February 23rd, 2014

Population decline

Setting: Secondary world technologically equivalent to the early 19th century.
Search terms: no new births, declining birth rate, sub-replacement fertility, historical pregnancy per capita, historical birth rate

My story takes place in a city of roughly 1.5 million people. A little over half of these people are natives of the country. The rest are immigrants ranging from first generation to people whose ancestors came over centuries ago. The newest ethnic group to arrive in the city - the Mirevans - is about 32,000 people strong. The Mirevans only started immigrating about 20 years ago as a result of a civil war in their homeland of Mireva.

What's a realistic number of pregnant women among these 32,000 people? How much chaos would it cause in the city if every pregnant Mirevan woman - regardless of what stage of pregnancy she was in - stopped being pregnant overnight as a result of weaponized magic? About a fifth of these women also die. Of those that live, maybe one in ten is rendered infertile.

Read more...Collapse )