Thursday, January 22, 2009

Are We Fading Away?

I remember reading several years ago that the replacement fertility rate is 2.1 births per couple. The 2 part is easy, but obviously to get the .1 you have to use an average of the fertility rate of a number of couples. I also noticed that of all my many friends and associates, only two couples have had more than two babies. After pondering this every now and then and lacking anything else very compelling to blog about, I decided to generate the following list of pseudonyms using my own nuclear family, our siblings, and the names in my email address book.

Round Rock Thomassens 2
Austin Thomassens 1
Brevard Thomassens 2
Sherbans 2
Wokkers 3
Chapkin 1
Mookie & mate 2
Mookie's sister 1
Schwinns 2
McMormans 0
Petersons 2
Bostons 0
Cheeres 0
Bakkers 0
Cranfields 2
Bratleys 0
Marxs 1
McMarthy 2
F. Roddys 1
Bailey 0
Blewett 2
Hewes 2
Humppers 2
Blaiges 0
Humpties 2
Nickels 2
Smacks 0
Brewflott 1
Pubigs 0
Minkelmanns 3
J-Carnes 1
Tutz's 2

So, all these happily "coupled" folks, all 64 of my closest friends and relatives, would have to have produced 67.2 babies just to meet the replacement rate. In the event, we have only had a total of 41 children. That's 1.3 kids per couple. If this trend continues, my peer group will produce only 27 grandchildren and only 18 great grandchildren.

In the long run, if everyone on the planet were following this trend, it might not be such a bad thing. But as it stands, it seems that our cohort group (which I would describe as consisting mainly of members of the "creative class") seems to be virtually alone among the various social classes that is not growing.

4 comments:

Bill said...

You've seen the movie "Idiocracy"?

Milena said...

When someone says, "Have you seen the movie...?" the answer 90% of the time will be "No." Is that good or bad? We can't decide.

Karla said...

I don't think the world would be very safe if there was a 'replacement" of me. One of me is enough.

Anonymous said...

Duh doopid peepl, dale make blenny ub um