If you Google the words “population control,” you will find all kinds of websites with conspiracy theories about the UN trying to control the global population. It’s no secret that the UN is concerned with providing family planning to areas of the world with a combination of high birth rates and high poverty, but I’m not sure that merits the status of global conspiracy since what they promote is all voluntary for the people affected. The stated purpose is to improve health for women of childbearing age and prevent impoverished families from struggling to provide basic necessities for too many children.
Once you get past all the crazypants stuff, there is a wealth of information on actual population laws, past and present, that range from the smart and understandable to the draconian and evil. When governments find themselves faced with a population that is increasing beyond the scope of resources available to healthily sustain it, they can take a lot of different roads to address it. Some nations seek to educate people about contraceptive options and make birth control more widely available in the hopes that families will choose to limit family size voluntarily. Other governments actually engage in forced sterilizations, often without the knowledge or consent of women. (Notably, these sterilizations always seem to happen to women. Men are not the targets. Makes you think, huh?)
As for countries with low birth rates, well, those governments try to step in as well. Methods of encouraging more births can be pretty creative — and a lot less scary than forced sterilizations. For example, in one European country you might be able to win a major appliance by having a baby on a certain day!
Click on through to learn about population control methods in countries around the world!
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