Environmental Science Wk 4
Instructor Lynn Murphy
May 6, 2012
Chapter 8 discusses countries with low birth rates. Consider the population situation in Italy or Germany; very low birth rates, an aging population, and eventual decline in overall numbers.
* What policies would you recommend to these countries, assuming their desire to achieve a sustainable society?
Germany’s population is declining. Case in point 30,000 fewer babies were born in 2009, a dip of 3.6% from 2008. German mothers are producing .12% on average than 1990 per mother. This leaves Germany with a shortfall of 190,000 between the number of people who died and the number of children who were born, Germany's birth rate is well below the level required to keep the population stable. (Time World, 2010)
The country of Germany is experiencing both a birth rate decline and an aging population. This could cause a reduction in available man power for the workforce. If sufficient manpower is not available for industry to produce goods, exports could decline and hurt the Germany economy. One of Germany’s solutions is using migrant workers. Migrant workers bring new challenges to the host country which Germany is currently experiencing.
Ways to offset this may include making citizenship easier for the foreign workforce of married and child barring ages. Their children born in Germany will be German citizens. The benefits of this are obvious.
Providing financial and medical assistance to German couples to promote larger families may help increase the population. This would not be new for Germany as a similar policy was employed by Hitler in the 30’s to raise an army. A strain that most family’s with two working parents face is trying to juggle work and provide daycare, so maybe the government could help alleviate this strain by providing subsided daycare. Additional incentives could include but not be limited to cheaper or no cost...