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According to United Nations Population Fund, the total population of the world was 7262310000 by 2016, and the population of China was 1382710000.

Subsidising parenthood appears to work wonders

文学人:婴孩的奇异流失 揭示长久生育低谷的谜团(上)

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United States 美国

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The strange case of the missing baby


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As the financial crisis hit, birth rates fell in rich countries, as expected. But a persistent baby bust is a real puzzle


HE IS not exactly leading by example, but Pope Francis wants more babies. “The great challenge of Europe is to return to being mother Europe,” he said last year, while suggesting that young people might be having too few children because they preferred holidays. Europe certainly lacks young souls, particularly in Catholic countries such as Italy and Spain. But the baby shortage is broader: mother America and mother Australia have gone missing, too.


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They were certainly present a decade ago. Although birth rates were low in the former communist countries of eastern Europe, and in traditionalist places where it is hard to combine work with motherhood—think Japan, South Korea and southern Europe—many countries were having a baby boom. In the decade to 2008, the total fertility rate (the number of children a woman can expect to have in her lifetime based on present patterns) rose in much of the rich world. In Britain it went up from 1.68 to 1.91; in Australia from 1.76 to 2.02; and in Sweden from 1.5 to 1.91. America even managed to reach the “replacement rate” of 2.1, meaning its population was sustaining itself, without taking migration into account.

在十年前,他们是确实存在着的。就算在东欧的前社会主义国家,以及难以将专门的工作与阿娘身份结合的价值观之地中,如东瀛、大韩中华民国和澳洲西部地方,出生率低下—但为数非常多国度都经历过婴儿潮时期。到二〇一〇年截止的十年间,超越二分之一发达国家的生育率均进步了(生育率是指在既有方式下,一个人女子希望在其生平中生产的男女的数码)。在United Kingdom,生育率从1.68进步至1.91;在澳大雷克雅未克联邦(Commonwealth of Australia),生育率从1.76升起至2.02;在瑞典王国,该指标从1.5上涨至1.91。U.S.A.居然达到2.1的“人口置换率”,这象征,在不考虑移民的情况下,这个国家人口为主保持不改变。

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There were two reasons, says Tomas Sobotka of the Vienna Institute of Demography. First, women who had delayed having children while they studied and started careers hurried to the maternity wards while they still could. Births to women in their 30s, which had been rising gently for years, went up further in Norway and elsewhere. Second, fertility among women in their 20s stopped falling.


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The financial crisis abruptly turned the boom to bust. Countries in the European Union delivered 5,469,000 babies in 2008 but only 5,075,000 in 2013—a drop of over 7%. That was too much for Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies nappies, which announced in 2012 that it would pull out of most of Europe. In America the fertility rate fell from a peak of 2.12 in 2007 to 1.86 in 2014. Ken Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire, estimated that America was missing 2.3m babies.


The crunch was unsurprising: anxiety about jobs and money puts people off children. But a rich-world baby bust that began predictably turned into a puzzle.



1.compare with 比较

例句:Compare with the others.


2.point out 指明;? 指出

例句:They kept standing up to take pictures and point things out to each other.


3.financial firm 经济集团

例句:It is not the only Indian financial firm with ambitions abroad.


4.bid for 申办

例句:The US shell company was set up to mount a bid for Kingston Communications.



shelln. 壳,外壳 v. 去壳,脱落,拾贝壳 n.[计

anxietyn. 焦虑,担心,渴望

fertilityn. 肥沃,丰饶,生产力

challengen. 挑战 v. 向 ... 挑战

abruptlyadv. 猛然地,莽撞地,陡峭地,不连贯地

migrationn. 移民,移往,移动

replacementn. 更换,接替者

persistentadj. 固执的,坚持的,连续的

predictablyadv. 可预见地

traditionalistn. 因循古板者;守旧主义者 adj. 古板主义者的(等


Somalia babies's hard living condition

In the United States, the fertility rate has reached a record low of 1.76. The fertility rate in the United States fell to an all-time low last year. Americans' average life expectancy, meanwhile, sits at a relatively high 78.7 years.

(Chart 1: The Total population of China by 2016)

Jan 9th 2018 | NAGICHO

"In Somalia, 651 newborns die every day." (2016)

二〇一八年,United States的生育率已经降到1.76,再次创下历史新低。英国每人平均寿命相对较高,为78.7岁。

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A PATCHWORK of nondescript houses nestled at the foot of a mountain, Nagicho looks like an ordinary Japanese town. On closer inspection, something extraordinary marks it out: babies. Yuki Fukuda is one of many local mothers with three children. The bump under her winter coat indicates that another is on the way, part of a baby bonanza that has seen the town’s fertility rate double since 2005.

"Somalia has risen from the fourth in 2015 to the first in 2016 among the global rankings of child mortality under the age of five."

Many experts say the 2008 economic recession and high college tuition are contributing to this trend.

(Chart 2: The population of every province of China)

Not surprisingly, reporters have flocked to this remote corner of the country to see if there is something that promotes fecundity in the water flowing down from Mount Nagi. The cause appears to be more prosaic: economics. Alarmed by the dearth of children, the local government increased incentives to have babies. The fertility rate rose from1.4 (meaning that the average woman will have 1.4 children in her lifetime, roughly the national rate) to 2.8 in 2014. Provisional figures suggest the rate has since fallen back to 1.9, but even if correct, that remains well above the national average.

In Somalia, the child and neonatal mortality rates are extremely high, accounting for 39% of 609,000 newborn children born in 2016.In addition, the problem of children under-nutrition in Somalia, low rate of disease treatment and the issue of gender-based violence are also significant. According to UNICEF, at least 6.2 million people in Somalia needed humanitarian aid in 2011, of which 4million were children.


At present, China's population accounts for 1/5 of the world, but the number of newborns only accounts for 1/10 of the world. The proportion of China's population in the world will decline significantly in thefuture.

nondescript: not easily described: having no special or interesting qualities, parts, etc.

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According to a 2018 survey in?The New York Times, however, adults who want kids say they sometimes end up having few, or zero, kids due to the high cost of childcare. The average cost of full-time childcare exceeds $10,000 a year in several states, according to Child Care Aware of America.

9159com金沙网站,The main reason for the present situation of the population was the One-child policy which was introduced in the 1970s and became the basic state policy in 1980s. According to the United Nations population research data, The fertility rate in the mainland of China is 1.63,it means each woman has only 1.63 children on average. It is a low level compared to the whole world.

fecund: producing or able to produce many babies, young animals, or plans: fertile

Under-5 mortality rate (2016)


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The living conditions of children in Somalia are extremely harsh and their education and protection work are urgent.

The US birth rate has remained below "replacement level" since the 1970s, which means not enough children are being born to keep the population at a steady level.

(Chart 3: The natural growth rate, birth rate and death rate of China from 1997 to 2015)

prosaic: dull or ordinary 

Somalia, which lays on the Somali peninsula, the easternmost continent of Africa. It is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. Its economy is dominated by livestock husbandry, its industrial foundation is weak and its basic education coverage is low in popularization. Due to the year-round high temperature and successive years of natural disasters affected by drought, coupled with prolonged civil war and frequent terrorist attacks,various infrastructure projects in the country have been generally brought to a halt. Existing industry facilities and infrastructure have also been constantly affected.


Population ageing is an increasing median age in the population of a region due to declining fertility rates and/or rising life expectancy. Most countries have rising life expectancy and an ageing population (trends that emerged first in More Economically Developed Countries, but which are seen now in Less Economically Developed Countries). This is the case forevery country in the world except the 18 countries designated as "demographic outliers" by the UN. The aged population is currently atits highest level in human history. The UN predicts the rate of population ageing in the 21st century will exceed that of the previous century. The number of people aged 60 years and over has tripled since 1950, reaching 600 millionin 2000 and surpassing 700 million in 2006. It is projected that the combined senior and geriatric population will reach 2.1 billion by 2050. Countries vary significantly in terms of the degree and pace of ageing, and the UN expects populations that began ageing later will have less time to adapt to its implications.

dearth: the state or condition of not having enough of something

In 2012, Somalia had a per capita GDP of 348 U.S. dollars,which means that everyday per capita GDP is 0.95 U.S. dollars. But the world poverty standard of per capita GDP is 1.90 dollars everyday, Somalis live in severe poverty.

Last year, the US Census Bureau wrote in a paper that women who have kids between the ages of 25 and 35 have more difficulty in getting fair pay than women who give birth outside of that range. American women are now having children older than ever.

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In fact, the value of life expectancy of Somalia has been growing very slowly. In 1970, the life expectancy of Somalis was 41, and by 2016 their life expectancy only increased to 56. However, the average life expectancy in the world had already reached to 59 in 1970, which is higher than Somalia’s in 2016. Elsewhere in Africa, life expectancy is equally low, not far from Somalia’s.


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(Chart 4: Population age structure in 2000&2010)

Mrs Fukuda will receive a “celebratory” gift of ¥300,000 ($2,682) when she gives birth. A subsidised baby-sitting service is available for just ¥1,800 a day, along with subsidised car seats and other baby accessories. When her children reach secondary school, she will receive ¥90,000 a year for each one who attends. In theory, this stipend is to cover the cost of getting children to school, especially for people who live relatively far away. And whereas usually all but the poorest and the old in Japan have to pay 30% of their health-care bills (with the national government picking up the rest), in Nagicho the local government pays the 30% for children.

Life expectancy of different areas (2016)

Spain 西班牙

The aging population is a change process of the age structure of population, and it is a product of the development of human society on a certain stage. The statistic data from the fifth population census of China show that the proportion of the aged (over 60) to the total population in China is 10.2%, which means that China has become an aged society.

Other initiatives are more creative. The town relies on a network of volunteers to help keep its two nurseries open.Businesses that move to the town receive rent-free land—a gesture that has lured at least three companies since 2014, says Yoshitaka Kumagai, a local government official. The city is also offering a clutch of refurbished or newly built apartments and houses for rent at subsidised rates.

So what are the realities of child survival in such a country? And what can we do?

Spain has more deaths than births each year, and some towns are already nearly abandoned.

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stipend: a usually small amount of money that is paid regularly to someone

1.The key to solve the problem of Children stunting, is to solve the problem of malnutrition

Stunting rate in Somalia (moderate and severe) reaches 25%, slightly above the world average of 24%. However, in Asia and Europe, the rates of stunting are both below 15%.  Except for Middle East and North Africa, the rest areas of Africa have higher rates of stunting than the world average of more than 10 percentage points. Not only in Somalia, the whole development of children in Africa is not optimistic.

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Stunting(%) (moderate & severe) 2011-2016

So, the key to solve the problem of Children stunting, is to solve the problem of malnutrition.

Aisha Mohamed, a health promoter, advises women that they can actually help themselves with a number of issues to prevent stunting on young children: "Good prenatal care, including ensuring that they maintain good nutrition during pregnancy," she said. "Delivery at the medical facility; Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months; Vaccination for children; Keeping household cleanliness; Washing hands with soap after meals;Keeping cookware clean; Purifying drinking water."

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Somalia baby in physical examination

However, in Somalia, women's health awareness for children does not seem to be so strong.

In Somalia, between 2011 and 2016, only 26% of pregnant women had antenatal care experience at least one time and only 6% had at least four times experiences. Shockingly, the world average is respectively 86% and 62%. In the period of 2013-2016, only 9% of pregnant Somali women gave birth baby with help from skilled birth attendants and only 9% gave birth baby at medical institutions between 2011 and 2016, but in the same period, the rates of world average were 78% and 75%. Also, during 2011 to 2016, the rate of early breastfeeding of Somalia babies was only 23% and the world was 45%.

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Somalia woman is learning about children healthy care

Zeinab Adan, a midwife at a local major maternal and child health center, said that in fact, these simple methods mentioned by Aisha are very practicable even among the poorest families. Despite the unsatisfactory economic situation in Somalia, locals can still help their own to avoid child stunting.

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The rate of antenatal care, delivery and early initiation of breast-feeding


(Chart 5: The age structure of China from 1997 to 2015 )


2.Regional infrastructure, pure drinking water and basic sanitation cannot benefit every child

2017, more than 180 million people do not have access to basic drinking water in countries affected by conflict, violence and instability around the world.

In Somalia, the development gap between urban and rural is particularly obvious. If you live in city that means you can basically enjoy pure drinking water and basic sanitation. But children living in counties are not so lucky.

In 2015, the total rate of drinking water use was 40% in Somalia, 70% in urban and 20% in rural. It can be said that people living in countries have basically no access to pure water. The rate of Sanitation facilities use is much lower than that of drinking water, with 16% in total, 28% in urban and 8% in rural.

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Use of basic drinking water services(%) 2013-2016

“Children’s access to safe water and sanitation, especially in conflicts and emergencies, is a right, not a privilege” said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF’s global chief of water, sanitation and hygiene.” In countries beset by violence, displacement, conflict and instability, children’s most basic means of survival – water – must be a priority.” 

However, to solve these two problems, the key lies in whether the country is stable. Basic projects will be difficult to start, and drinking water and sanitation facilities is hard to be fully equipped under unstable condition.

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Use of basic sanitation services(%) 2011-2016

Spanish women tend to give birth later in life than most other European women, and Spaniards also live longer than anyone else in the European Union. On average, women in Spain have 1.5 children.

As for the population structure, the proportion ofelderly people is becoming bigger and bigger, but the proportion of child is less.

3.Child protection measures are not in place, the problem of gender-basedviolence is serious, and girls are the main victim

Child labor in Somalia is very common, with nearly half of children have to work. In 2016, the population of Somalia under the age of 18 was 7,642,000, which represented there are about 3,821,000children have to work.

Besides, women and girls often need to go out for firewood as they do not have stoves. They are often attacked and raped when they go out. Fortunately, UNICEF and other related organizations have already begun to provide teachers with basic emotional support training to ensure that schools can help prevent and respond to sexual violence and abuse against children.

At the same time, UNICEF also provide senergy-saving stoves as a proactive prevention mechanism for gender-based violence. These stoves reduce the number of women and girls who go out for firewood. Addressing gender-based violence and child protection issues requires the support of the global community.

The health condition of children in Somalia and the local protection are not optimistic. However, there are many thingsthat we can do. Such as sending volunteers and MSF to local for raising people's awareness of hygiene. We also can directly change their living environment with material assistance.

西班牙(Spain)女人的生育年龄比好多亚洲女子都更加大,而西班牙人的平分寿命又不仅仅别的欧盟公民。在西班牙王国(The Kingdom of Spain),女人平均生产1.5个孩子。

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Mr Kumagai insists all this largesse has merely boosted the share of the town’s ¥4bn annual budget devoted to raising the fertility rate from 2% to 3%. Like thousands of other shrinking communities across Japan, the town was desperate, he says. Nagicho has lost a third of its population since 1955, and a third of the 6,100 residents who remain are over 65. “We’re trying to hold the line at 6,000 people,” he says.

In Spain's northeastern Aragon region, one village already shows what a demographic time bomb can look like. The only remaining residents of La Estrella are two people in their 80s.

(Chart 6: Dependency Ratio of China from 1997 to 2015)

The town’s dilemma is replicated across the country. Deaths outstripped births by a record 300,000 in 2016; government projections say the population of 127m could plummet by almost a third over the next 50 years. Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, has pledged to raise the fertility rate to 1.8. To that end, much of the ¥2trn in extra public spending approved by the Cabinet last month is slated for child care.

In fact, not only Somalia, but also many other countries and regions in the world have same problems. However, we are not helpless. Take action from now on, to protect our next generation, our future hope.

在西班牙王国(The Kingdom of Spain)西南部的亚拉贡地区,人口定时炸弹的效果与利益已经在二个名叫拉埃斯Trey的聚落显现。那些村落最终剩余的三个居民都以八十多岁。

However, at the present stage, China is still in the early stage of socialism and is still a middle-income developing country. In this context, the aging of China's population reflects its unique characteristics: aged before rich, the aging population is getting larger and faster.

largesse: the act of giving away money or the quality of a person who gives away money

Last year, the Spanish government hired a special commissioner to determine how to reverse falling birth rates.

With the development of medical technology and living standard, the length of life becomes longer.

slate: to arrange or plan for something to happen, someone to be chosen, etc.

二〇一八年,西班牙(Reino de España)政坛任命了壹个人特意专员来想艺术咸鱼翻身生育率下落的规模。

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(Chart 7: Life expectancy of China from 1996 to 2015)

Could Nagicho be replicated elsewhere? Hiroko Kaihara, who moved to the town years ago with her three children and works in one of the nurseries, thinks not. There is a slowness to life that is attractive, she says, and a sense of community. “Mothers feel safe having more children; it’s not easy to create those conditions.” Mrs Fukuda says she also struggles to put her finger on why families are larger. The money helps, she admits, but that is not the main reason. Perhaps there is something in the water after all.

Italy 意大利

China is facing the huge challenge of the aging of thepopulation.

Correction (January 10th2018): This article originally gave Nagicho’sannual budget as ¥48bn. It is in fact less than ¥4bn. We have also changed the piece to clarify which share of the town’s budget is being spent on improving the fertility rate.

A rise in immigration to Italy has not helped the country steer clear of becoming a demographic time bomb.

As the aging of the population goes ahead of modernization, the whole society, including aging people themselves, is facing a huge challenge, too.

本条小镇的经历能复制到别的地点么? 钱是一个便利因素,但却不是独一因素,挺逗的尾声,或然依然因为水的案由吗,和前面刚开端又呼应回去了


China now is faced the burden of an elder society. The great pressure of the aging of the population has tested the government's ability to plan for the aged. China is not a developed country, the development of the social and cultural welfare undertakings is not suitable for the agingof the population.

小结: 老龄化,高病逝率,低出生率让东瀛经济拉长乏力,社会难点也会种种显现出来

A record-low 464,000 children were born in Italy last year, and the country's mean age has surpassed 45 for the first time ever.

As for all of these problems, China should do everything to change this situation. We should actively address population aging and vigorously develop old-age services. Developing public pension welfare for elderly people, improving the social security system for them, developing the aging industry and raising the age of retirement are effective measures.



Many Italians want to have two or more children,?The Local?reported, but cite difficulties in finding employment as a factor in their decisions not to.



9159com金沙网站:经济学人,双语阅读。Lexile®Measure: 1000L - 1100L


Mean Sentence Length: 14.90

Bulgaria 保加那格浦尔

Mean Log Word Frequency: 3.37

The population of Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest member, may soon become as low as it was in the aftermath of World War II, Bloomberg reported.

Word Count: 626


那篇文章的蓝思值是在一千-1100L, 适合罗马尼亚(罗曼ia)语专门的学业余大学学一年级的水平学习,应该是艺术学人里最简便易行的

Bulgaria's population is shrinking faster than any other country in the world; it is expected to hit only 5.4 million in 2050, down from 7 million last year, according to Quartz.



In addition, the country has seen an increase in emigration as citizens seek job opportunities elsewhere. Bulgaria's fertility rate is only 1.46 children per woman.



Latvia 拉脱维亚

Since Latvia joined the European Union in 2004, nearly 20 percent of the country's population has left to seek employment in other parts of the bloc, such as Germany and the United Kingdom.


Latvia's population, reported to be nearly 2 million last year, is estimated to fall to 1.52 million by 2050, according to Quartz.



South Korea 韩国

The South Korean government has offered cash incentives to people who have more than one child, as the fertility rate currently sits at 1.26 children per woman – too low to maintain a stable population.


Amid the declining fertility rates, some South Koreans have said they are not having children due to a lack of financial stability, according to Quartz.


Demographers say South Korea's low fertility rate is linked to women having children at an increasingly later age. In 2017, the average age of a Korean woman having a first child surpassed 31. It was the oldest average in the world.



Japan 日本

Unlike other countries with similarly low fertility rates, Japan has not seen a significant influx of immigrants. A low number of workers in the country decreases the amount of tax money going toward retirement and healthcare services for older residents, who are growing in numbers.



United Kingdom 英国

The United Kingdom's birth rate has fallen to its lowest level in a dozen years,?The Times?reported. At the same time, the number of British residents age 65 or older is rising due to better healthcare and higher living standards.

据《泰晤士报》报纸发表,United Kingdom出生率已经降到了十几年来的最低点。与此同一时间,陆14周岁以上的大不列颠及苏格兰联合王国定居者的数码却因为治疗标准革新、生活规范抓好而不断加多。

The UK's referendum to leave the European Union has led to a decrease in the number of immigrants, who are generally younger, leading to an increasingly older population.

United Kingdom脱欧导致移民数量暴跌,而移民人口大面积都比较年轻,使人口老化进一步加深。

According to?The Guardian, the number of elderly people without social care has peaked, with one in seven lacking adequate support. About 1.4 million residents who are older than 65 are not receiving help with getting up or getting washed.



Singapore 新加坡

Singapore's fertility rate, 0.83, is the lowest in the world.


A 2017 report by the Singapore-based United Overseas Bank suggests that the country is on a similar path as Japan. In 2017, for the first time in modern Singapore's history, the percentage of people who were 65 years old or older was equal to the share of residents younger than 15.



China 中国

China's fertility rate keeps dropping despite the government's 2016 decision to allow families to have two children instead of one, so local authorities are taking steps to encourage more childbirth.


About 25 percent of China's population is expected to be 60 years or older by 2030, a significant increase compared to the roughly 13 percent of residents who were part of that age bracket in 2010.