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Natalism promotes child-bearing and parenthood as desirable for social reasons and to ensure the continuance of humanity. Natalism in public policy typically seeks to create financial and social incentives for populations to reproduce, such as providing tax incentives that reward having and supporting children. Those who adhere to more strict interpretations of natalism may seek to limit access to abortion and contraception, as well. The opposite of natalism is antinatalism.
Many religions encourage procreation and religiousness in members is tied to higher fertility rates. Judaism, Islam, and major branches of Christianity, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Catholic Church encourage procreation. The Amish are among the fastest-growing populations in the world, with an average of 6.8 children per family. A movement among conservative Protestants known as the Quiverfull movement, advocates for large families and views children as blessings from God.
Intention to have children
An intention to have children is a substantial fertility factor in actually ending up doing so, but childless individuals who intend to have children immediately or within 2 or 3 years are generally more likely to succeed than those who intend to have children in the long term. There are many determinants of the intention to have children, including:
- The mother's preference of family size, which influences that of the children through early adulthood. Likewise, the extended family influences fertility intentions, with increased number of nephews and nieces increasing the preferred number of children.
- Social pressure from kin and friends to have another child.
- Social support. However, a study from West Germany came to the result that both men receiving no support at all and men receiving support from many different people have a lower probability of intending to have another child, with the latter probably related to coordination problems.
- Happiness, with happier people tending to want more children.
- Secure housing situation.
Some countries with population decline offer incentives to the people to have large families as a means of national efforts to reverse declining populations. Incentives may include a one-time baby bonus, or ongoing child benefit payments or tax reductions. Some impose penalties or taxes on those with fewer children. Some nations, such as Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, have implemented, or tried to implement, interventionist natalist policies, creating incentives for larger families among native stock. Immigrants are generally not part of natalist policies.
Paid maternity and paternity leave policies can also be used as an incentive. For example, Sweden has generous parental leave wherein parents are entitled to share 16 months' paid leave per child, the cost divided between both employer and State.
Vladimir Putin's government is also using natalist policies by giving rewards and promoting more children in families.
The Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán in 2019, announced pecuniary incentives (including eliminating taxes for mothers with more than three children, and reducing credit payments and easier access to loans), and expanding day care and kindergarten access.
- Natural fertility
- Political demography
- Population ethics
- Replacement fertility rate
- Child tax credit
- Human overpopulation
McKeown, John (2014). "1: Natalism: A Popular Use of the Bible". God's Babies: Natalism and Bible Interpretation in Modern America. Cambridge: Open Books. p. 2. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
Natalism is an ideology that advocates a high birth rate within a community.[...] The central message is that parents should have additional children.
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- "Mishnah Yevamot 6;6". Sefaria. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
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- Vignoli, Daniele and Rinesi, Francesca and Mussino, Eleonora (2013). "A home to plan the first child? Fertility intentions and housing conditions in Italy" (PDF). Population, Space and Place. 19: 60–71. doi:10.1002/psp.1716.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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- Cohen, Joel E. (April 24, 2014). "The Case for More Babies". The New York Review of Books.
- "Putin's Family Values".
- Kingsley, Patrick (2019-02-11). "Orban Encourages Mothers in Hungary to Have 4 or More Babies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-13.