Article from http://theviewfromhell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/why-people-used-to-have-children.html?m=1
The nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been characterized by a massive decline in fertility, beginning in rich Western countries and spreading all over the world. It is a transformation that is still underway in poor countries today.
Technological advances have, over the same period, radically decreased child mortality and increased life span. Modern parents need not have many children to ensure that one or two survive; almost all children survive to reproductive age. But Darwinian genetic interests cannot explain the modern decline in fertility (if Darwinian interests dominated, fertility should increase with increased survival, as observed in many historical elites). Rather, the fertility decline to present levels is mostly an economic response to the changing value of children, and to the changing economic relationship of parents and children. The economic transformation is not spontaneous, but the product of cultural transformation through education. Continue reading “Why People Used to Have Children”