The Economist‘s “sister” company has made an earnest, contemporary attempt to determine which countries are the most and least propitious ones to be born into. Check out the list and notes on the methodology there.
The first thing that jumps out at me is that the best places to be born are doing the least birthing, while the worst places are doing more than their fair share of it. The correlation between a country’s where-to-be-born index score and its total fertility rate is a statistically significant .49. A couple of tweaks could easily make that moderately robust relationship considerably stronger still.
Firstly, give sub-Saharan Africa more reasonable representation. Of the 80 countries included, only four–including the ‘crown jewel’, South Africa (#53)–make the cut. The other three–Angola, Kenya, and Nigeria–rank 76th, 79th, and 80th on the ranking of where it’s best to be born, respectively. They rank 1st, 3rd, and 2nd when it comes to procreation, however.
Secondly, reduce Eastern Europe’s and central Asia’s representation. There are a lot of old Soviet countries included that tend to be, rather uniquely, both crappy places to be born and places where there isn’t much birthing occurring. A lot of attention is given to the question of which countries will be the globe’s prime movers in the 21st century, but a less frequently inquired about question (and one with a clearer set of answers) is which places will be bit players.
That said, as constructed an observable pattern still emerges:
At one remove, the list paints a dysgenic global picture. Of course, the right-thinking editors at the august magazine don’t actually mention anything about fertility (the closest they come is a parenthetical “demography”, devoid of any expounding), but Economist readers can surely read between the lines (with quantification to boot if they visit this our humble online outpost here!).
It has become unfashionable for the Establishment to push population reduction as a policy goal even with the ascent of green thinking because of the rather obvious implication that the hardest hit if such a goal was realized would be NAMs–especially immigrants–domestically and third-worlders internationally. Even when the subject is bandied about in the more politically incorrect parts of the media world, the racial and ethnic ramifications are often glossed over.
Recently, Randall Parker wondered how to best sell leftists on how to cut the demand for low-skilled labor and, by implication, thus reduce illegal immigration from south of the border. Similarly, how best to sell them on promoting eugenic birthing?
Egalitarianism seems like the most plausible avenue to pursue. A simple thought experiment demonstrates. In the real world scenario, Mr. and Mrs. Rich, worth $10 million, have one kid, while Ms. Poor, worth $10k, has five. Kid Richie gets $10 million passed on to him, while each of the Poories get $2k. He’s worth 5,000 times more than they are. In the Ideal World, Mr. and Mrs. Rich have five kids while Ms. Poor has one. Each of the Richies get $2 million, while Poorie gets $10k. Now a Rich kid is only worth 200 times as much. Presto, a 25 fold reduction in the wealth gap!