Several sobering pieces in the past couple of weeks:
- The distorting of the human sex ratio ~ Even a rational optimist is pessimistic about some things. Here’s one: the gradual distortion of the human sex ratio by sex-selective abortion. A new essay by the demographer Nicholas Eberstadt concludes that “the practice has become so ruthlessly routine in many contemporary societies that it has impacted their very population structures.” He finds “ample room for cautious pessimism” in the fact that this phenomenon is still very much on the increase.
- Bulgaria: Another Demographic Timebomb ~ In the midst of continuing gloom throughout the Eurozone, there is more bad news from one of the most recent additions to the EU, Bulgaria. According to the Sofia News Agency, the demographic and economic slump that is gripping the country may affect the retirement prospects of many working age Bulgarians. We reported last year on the publication of the most recent Bulgarian census showed that the country’s population had declined by 7% over the past decade. A more detailed breakdown of the demographic figures by the United Nations shows that the average annual rate of population change is -0.6%, that the crude death rate (deaths per 1,000 population) is 15 and is higher than the crude birth rate of 10 per 1,000 population and finally that the total fertility rate is well below replacement level at 1.5 children per woman. Compounding this bleak picture is that one-third of all pregnancies in Bulgaria are aborted.
- How divorce ruins children’s lives ~ A new study on divorce, looking at the complete spectrum of research on the subject, confirms what most people already know – even if they are not willing to admit it: divorce causes “irreparable harm” to the whole family, but particularly to the children…. In short, if a society wanted to reduce children’s chances of living a happy and fulfilled it could find few better ways to do it than by promoting divorce. Why then do so many “advanced economies” allow easy divorce?