AN UNCONVENTIONAL APPROACH TO POPULATION POLICY: Use the Feminist Revolution To Reverse World Population Growth

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Outlining two fundamentally different and conflicting forces that are driving world population changes.

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The feminist revolution is driving fertility down in the more prosperous nations, as women discover new interests and opportunities beyond child bearing.

Negative Population Growth (NPG) is pleased to issue its seventh Forum Paper for 2018, with the publication and distribution of Feminism, Migration, And Population Policy: A Letter To My Friends, authored by Lindsey Grant.

NPG President Mann applauded the publication of this important paper by Grant by stating: “For many years Lindsey was the leading voice behind the NPG Forum series and we are eternally grateful for his expertise and commitment to the NPG mission. In his newest paper, he presents a well-researched look at the all-important issue of population growth – past and present – and describes how, almost accidentally, the current assertion of women's rights and interests has led to a marked decline in women’s fertility in most of the world. Fertility in most of the least developed countries has, however, stubbornly remained at five children or more. That fertility, if it continues to drive emigration, will force a dramatic and disastrous growth in world population. But, if the social changes that led to the fertility decline elsewhere can be implanted in the high fertility nations, the world will be on the path down toward truly sustainable levels.”

Focusing on the reality that overpopulation – and its ever-increasing drain on Earth’s natural systems pose a huge threat to humanity, Grant states: “Mathematically, that astonishing growth must stop. How it will stop, and at what level and condition, is thoroughly obscure, but there are changes afoot.”

Grant outlines two fundamentally different and conflicting forces that are driving world population changes.

Grant states: “The feminist revolution is driving fertility down in the more prosperous nations, as women discover new interests and opportunities beyond child bearing. It is now far below replacement level. Barring a sharp rise in fertility or massive immigration, it will lead to rapid population declines.”

He observes that: “On the other hand, fertility remains very high in the least developed countries, where people face a brutal choice between starvation or emigration. If they manage to emigrate, and propagate, they will replace the diminishing cohorts of the prosperous nations, a process with unpredictable consequences perhaps foreshadowed by the hostile German reaction to the recent influx of Syrian refugees.”

In addressing the feminist factor, Grant notes: “I cannot prove causation, but the correlation between the feminist revolution and the decline in fertility suggests that the new attitude is driving the decline, along with the parallel improvements in women’s education, property rights, access to jobs, and improved communication among women in different societies.” He adds: “That decline has been achieved, not by political ‘leaders’ or population activists, but by women contemplating their own interests and deciding how many children they will have. It is a powerful force.”

In looking at this issue overall, Grant relates: “The infertile and fertile countries have very different problems. They need different solutions. Population activists should respond. In brief, we can stop worrying about fertility in the prosperous countries, but we should take a more aggressive position on ‘overshoot’ and the need for population decline. We should promote the feminist revolution in the poor countries, as a means of stopping runaway population growth. In the United States, we should focus on the immigration issue.”

On that topic, Grant notes: “Immigration is an issue that can be treated only at the national level. If we lecture other countries about it, we will be seen as meddling. However, the proposed focus on migration will enlist allies among the ‘middle class’ here and in Europe. The rise of ultra-nationalist parties testifies to the fears people have of increased competition in the job market.”

On the migration issue, Grant is quite clear about America’s role: “Helping the poor countries bring their fertility down and thus achieve a population turnaround would be good for them and good for us. On a shared Earth, we have good reasons to do what we can to help them. But let me offer a central caveat: trying to absorb their population growth harms us without doing them any long term good, because it doesn’t address their high fertility. We have no obligation to absorb large flows of migrants in an effort to rescue them when they fail.”

In all, Grant sums up the challenges facing Negative Population Growth and other major organizations in the forefront of fighting for responsible population policies. He observes: “We are faced with declining resources and a deteriorating environment. To establish a truly sustainable pattern of living, we must call for population reduction, not simply stabilization…Even worse is the target, frequently heard, of ‘a gradual slowdown of population growth toward stability’. That may avoid offending people, but it hardly moves them. And the feminists are already ahead of that schedule. Indeed, population growth will be reversed, but nature will reverse it if we cannot sell a less painful solution. The task of the population movement, baldly stated, is to sell the idea of voluntary reduction through lowered fertility and –yes – control of mass migrations.”

Craig Lewis, NPG’s Executive Vice President, complimented Grant on his newest paper by stating: “Lindsey Grant has once again put a valuable spotlight on the complex issue of population growth and how we best approach solving it. It is up to organizations such as NPG to help the feminist movement continue the practices that will lead to a population decline.”

Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders regarding the damaging effects of population growth. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG advocates the adoption of its Proposed National Population Policy, with the goal of eventually stabilizing U.S. population at a sustainable level – far lower than today’s. We do not simply identify the problems – we propose solutions. For more information, visit our website at, follow us on Facebook @NegativePopulationGrowth or follow us on Twitter @npg_org.

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