每日新闻更新 — 需要更多的宝宝!The Daily Update – More babies needed!

《华尔街日报》上周有一篇有趣的文章谈到了美国的出生率。这不是一个什么新的发现,不仅美国而且全球发达国家都难以应对出生率下降的问题(我们去年写过一篇文章,如果你希望得到我们机构掌握的对全球人口的统计数据,我们可以发送给你),但这个数据却不免令人深思。研究人员认为,不管生育率如何,如果一个国家希望维持其人口出生率的现状,每1000名女性在其一生中应该生育2100名婴儿才行。美国的数据显示,2017年仅有385万婴儿出生,这是自1987年以来的最低水平,相当于每1000名妇女仅有1765名新生儿,少于需要生育人数的16%,只有犹他州和南达科他州达到了维持其人口所需的出生率,而哥伦比亚特区的出生率为全国最低,每1000名妇女仅有1421个新生儿。

虽然按种族划分的出生率存在某些差异,但整体情况并不乐观。新罕布什尔大学的一名人口统计学的资深专家说,“我们知道生育率很低,但这个数据详细地告诉我们每个州的生育率有多么地低”。

刚才提到这个问题并不仅限于美国,去年11月的研究显示,自1950年以来全球生育率已经减半,尽管相互之间有巨大的差异:比如,台湾、韩国、新加坡和塞浦路斯每一位妇女生育的孩子平均勉强达到一个,而非洲的尼日尔的妇女则平均超过7个。根据英国国家统计局的数字,英国的人口出生率为1.76。

事实上,世界上人口最大的国家也无法摆脱这个问题的困扰。根据中国社会科学院(CASS)的报告,2029年中国人口总数将达到14.4亿人,这将成为中国人口的最高峰,之后中国将开始“不可阻挡”的人口衰减进程。如果中国保持目前的生育率,到2050年的时候,人口将降至13.6亿,而仅仅15年后就将继续降至11.7亿(几年前中国停止了独生子女政策)。到2035年,中国的老年人口将达到4亿。据联合国估计,到2024年,印度将超过中国成为世界上人口最多的国家(有些报道说此事现在已经发生),到本世纪末,世界上80%以上的人口要么生活在亚洲要么就生活中非洲。

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