Tracking: Population Decline

Matthew Raley
1 min readMay 24, 2021
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

For many years, I’ve tracking the story of aging and declining population around the world. The New York Times’s lead article yesterday is a landmark in mainstream coverage of this issue for two reasons. For starters, it is the first story in a major daily that I’ve seen lay out the scale of the population decline and the impact it will have. Also, the story is remarkable for how long it took for a large news organization to give it serious attention. Italy, Russia, Japan, and China have all been aging for decades. Some urban centers in the U.S. have seen steep declines in birth rates, San Francisco being the most notorious. This story has deserved serious analysis for years. But secularized societies are biased against having children, sometimes because people delay it for the sake of their careers or other interests, sometimes because people are pessimistic about the future, and sometimes because they see the human race as a scourge on the planet. With such a bias, population decline is not seen as newsworthy. The Times, at least, has finally awakened to the realities of life without fruitfulness.

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