In the previous post we spoke about:
- Falsehood Number Two
- Ageing And Creativity
- More Studies And Productivity
- Falsehood Number Three
- “We have no children out of pure selfishness.”
- “Decline Of The West”
5. No Collapse
“Before, for two children to survive, you had to have six. It’s a matter of demographic efficiency: quantity is replaced by quality,” explains Domingo.
The concentration of resources in fewer children has numerous advantages, both educational and economic.
Nor is it true that the low birth rate is related to the incorporation of women into the labor market and new family models (unmarried couples, single-parent families, etc.). In fact, fertility is higher in countries where these processes are more advanced, because other policies probably come into play.
In short, low fertility will neither lead to collapse nor is it a sign of a sick society.
But it does point to a great deficit of individual and collective well-being. In fact, people who do not want to have children are still few (about 5%) and that has not changed in recent years.
When Spaniards are asked how many children they would like to have, the answer – as in most countries – revolves around two.
In Europe, this figure has not changed in five decades. So Spain’s problem is the distance between the desired fertilization and the one reached. “Here we do not have the lowest fertility levels in the world because of selfishness, but because of responsibility: nobody commits to having children without a minimum of stability”, explains Teresa Castro.
In ‘Demography and Post-Truth’ the reasons are broken down. Firstly, there is the difficulty of access to employment: in Spain, the fertility rate of employed women is twice that of unemployed women.
Job instability and low wages do not help, nor does the lack of public policies in favour of work-life balance.
And finally, the persistent gender inequality in the distribution of domestic tasks is a powerful brake on fertility.
Here too, the problems are more political than demographic.