Given that there is a discussion about Franklin's population and rate of growth, putting our stats in context with national and world trends should help.
"Fertility rates are falling across the globe – even in places, such as sub-Saharan Africa, where they remain high. This is good for women, families, societies and the environment. So why do we keep hearing that the world needs babies, with angst in the media about maternity wards closing in Italy and ghost cities in China?
The short-range answer is that, even though this slowdown was predicted as part of the now 250-year-old demographic transition – whose signature is the tumbling of both fertility and mortality rates – occasional happenings, such as the publication of US census data or China’s decision to relax its two-child policy, force it back into our consciousness, arousing fears about family lines rubbed out and diminishing superpowers being uninvited from the top table.
The longer range answer is that our notion of a healthy, vibrant society is still rooted in the past. The inevitable byproduct of the demographic transition is that populations age, in a chronological sense, but life expectancy, and particularly healthy life expectancy, have increased dramatically over the last half-century, and the societal definition of “old” has not kept up (though artistic experiments such as casting 82-year-old Sir Ian McKellen as Hamlet might help to challenge age-related stereotypes)."
|screen grab of DTFA meeting in Oct 2020|