Demography and Stable Fertility Replacement
A century is quite long; anything and many things could change in 100 years. Our world population and fertility rates for one thing. Currently developed countries either have a declining population or a mostly stable fertility replacement level.
However, most developing countries still have an ever-increasing population, which has quite a few negative effects on health, economy, etc. Will they stabilize in the next hundred years? I believe there is a huge possibility for them to indeed stabilize.
With an ever-increasing global village, thanks to social networks, different people in different countries are becoming more and more like-minded. These developing countries have more access to the media and the over all mind sets of developed countries. I am originally from Arizona in the USA, but have been living in South Africa for the past 4 years. I can sense a dramatic change between the thought patterns among older generations of this country and those of the youth.
Even those living in the impoverished townships have complete access to current Hollywood movies, Internet, and current music. This access allows all of them to speak English along with think with a more westernized mindset. Where the older generations want as many children as possible so that their children will take care of them in old age, and because of lobola (where a potential husband must pay his fiance’s parents roughly $5000 to marry her).
But the youth nowadays want to get secondary educations, and want to have smaller healthy families, because they desire to be more like Americans. If such access is available in other developing countries I believe they will have a more stable fertility rate at some point in the next 100 years. These governments however will need to have active policies. It is no use knowing you need contraceptives, when you cannot get contraceptives. Without the support of governments and health facilities, woman and couples just may give up trying to plan their children.
While keeping independence in tact, governments need to have simple policies that allow for choice. Basically just giving the availability of contraceptives, family planning, and health facilities (some forced things could be sexual education in school). Freedom of choice should not be taken from them; rather policies to increase their choices so they can better take control of their individual lives and that of their families or planned family.