrinking families are starting to have a negative effect on the global economy.

Dropping birthrates and shrinking families are starting to have a negative effect on the global economy.

“Declining population growth that shrinks the pool of available labor over the next 50 years will reduce by 40 percent the rate of growth in global economic output for the world’s 20 largest economies compared to the past 50 years, according to a new study,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

This 40 percent drop in global growth, according to the Journal, translates to a lower standard of living for future generations.

“It means the global standard of living would rise 2.3 times in the next 50 years, down from 2.8 times over the past 50 years,” the article stated. “Later generations, in other words, would see less prosperity than their parents and grandparents.”

CNN Money reported that Japan has been hit particularly hard by the “baby shortage.”

“The trend threatens to severely limit economic growth as workers struggle to pay for the booming number of elderly,” the CNN story said.

The Washington Post reported that as much as a third of child-bearing-aged Japanese people have said they have never had sex. Also according to the Post, a quarter of Japan’s women will never get married and 40 percent will never have children.

The effect of Japan’s quickly aging workforce will not stop at its border.

“Japan is the world's third-largest economy, a crucial link in global trade and a significant factor everyone else's economic well-being,” the Post reported. “It owns almost as much U.S. debt as does China. It's a top trading partner of the U.S., China and lots of other countries. The Japanese economy is in serious enough trouble that it could set the rest of us back.”

The individual reasons why couples are choosing not to have children differ from country to country, but the Telegraph in London reports that in Japan’s case, “a taxation system that discourages them (women) from returning to employment and an old-boy network” are some of the main reasons why their citizens put off having children.

Currently Japan and other countries dealing with this issue are trying to find solutions for the problem.

The Deseret News National edition reported that Russia is trying to incentivize women by giving them cash for children. Meanwhile, other European countries have created various government programs in hopes of easing the burden of child rearing on parents.

According to Quartz, Denmark has attempted to remedy its baby shortage in unique ways.

“The country has seen ad campaigns — ‘Do it for Denmark!’ — to remind citizens where the Danes of the future will come from”

Denmark did not stop at racy commercials though.

“They’ve tried everything from carnal-themed masses to baby-ready dating sites, 'date night' child care, ad campaigns and even prize draws for positive pregnancy tests,” the Guardian reported.

Recently, the Danish people have struck a deal with their government in order to keep certain government programs funded.

“People in the Danish municipality of Thisted, in northwest Jutland, have agreed on a deal with the council to procreate as much as possible over the next few years to help maintain underpopulated public services,” wrote the Guardian. “In return, the local politicians have promised to keep schools, nurseries and leisure facilities open — on the condition that parents produce enough new children to fill them.”

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