Column: MP Famous On Birth Rate & More

January 16, 2024 | 7 Comments

[Opinion column written by PLP MP Christopher Famous]

Over the last few months there has been an online debate about Bermuda’s declining birthrate and what it means for the future. Some have attempted to paint a picture that it is our island alone that has a falling birth rate. What is the birthrate you ask?

Here is a definition from “The rate at which a particular species or population produces offspring. The birth rate of a species is used to measure its fecundity [reproductive capability]”

The global benchmark states that in order for a country to maintain its population it has to have a birth rate of 2.1 or above. In simpler terms, if a family has less than 2 children they are below the birth rate. Bermuda’s Birth rate is presently at 1.3 according to So, no, we are not replacing ourselves.

We are not alone

Spending a few hours in research on several websites revealed that almost all “developed” countries are experiencing the exact same steep decline in birthrates. According to the same website, here are some comparative Birthrates:

  • United Kingdom 1.5
  • United States 1.7
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Barbados 1.6
  • Germany 1.6
  • Cayman Islands 1.2
  • Canada 1.4
  • Switzerland 1.5

Clearly almost every country in the “developed world” is facing inevitable population decline. In other words, Bermuda is not alone. But hey, dont take my word for it.

total fertility rate bermuda january 2024

“The European Union is on the brink of a major demographic shift as new projections suggest a significant population decline by the end of the century.” –

“America will enter the 22nd century with a shrinking population…” –

Less pampers

Nothing happens in a vacuum. So, here are some of the given reasons for declining birthrates:

  • Rising childcare costs
  • Greater access to contraception
  • Change in social norms
  • Women exercising more options

Falling birth rate bermuda january 2024 twfb

Whatever the reasons may be why families are having less children, the net result is that countries must prepare for an increasingly aging population with less and less young people. Part of which will be changes to long standing immigration policies.

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Comments (7)

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  1. trufth says:

    Ok, so because CF says it’s happening elsewhere we are fine, no worries?? I couldn’t care less about it happening in other “developed” countries – I don’t live in “other developed” countries; I live and spend/invest my money here in Bermuda.

    What a waste of space this article is.

    • 365 says:

      Most if not all of those other countries are facing a huge increase in immigration to make up the numbers. On the other hand, we are facing a mass exodus of Bermudians, young and old. And sorry Chris but I’m sure even you will attest to the fact that the PLPs 7 year max on work permits, and their stance on Bermudian status has backfired. Unfortunately, the PLP like just about every other political party in the world will never admit it they were wrong. And that my friend just means we will continue to fall.

      It depresses me to see the country that I love falling into disrepair. The schools are closing because they have not been maintained. Yes, the birthrate may be down but that is not the reason for school closures! The public education product sucks! If that was not the truth, private schools would not be growing in size! In very recent years Somersfield, BHS, MSA, Saltus, Warwick Academy and BI have either added entire buildings, upgraded and expanded existing buildings, added gymnasiums, pools, and so much more. There have been many smaller new private and home schools like Chattmore for example. There have been nothing but band aid fixes in the public schools, except for well Berkely, and we all know why. Where is the tax money going? Not on education or infrastructure! The roads are third world like, swing bridges no longer able to open, hotels closed, airlift capacity is pathetic, the RA is allowing BELCO to stick it to us and this is what you choose to write about? Chris, I expected more from you than this silly smoke and mirrors politics.

    • Mixitup says:

      “I couldn’t care less about it happening in other “developed” countries – I don’t live in “other developed” countries; I live and spend/invest my money here in Bermuda.”

      The same ones who in a story last week regarding Cayman’s economy to soon catch Bermuda had everything to say…

      Chris Famous you are correct, but I would add that if you remove the man made interference, the only population that would be in decline would be that of the Caucasian. Pick the bones out of that.

  2. Cost of living says:

    It’s simple math, the poverty line in Bermuda is $100,000 per annum per household. It’s nearly impossible for someone who grew up in a rented home to have a regular job and move out on their own to hit that benchmark on their own. This is because the level of education required to get a single income of $100,000 is fairly high and requires an investment that is comparable to a mortgage. Failing that one must be invested in a relationship to make that benchmark and even then with most unqualified work only yielding $40-50k per annum it is still a stretch. Therefore the likelihood of being able to achieve a stable home for a family upbringing is becoming less and less. Unless one is willing to make great sacrifices just to get by it is not worth it to most. This means that the only people that are willing to have children are those who live in a family owned home. Without the burden of renting to slow down their accumulation of money they can afford to have children. Even still many families are still kept smaller to avoid inheritance issues in the future. The only way to increase the birth rate is to lower the cost of living, but let’s be honest this low birth rate is what they want and they would sooner make it harder for people to afford children than make it easier!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “the poverty line in Bermuda is $100,000 per annum per household”

      That is an interesting statistic. What is your source please?

  3. Millennial guy says:

    Bermuda is a nice place, but the world has changed and we are no longer in the 1900’s growth boom that every Bermudian remembers/expects.

    The Boomers need to understand that they got lucky. They received the lions share of growth in population, business and asset values (many thanks to the FED/US).

    Now your descendants are ‘voting with their feet’ while you sit on a treasure chest of wealth and scratch your head wondering why youngsters are loading the boats and pushing off to sea, or putting off families, sometimes for good.

    You wonder why no one wants to (or can afford to) shop at your monopoly grocery stores, drink your government mandated milk, pay ridiculous import duties on basic items for survival, turn a blind eye to corruption and grifting, pay for mandatory local insurance policies, receive terrible health care.

    These practices are disregarded in boom times, but quickly turn into parasitic tumor type slavery when things get tight.

    The millennials know they are suckers in the Ponzi scheme you established and have checked out of the game.

    Maybe at some point the Boomer class, now in their late 60’s still clinging onto their office desk complaining about lack of young and hungry people to take over their empire will wake up.

    Maybe at some point the Boomer class will think about what world they actually want to leave to their children and start making it happen instead of scheming on how to suck out every last drop of blood from their neighbors.

    Unfortunately as most millennials know, Bermuda’s self proclaimed cocktail party elitism is due for a swift and nasty collision with reality – reality being that Bermuda by all measures is the world’s most expensive third world country, owned by monopolists who will burn it to the ground before ever changing.

    Good luck!

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