Absolutely incredible headline, eh? Well, interesting thing is every bit of it is true. There actually are a couple of countries around the globe where the government asks its citizens to have sex and make babies.
Take a look at the countries that make up my list.
Italy is commonly viewed as having a sexually active populace, but the reality isn’t quite the same. There’s a decline in fertility rate in Italy, so the Italian government has made efforts to change that. They have embarked on sensitization campaigns using catchy lines like ‘Beauty knows no age, fertility does,’ and ‘Get going! Don’t wait for the stork’.
Perhaps you didn’t know this, but Singapore has the lowest fertility rate in the world, with just 0.81 children per woman.
Consequently, they’ve placed a limit on the number of small one beds available to rent to encourage cohabitation, and the government reportedly spends around $1.6 billion on various programmes to get people to have more sex.
As a matter of fact, the government offers cash to people who have more than one child. Parents receive a ‘baby bonus’ of around $4,400 for their first two kids and $5,900 for their third and fourth.
Just like Singapore, the conception rate in this Asian country is on a low. This led its government to adopt the same policies as those of Singapore, however, they haven’t quite been successful.
It’s surprising that India is on this list, isn’t it? Especially, seeing as their population is in the world’s top 2, but hey, they are, and you’re about to know why.
Now, while the overall population of India is huge, their Parsis community is slowly dwindling. And that’s lead to a number of questionable ads encouraging people to ‘Be responsible – don’t use a condom tonight’.
Other campaigns have shamed men living at home with lines like ‘Isn’t it time you broke up with your mum?’
This approach may seem a tad harsh, but check this out; it’s been effective. There were just 61,000 Parsis living in the country in 2001, and at the last census, there were 69,000.
In South Korea, there’s something called ‘family day’. It happens on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. On that day, offices turn off their lights at 7 pm so workers can get themselves home and enjoy some lights-out action.
It’s not really news that Japan has been suffering a low conception rate. A 2011 survey found that 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 weren’t in any kind of romantic relationship.
With a view to try and get their young people creating families, scientists came up with Yotaro – a robot baby designed to give people a preview of parenthood. Students at the University of Tsukuba theorised that if young people could see themselves as potential mothers and fathers, they’d be more emotionally ready to settle down.
Denmark ranks amongst countries with low fertility rate. The Danes have such a low fertility rate (around 1.73 children per woman) that a national travel company has come up with a series of bribes to get women to have more kids.
If you thought the Singaporean government is crazy, wait till you read about Russia.
According to research, Russia is experiencing a monumentally low conception rate. Alcoholism is rife, women aren’t having kids, and men are dying young.
It all got so bad that in 2007, the government declared 12 September the official Day of Conception. where people get the day off for making babies, and women who give birth exactly nine months later (12 June) win a fridge. Wowing, eh?
In communist Romania, if you weren’t providing future state labourers by having kids, you had to pay a 20% income tax for childlessness. And in the 80s, women were forced to take gynecological exams to ensure that all pregnancies went to term.
All that hasn’t quite paid off because till today, the fertility rate is still rock bottom.