A rate of 2.1 will not be of any help.
In a seminar titled "Is Singapore's Birth Rate Too Low?," Prof Wolgang Lutz of Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital said that the total fertility rate of 2.1 is a highly artificial construct.
"If the goal is a constant size of the working age population then under real world conditions with irregular age structures (momentum), migration and mortality changes a TFR of 2.1 will not achieve this. (in Western Europe and the US TFR should be lower, in Eastern Europe higher)," he said.
Prof Lutz added that only under the highly artificial and unrealistic case of a stationary population a NRR of 1.0 (TFR 2.05-2.40) is essential (virus that escaped from the lab of demographers).
If the population is heterogeneous, he said, then even under stable demographic conditions 2.1 is not optimal.
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