Cohort fertility:
The worldwide fertility rate is falling and in the rich world is already disastrously low.  So efforts are made to make the monster go away by diddling with the numbers.  When I look numbers up, I find births per 100,000 in the population regularly offered.  That doesn’t really help much, since a lot of those people are old enough so as not really to be candidates for having babies.  I generally look at and discuss “total fertility rate” or births per woman. But those numbers have been massaged.  It doesn’t mean the actual number of babies per woman.  What it means is, “the number of babies each woman would have if each year she had the same likelihood of having a baby if her chance was the average for woman of that age in each year of the rest of her life.  That helps, but I find it rather opaque.  There should be some sort of indication of just what the calculations were before the final numbers were triumphantly presented. 

The search for a way to hide the issue goes on, ever more strenuously.  (Lies, Damned Lies and Lysistrata, Economist vol. 416 no. 8948 July 25, 2015 page 48)  The title refers to a Greek comedy in which the women decide to refuse to have sex with the men until the ruinous and protracted war between Athens and Sparta is settled.  The women then follow up their blackmail by seizing the state treasury in Acropolis of Athens so the war can’t be continued; and the women prove to be better at holding their position than the men at taking it back.  The journal article focuses, not on the feminist issues that the play fulminates with, but on the effect it would have after a year upon demographic statistics.

The article goes on to say that attempts are being made employing “various assumptions” to improve on the children per woman number.  And behold, some countries have a brighter outlook and some a worse.

I think one of the assumptions cannot be “age at marriage for woman continues its pitiless rise until menopause.”  That would make predictions very simple, although not yielding the results everyone wants to see.

There have been 128 visitors over the past month and YouTube has run “Babies Triumph over Evil” 190 times.

Home page.