Small or Large Families

There are many logical (and illogical) reasons to have a large or a small family. Scientists have taken a step closer to solving one of life’s mysteries – why family size generally falls as societies become richer. Evolutionary biologists have long puzzled over this because natural selection is expected to have selected for organisms that try to maximize their reproduction. But in industrialized societies around the world, increasing wealth coincides with people deliberately limiting their family size – the so-called demographic transition.

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