At the start of the 20th century the world barely had 2 billion people. It now has over 6 billion with a projection for that number to double to 12 billion by 2040.
More people equals more consumption, equals more pollution, and equals more destruction of natural habitats. Improvements in technology and improvements in human behavior might make it possible to provide the basic needs for all of these people.
However, who wants to live in an overcrowded world that is just a concrete jungle, where the value of human life is cheapened, a world without virgin forests, a world possibly without any forests, without nature, with room for all but a few animals? A better question: do you want to put your descendants into such a world?
Replacement fertility is the total fertility rate at which women would have only enough children to replace themselves and their partner. By definition, replacement is only considered to have occurred when the offspring reach 15 years of age. If there were no mortality in the female population until the end of the childbearing years (generally taken as 44 or 49, though some exceptions exist) then the replacement rate would be exactly 2, but in practice it is affected by mortality, especially childhood mortality. The replacement fertility rate is roughly 2.1 births per woman for most industrialized countries but ranges from 2.5 to 3.3 in developing countries because of higher mortality rates. Taken globally, the total fertility rate at replacement is 2.33 children per woman. At this rate, global population growth would trend towards zero.
Please don’t let anyone tell you that your are selfish for wanting children. Anyone who has ever taken care of a child for more than a few days knows that there isn’t any room for being selfish as a good parent.
If you haven’t started your family yet please consider the facts and numbers above.
If you have have started your family, please consider educating your children and other people about these issues.
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