I grew up hearing that my home country, Japan, is aging. I grew up being told that people of my generation would have to support older generations’ social welfare in the future. At the same time, however, I had never felt a serious sense of danger until I started studying abroad. As I lived 6000 miles away from my home, the notion of my country steadily aging and shrinking on the other side of the globe suddenly became alarming to me. The concern for my country eventually became a motivation for me to start conducting research on dissecting determinants of birth rates from an interdisciplinary approach.
Fertility and birth rates are determined by numerous factors, such as economy of a country, public policies, and even change in social norms. What makes this topic worth conducting research on is the uniqueness of background in each case. Every country has a birth rate for a reason (or reasons, as there are always multiple determinants), and though there are some general patterns, the situation in each country is always unique and reflects distinctive characteristics of the country.
Study of birth rates is only a class of an academic discipline called demography, within sociology. Demography not only covers fertility but also mortality and migration, and they are all interrelated to each other. Therefore, even though the focus of this research is on birth rate, discussions about mortality and migration will not be dismissed; however, most of the content of the research is going to center around analyses of birth rates and other considerations in the same discipline will be used to explain the reasoning behind each birth rate figure.
For blog posts, I intend to complete case studies of sociopolitical assessment of birth rates in different parts of the world. The following is the list of countries by regions I am interested in conducting case studies on:
- North America
- South America
Ultimately, based on my learning from writing blog posts, I am going to use the demonstration of learning as an opportunity for me to conduct research on providing a set of viable plans to alter the current trend in Japan: sub-replacement fertility.
For preliminary research, I am now reading chapters of Fertility and Public Policy : How to Reverse the Trend of Declining Birth Rates by Noriyuki Takayama and Martin Werding to get myself familiarized with the general background of the research topic. I am also going to use this book as a source for my future blog posts, since the book contains numerous case studies of birth rates in different parts of the world.
Takayama, Noriyuki, and Martin Werding, editors. Fertility and Public Policy : How to Reverse the Trend of Declining Birth Rates. E-book, MIT Press, 2010.
Vanni, Daniele Vanni. Family. Studio Verde Azzurro, 13 May 2015,
Accessed 24 Sept. 2018.
Accessed 24 Sept. 2018.