Demographic Collapse
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

An article in Barrons two weeks ago reported that births in Japan dropped to a new low last year. The country recorded more than twice as many deaths as new babies. Marriages are at the lowest level since 1933.

The sobering numbers highlight the dramatic challenges facing the nation of Japan. It may have the world’s fourth-biggest economy in the world, but it is dying a slow death. And there are healthcare shortages for the significant number of elderly Japanese.

Here in America, we can be grateful that we aren’t in this situation, but we are headed there. The US birth rate has been below replacement level for many years. We are now averaging about 1.6 children over a lifetime. In fact, the birth rate has been falling since the Great Recession.

This wasn’t always the case. The average woman had three children in the 1950s. Eventually, the birth rate dropped to the replacement rate of 2.1 children and is currently about 1.6 children.

A below-replacement birth rate affects so many aspects of society. We may not be able to economically support an aging population. Below-replacement fertility means closing schools, shrinking college enrollments, fewer workers, and fewer consumers.

A shrinking population has been used to justify increased immigration. But a tsunami of illegal immigrants crossing the border is not the solution. The right kind of legal immigrants, who have been vetted and assimilated, will forestall a demographic collapse.

Christians understand that the family is the fundamental unit of society. “Children are a heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). They are like arrows, and we are blessed with a quiver full of them (Psalm 127:4-5). That is why pastors and Christian leaders need to teach about the importance of marriage and family.viewpoints new web version

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