While many people believe the human population is increasing too rapidly as compared to the Earth’s resources, some countries aren’t buying into it. This is because the very future of their nation depends on the fertility of its citizens. To attain replacement fertility — the rate at which new births replace the spaces left behind by deaths — demographers have suggested that such countries need a fertility rate of just over two children per woman.
In 2017, only half of the 224 countries of the world can brag of replacement fertility. Some countries are lagging with meager fertility rates due to reasons such as industrialization, cultural shifts, and economic influences. To change this trend, these countries have adopted weird, hilarious, and intelligent ways to encourage their citizens to have more sex.
The Scandinavian country is plagued with a low fertility rate of 1.73 births per woman. In an attempt to encourage reproduction from women, a Danish travel company, Spies Rejser, came up with innovative motivations to influence them to get pregnant.
First, it rendered three years' worth of baby supplies to couples who conceived on a vacation booked through the company. Also, with a sexy campaign video titled ‘Do it for Mom,’ the company guilt trips couples into having kids to give their mothers a grandchild.
According to Tech Insider, Russia is experiencing a demographic storm as low birth rates are being recorded due to the early death of men, HIV/AIDS, and alcoholism ravaging the country. Women are also reluctant to get pregnant. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin once brought the American R&B vocal group, Boyz II Men, to Moscow a day before Valentine's Day to sexually excite men.
The situation got so intense that in 2007, Russia declared 12th of September as the official Day of Conception. To commemorate the day, people are given a day off to focus on having kids, and women who give birth on June 12 (exactly nine months later) were entitled to a refrigerator.
Japan has been experiencing low fertility rate below replacement since 1975. In an attempt to change the trend, a group of students from the University of Tsukuba introduced a robot baby named ‘Yotaro,’ in 2010. The robot gives couples a preview of parenthood. The students believe that if men and women are exposed to parenthood, they would begin to see themselves as potential fathers and mothers. That could eventually make them more willing to start a family.
In the 1960s, population growth flatlined in Romania; this prompted the government to impose a 20% income tax for couples without children and to implement provisions that made divorce almost impossible.
The government theorized that if the citizens were not willing to contribute to the communist state by providing future workers (children), they’d have to contribute with dollars as a substitute. These times were perilous for many couples.
In the 1980s, things didn’t get better as women were forced to undergo gynecological examinations that were performed by demographic command units. Fortunately, the harsh policy was thrashed when Romanian leadership changed in 1986; however, Romanian’s fertility rate was still really low (1.31 children per woman).
Reportedly in 2017, Singapore had the lowest fertility rate in the world, at just 0.81 children per woman. The government spends about $1.6 billion yearly on programs set to encourage people to have more sex and procreate.
On August 9, 2012, the Singaporean government held National Night, an event sponsored by the breath-mint company Mentos, to encourage couples to show patriotism for the country by giving birth to more children. The country also placed a limit on the number of small one-bedroom apartments available for rent in an attempt to encourage people to live together, and eventually, procreate.
5. SOUTH KOREA
With a fertility rate of 1.25 children per woman, the South Korean government uses various incentives to promote family life. It goes as far as offering cash to couples who have more than one child. South Korean offices officially close by 7 pm on the third Wednesday of every month, to celebrate Family Day which is to encourage more procreation.
Are you surprised to find India on the list? Well, you are right to be. India does not particularly have a problem with fertility rate, the country's rate of 2.48 children per woman is adequately above replacement. However, the population in India's Parsis community is reducing. According to 2001 census, it shrank from about 114,000 people in 1941 to just 61,000 in 2001. This led to a number of provocative ads in 2014, including one that read:
"Be responsible — don't use a condom tonight."
There was another which focused on young men who were still living with their parents,
"Isn't it time you broke up with your Mum?"
Things have changed for good now, as the population has increased back to 69,000.
As reported by Bloomberg, the country has been promoting a series of advertisement to remind Italians about procreation. Italian's fertility rate is just 1.43 children per woman which is way below the European average of 1.58.
One of the popular ads reads:
"Beauty knows no age, fertility does,”
While another preached:
"Get going! Don't wait for the stork.”
A professor of economics at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore regarded the ads as a failure because many couples have refused to yield to it.
2. HONG KONG
Young people are supposed to replace aging citizens to increase a country's population and ensure economic growth; however, the reverse is the case in Hong Kong. Just like other industrialized countries, Hong Kong faces the challenges of dwindling population with a fertility rate of 1.18 children per woman.
In order to encourage procreation, the government planned on adopting Singapore's baby bonus method — the country gives $4,400 for a couple's first two children and $5,900 for their third and fourth — by gifting cash handouts to couples, just to encourage them to have kids. However, the idea was never executed
Spain is gradually experiencing a reduction in its fertility rates as the unemployment rate is rising. According to statistics, almost half of all young people don't have a job. To deal with these issues, the Spanish government specially hired a commissioner, Edelmira Barreira, in January 2017. Her primary duty is to find the causes of the trend and implement macro strategies to reverse it. While speaking to Spanish Newspaper, Faro De Vigo, Barreira said:
It seems having sex is paramount to the viability of these countries. Hopefully, they come up with more brilliant strategies to turn things around. Remember to share this article with your friends in these countries, so they can get to work as soon as possible.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us.”