Interestingly, Becker, a Nobel Prize winner for his fertility theory, has a mysterious proposition where he equates a child with a form of goods. As per him, chid has a cost and is the result of a rational decision of its parents, and when individuals chose to consume goods relative to its pricing, they will consume less pricy goods and more affordable goods. Again, if the cost of the child rises in comparison with other goods, the parent will consume other goods more often than having a child. Thus, the affordability quotient brings down the fertility rates.
As convincing Becker’s theory remains, he simply fails to deliver the understanding why Africa, despite being the most economically backward, continues to have the highest fertility rates. African women have a fertility rate of 4.7, which is simply unbelievable considering the poverty mired environment that surrounds the dismal continent. Becker fails in applying his theory to Africa, and hence fails in is approach. It is also worthy to critique him in bringing to notice the infertility of male partners, who are equally responsible, in addition with the lack of healthcare to the new born and rising infant death rates.
The second most important ingredient in fuelling population ageing is the rise in life expectancy rates across the world. The rise in life expectancy is a result of economic and social progress, and a life governed by self-discipline. However, it is also due to the rise in the healthcare access and provisions, inventions of new medications eradicating life threatening diseases, and also due to the self-selection of specific life patterns and choices that the individual makes.
The above two charts inform about the increasing life expectancy of the world and in specific about selected countries. The highest life expectancy is registered to be in Japan, the Nordic countries, Canada, and Australia with 80 years or more. There has been a steep increase in life expectancy since the 1900 when the industrialization process began and inventions to new equipment of healthcare provisions and curative medicines for life threatening diseases became available. Economic development across the world improved living standards, and healthcare access and affordability at the same time culminated into an increase in life expectancy at birth and also at the adolescent years which were feared for many deaths.