Declining Global Birthrates | What Will Women Do?

John Macdougall / AFP / Getty ImagesRedTracker| Women and babies. When to have them — if at all — and how many are questions on the mind of most women of childbearing age, in countries where a woman is free to choose motherhood. TIME focuses on Germany’s dropping birth rate, but the concern is global among developed nations.

Social contracts are also affected, along with economic output. In the best of circumstances, many nations won’t have enough younger workers to support the entitlement promises made to aging citizens.

Solutions: Countries can try to ‘force’ women to have children. Nations can produce babies CP Snow style in artificial womb incubators. Or countries can develop social policies and incentives that assist women in handling their increasingly heavy loads. Read what Angela Merkel is trying to achieve in Germany.