The benefit of large families and young mothers

My father had sired 5 children before he was 30 years old, as his children were born towards the end of the 50's and the beginning of the 60 his output was symptomatic of the fact that working class people were having fewer children. His breeding rate was unimpressive in comparison to the 15-20 babies that many of my earlier ancestors were baring even at the beginning of the 20th century.

I was a late comer to the breeding game, I was 35 when my first child was born and 36 when my last child was born, my wife is some years younger than I am but at 29 and 30 when the boys were born she left the biological clock ticking dangerously low before becoming a mother.

Attending parent / teacher evenings in school my wife and I didn't stand out as old parents, indeed we were in the median range of parents, we are typically part of what has been described as The Demographic Time Bomb where the number of younger people available to service the needs of the elderly for care, pensions etc is diminished. Added to this is the fact that children born to older parents and smaller families are, themselves, likely to be less healthy than those born to younger parents and larger families, because of both biological and practical reasons - so they may add to the general burden of care rather than contribute to familial care.

There are three things that can help offset the demographic time bomb; immigration (young people being invited into our community to make up the lack of native youngsters); encouraging parenthood at a younger age and encouraging youngsters to have larger families. That all three are opposed by those who are most likely to suffer when the demographic time bomb explodes appears to me to be total madness!