A TFR ( Total Fertility Rate ) of 2.1 is the replacement rate. This means with a rate of 2.1 the numbers in a population will stay steady. A rate lower will lead to a decrease in population, a higher rate will lead to an increase in the population of the given group.
It basically is the average number of kids an average woman is expected to have in her lifetime.
It is common but seldom mentioned knowledge today that most of the western world is in a phase of demographic collapse. This will most visibly express itself in a collapse in the pension systems of western countries as we all age.
Media reports in recent years here have articles about our "Baby Boom".
There is no baby boom, it is distortion at worst or simplication of facts at best, in fact the numbers of Irish in Ireland are going to decline for the long term for two reasons: the low fertility rate of the Irish ethnic group and then the emigration of large numbers of young Irish.
Here is some data to illustrate. Note the TFR is not an ethnic Irish only one. The ethnic Irish one is lower still due to immigrants who make up maybe 15% of the population having 20-25% of all the children.
I dont have older figures for the % of foreign mothers(we can assume this is small prior to the noughties) and I realise a small percentage of the foreign mothers are with Irish men.
Year R.O.I Total Fertility Rate % Foreign Mothers 1960 3.78 1970 3.85 1980 3.21 1990 2.11 1995 1.84 1996 1.88 1997 1.93 1998 1.93 1999 1.89 2000 1.88 2001 1.9 2002 1.9 2003 1.89 2004 1.87 2005 1.87 2006 1.86 2007 1.86 19% 2008 1.85 22% 2009 1.85 24% 2010 2.03 25%
Religiosity is highly correlated with birthrate, so with our increasingly secularisation over time the less kids were born. Other factors are important too like female participation in the workforce, general levels of education, the divorce law change in the 90s and on demand contraception( soon to be on demand abortion if certain people get their way).
Kevin Myers has commented on this issue today so I felt compelled to post on the data i gathered, ill add his comments here:
This great, liberal society is silent on decisive social issues of our time - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie
The solution to this from right and left liberals is mass immigration to fill labour gaps and sometimes appeals for cheaper childcare( looked after by who?).Take the recently released figures and analyses from the Central Statistics Office, 2010-11. They revealed, amongst others things, that the birth rate amongst Irish women is now catastrophically below replacement level: our overall birth rate is 2.06, which is just below the generally accepted replacement figure of 2.1, and down 36pc in 30 years. But only 77pc of our births were to Irish mothers, so proportionately, the indigenous Irish population is plummeting. However, even to say this is probably "racist" according to the norms of our splendid media studies courses; and so, what would once have been a most salient headline revelation was at best last week a footnote, if even that.
Ireland is now imitating the deathbed demographics of the rest of Europe, which will ensure that the native populations will require the labour and services of immigrants from the developing world to run their trams and, when the time comes, to wipe their bums. What then of the feminist agenda which has supervised the calamitous fall in native fertility, when the robust and reproductive populations within Europe are drawn from other societies, with other religions and perhaps even anti-feminist priorities?
Some follow up reading:
Europe's Stark Choice on Immigration - Newsweek and The Daily Beast
EU needs to recognise value of immigrants | Irish Examiner
Asia Times Online :: Spengler : Israel, Ireland and the peace of the aging
Im wondering what do people think about this subject? Beyond the current financial crisis this issue will have major implications for you all as you age especially if you are under 50.