Will UK's Birth Rate Decline Bring "Hyper-Liberal Future", or Extinction?
Some are Celebrating Declines in Birth Rates
The UK (among other nations) is having a very strange “infertility epidemic”: the number of births in June 2022, compared to June 2021, declined by a staggering 15%. Note that the preceding month’s decline was 13% and things got worse since my previous report:
The latest data for June is shown in the Vaccine Surveillance Report Week 40:
It shows that the number of women giving birth declined from 43,723 in Jun 2021, to 37,037 in Jun 2022. This is a 15.3% decline.
Before I go further, I have to remind my readers: birth rates are always seasonal! Most parents prefer to make a “spring baby”, which often ends up with them making a “summer baby” because conception takes more time than expected. So, never compare adjacent months as they are guaranteed to have dramatic changes that are simply seasonality-driven, with differences very repeatable over the years. Only compare months of one year with the same months of another year, please. I did just that, comparing May to May, etc.
Here are the numbers presented to be easier to see:
So, you can see that the UK’s birth rate declines are not getting better and are slightly worse in June (the last month for which data is available), compared to May.
No Press Coverage?
You would think that an issue as important as reproduction, reflecting the future of a nation, should be given some press attention, right? And if the reproduction rate drops, suddenly and unexpectedly, by 15%, the press should be all over it, would you agree?
So, I decided to check Google News to see how birth rates are discussed in the UK press.
As soon as I typed “UK Birth Rate” in Google News, a search suggestion bar popped up, populated with what other people, probably mostly in the UK, are searching for:
You can see that 6 out of 8 top suggestions are related to the 2022 UK birth rate problem, searching for “UK birth rate crisis” and such.
Great, I thought, the British press (and the press elsewhere) should cover this topic, since it interests so many people! So, I looked at Google News search results and was very disappointed. Not one top article, suggested by Google, even discussed the numbers showing an extraordinary birth rate drop in the UK in 2022. Instead, I was greeted by an article such as this one:
That odd article from July is not something that I can agree with. However, it also completely ignores what is happening in the UK in 2022. It talks about 2021 and before and tells us that declines in fertility are good things — without discussing what is happening in 2022.
What is very strange about Martha Gill’s iNews article above, is that 2021 represented a small increase in the birth rate, which I discussed in my previous UK birth rate post. Somehow, despite NOT looking at 2022, and an actual increase in birth rates in 2021, Martha talks about declines in birth rates. It seems as if Martha Gill knows what happened in 2022, and tries to present it as a good thing, without even discussing 2022, which could alarm her readers. Why such an odd approach?
The only other relevant article from the Google News search is this one:
It does touch upon the UK, however, it fully avoids discussing 2022. Instead, it arrives at an interesting conclusion:
Changing birth rates “could lead to a hyper liberal future”, said Newsweek. A recent study of parenthood found that those who want to be parents or who already had children were more likely to hold conservative values.
Newsweek really did say that:
Some people are celebrating a “hyper-liberal future”, brought upon by reductions in the number of future parents, as parents are MORE likely to hold conservative views. These journalists did not, however, ask themselves a simple question: who would be taking care of them when they reach old age?
Nothing else discussing UK birth rates in 2022 was in mainstream media articles that I could find.
So, let me ask a question and provide a poll. Which of the following is true:
Plummeting birth rates lead to a “Hyper Liberal Future” to be celebrated
Plummeting birth rates lead to No Future and Extinction
Please vote and comment!
Are the Declines Temporary or Permanent?
The UK is not very unusual when it comes to the collapse of birth rates. I discussed Sweden, Germany, Hungary, and more. The most important question, regarding all of them, is whether this decline is temporary or permanent. In my hope for a better future, I opined previously that the decline could be temporary.
Unfortunately, I am becoming less sure that the declines are only temporary.
What do you think?
If the only people having kids are conservatives then the liberals will go extinct thereby removing any possibility of a hyper liberal future. Am I missing something here?
I don't follow. How can there be a Hyper Liberal Future if the liberals aren't procreating?
Do they mean "immediate future" within their lifetimes? Because if more conservatives are reproducing, even if the overall birthrates are lower, that would mean the next generation will be born mostly to conservative parents.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised to see high time preference thinking from the liberals.