discussion paper:Should governments interfere with the population's fertility?

Topics: Demography, Population, Total fertility rate Pages: 5 (1612 words) Published: October 17, 2013
Should governments interfere with the population's fertility?

Introduction

Like in every household, there’s the head of the family that guides and maintains stability in the family, looks after the food , clothing, shelter ..etc, the same way, governments look after their countries to maintain political, social and economic stability, but all of this depends on how healthy the population is, be it a developing or a developed country. One such aspect that has taken a serious toll in many countries , is the population’s growth. In this paper, what will be discussed is why do governments interfere with the population's fertility and what do the governments do in order to reach their set goal.

Why do government interfere with the growth of the population?

The sole purpose for Governments to interfere with the population's fertility is to control the growth of population because there is limited amount of resources. In order to do so, governments introduce polices to either slow down their population growth and discourage births or encourage births in a declining populations. There are many reasons for high fertility rates which in turn leads to overpopulation; Lack of access to contraceptives, children to care for parents in old age, for agricultural purposes as in farming, having children to duplicate ideas and lifestyles, a status symbol (sign of virility), lack of education, lack of control over their own fertility and the last one, religious beliefs and traditional customs. When it comes to countries with a declining population, there are many reasons as why this happens; very poor environmental conditions, raising children in expensive countries, mainly developed countries where the standard of living is high and so the number of births are reduced, when parents lose their jobs due to economic recession there are fewer births, high status of women who like to be independent, access to family planning (contraceptives) etc.

The different techniques of interference depends on the whether the country has an increasing population or declining population. Populations with high fertility rates and fast growing populations have anti- natalist policies imposed on them. China having the world's largest population, they have the 'one-child policy' which means a family can only have one child, there might be a few exceptions like families in rural parts of china may be able to have two children because they see children as a source of labor, or parents that may have been single children to their parents, are allowed to have two children. Some other exceptions include disability hereby letting a family have another child, pregnancies after adopting a child etc. Some other rules that need to be followed strictly are the legal marriage age limit, that is 20 for females and 22 for males. There are also incentives and other bonuses if they follow the rules strictly, the rewards include; priority house allocations, extra land for farming etc but if the parents change their minds and have another child, their privileges will be taken away. There are Punishments for violating the laws as well, both in urban and rural area, so this clearly shows how serious the matter is taken. Populations with low fertility rates and declining population have pro-natalist policies , that encourage families to have more children. Australia has an ageing population, which means that there are low birth rates and that families are having fewer children which in turn is causing the population to decline. In order to get the rates up to a stable number, the government is finding ways to please the population or in other words, to appeal to the crowd by offering them rewards and assistance , the decision to have children is certainly an individual one — it is not (and should never be) the role of governments to tell citizens how many children they should have. However, governments can ensure that programs are in place to assist parents in...

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BBC - Ethics - Contraception: Mass birth-control programmes. (n.d.). BBC - Homepage. Retrieved September 17, 2013, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/contraception/mass_birth_control_1.shtml
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