Monday, November 15, 2010

Momentous Fact

In Mexico, for instance, the fertility rate was 6.82 in 1970. It dropped to 5.3 in 1980, 3.61 in 1990, and 2.75 in 2000. It now sits at 2.1

The Mexican fertility rate has fallen to the replacement level.  Think about that for a moment.  An important driving force behind a lot of issues, like illegal immigration, has stopped.  Assuming that the Mexican economy does not actually start to contract, there will be enough jobs for everyone and no supply of excess workers.

Actually, there have been relatively few Mexican immigrants for some time.  Most illegals come from much poorer, higher-fertility countries in Central America, and they just pass through Mexico.

I was quite surprised when I read this.  Most of my core knowledge about the world was formed sometime between 1990 and 2000, when I was in middle and high school.  I had internalized the idea that the Mexican fertility rate was between 3 and 4, and nothing had caused me to update those beliefs until now.

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