Report European population figures in Europe Posted November 28, 2005 Snowguy: The more affluent the third world becomes, the more the birth rate will fall. This has been the clear trend among industrialized countries. Rural, poor nations have higher birthrates (perhaps because farmers want the free labor that children provide) while richer nations have fewer as the economic benefits of children tend to become even to or outweighed (at least in the short run) by the benefits of remaining childless. Personally, I always thought it extremely shortsighted to have no children. After all, who would you rather have care for you in your old age? A relative or a stranger?