It is now common knowledge that none (or nearly none) of the 44 “European” countries have a replacement fertility rate of 2,1 children per women. […] Does it matter? After all, many of the glories of European civilization were produced when populations were much smaller. Also parts of present-day Europe – including my nation – are far too heavily populated for comfort. Yes, it does matter, firstly because of the negative effect of the declining population on economic growth is commonly negative. Fewer people produce – ceteris paribus – fewer goods and services. Moreover, old people are more “expensive” than young ones because of pension and health costs. Also, the older the population the less innovative it is, for young people are generally more willing to take risks.