Nice list of reasons for declining birthrates. Intuitively, these make sense. But, the overwhelming reason people in developed countries are having less kids is that they don’t need them. In under-developed countries having children is essential to survival. They don’t have social safety-nets and offspring provide a source of income, especially in old age. Kids = cash!!

In developed countries, there is no longer the economic necessity to have kids. Deciding to have a child is done using the same cost/benefit economic analysis, except it is on a want rather than a need. To birth and raise a child in developed countries is usually a net cost to the parents. The cost is balanced against the benefit, i.e. social status, joy of child-rearing, etc. People evaluate the cost of the child verses alternative uses of capital. In the developed economies, this means having a child is considered relative to alternative sources of happiness seeking, like a bigger house, more vacations, nice cars, career status, etc. Some people just choose the material things because they can. It is advertising and culture that drives the importance of material wants over having children.

This cause and effect is lost in your list. The simple proof is that in the underdeveloped world all the problems you mention are much worse and they have higher birthrates.

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