Neil Howe: What To Expect From The Fourth Turning We're Now In

Neil Howe demographer and co-authour of the book The Fourth Turning returns to the podcast this week. In our prior interview with him, we explored his study of generational cycles ("turnings") in America which reveal predictable social trends that recur throughout history and warn of a coming crisis (a "fourth turning") based on this research.

Fourth turnings are characterized by a growing demand for social order, yet supply of it remains weak. The emergence of the surveillance state, a perpetual war machine, increased intervention in the markets by the central planners, greater government control of critical systems like health care and the Internet -- all of these are classic signs that we are well into a fourth turning now:

In the fourth turning, the supply of order is still absent that the demand for order grows. So we now have a demand for order and no supply. That creates the unusual dynamics of a fourth turning -- kind of like we had in the 1930’s. People suddenly feel that no one is in control and that enormous events are overtaking their society which no one of leadership age has any idea how to confront or how to manage. And it goes without saying today we look up to Gen Xers and Boomers and we see leaders who couldn’t organize their way out of a shoe box. I live in the Washington DC area and the government and Congress literally does nothing. All they do is argue and fight and nothing gets done in this city. It's amazing, and a great testament to the power of institutional inertia that things keep moving forward in some manner. There is this great unsettled feeling we have that there is a rudderless ship that we’re on where no one knows where it is going. We see dangers that we seem paralyzed and unable to respond to.

History’s fourth turnings are full of Hobson’s choices, full of grim choices. I think that the what the Fed got into -- back in 2000 as well 2009, 2010 and then with QE -- they got into that with a feeling of they had no choice; this is crisis intervention. And crisis intervention became a habit. And ultimately we got here not because anyone kind of wanted it to happen, we just ended up here. And this is the same way it was back in the 1930’s: the same thing was true about the New Deal. The New Deal was nothing but a thorough perversion of market choices. The New Deal was nothing if not for the picking of winners and losers throughout the economy. Throughout the world at that time, that was an era of competitive devaluation. Global trade shrank down to a fraction of what it was back in the 20’s. Each country was making a decision which felt to it like survival, and nations were taking enormous collectivist measures with their economies as we were here in our own economy. And that is where we are today. I guess what I am saying is I am not surprised we are at this point. I just think that the full consequences of it have not yet been fully perceived, and I think they will be when the financial markets ultimately reflect the damage that has been done to the economy as a whole. And I think that will happen probably over the next year and a half -- if it even takes that long

Also, I should point out just as an empirical fact that the vast majority of the total wars that have been fought have been fought in fourth turnings. That's a sobering thought. Certainly in American history :the American revolution, the Civil War, World War II -- those are all fourth turning events. Fourth turnings tend to lead to crisis that calls forth a period or an episode of total cohesive organized collective public effort in response to a crisis. That may not involve war; it may simply be an organized response to an economic crisis. Or it may be war in a somewhat different form. When you look around the world toda at the kind of global terror that we see in the world, we see forms of war which aren’t exactly the same as what we are used to in terms of earlier eras of war. It may be war, but war of a different nature, a different character. But what you can say is: the social feel will be very similar to what we have felt in previous periods of total war. 


Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Neil Howe (51m:26s)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Thanks for addressing us millennials. I'm 29 and have been luckier than a lot of my peers in that my wife and I have been able to get into a starter home and have a relatively stable middle class income (for now). And that even with crushing student loans that I brought into the marriage. I hear a lot of people say it's irresponsible and selfish for millennials to be asking for our bailout, but we're just following societies example.  If you get one we want one too! Fair is fair. The social contract said if we played by the rules and went to school at any cost, good jobs and prosperity would be our reward.  For most of us that's just not the case.
I think the tendency is to jump to the conclusion that millennials have a different value system and don't want the same lifestyles as previous generations.  That is largely because we're seen as not pursing it, but why would you pursue something that seems unattainable?  If you're 24 and living under crushing debt and diminishing opportunities it's not realistic to set the goal of owning a home and having 2-1/2 kids so most learn to be happy with a different vision of the future.  Strip away the shackles and you'll find that most of us want the same thing our parents had.


One of the things I really appreciate about Chris' work is that he does an excellent job depicting a big-picture view of where we are at as a global industrial civilization.  And, with very few exceptions, he supports his view with data.  In other words, it is possible to test the analysis against the data he provides as well as other data.  
Howe certainly offers very broad view as well, which is appealing.  However, since PP's 2013 interview with Howe, I have been wondering if the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory is a grounded, falsifiable, and data-driven theory, or if it is an artfully constructed narrative, that, like a Mardi Gras float or a Potemkin Village, is, for the most part, a façade.

Now, the conversation in this podcast is an engaging one, and Howe certainly brings up a lot of good points, so my question is really focusing on the theory, and not on Howe's comments in this interview.

Here are some examples of why Howe's theory is questionable:

Howe seems to try to shape and massage data to support his theory, as opposed to constructing a theory based on the data.  For example, in this interview, he claims that millennials are "utterly conventional" and the data he cites is the rapid increase in the percentage of American high school students taking Advanced Placement tests.  This didn't pass the smell test, as there are a lot of possible explanations for why the percentage of students taking AP tests has increased besides active choice to take them on the part of students.  Here is a quote from a Utah newspaper highlighting the most obvious of these other explanations:

The AP program dates to the 1950s, but has grown rapidly in recent years to 34 subjects, from art history to Japanese. High-achieving students and parents have driven some of the growth, but mostly it's educators and policymakers. Source
As a teacher, this is what I suspected.  While certainly individual students may choose to take more AP tests in an attempt to better their future (and hopefully also b/c they're genuinely interested in the material), when there is a very major change in the percentage of students involved in a particular educational program, this is very likely the result of some change of program or policy.  So, at least in this example, the evidence that Howe uses to support his theory appears to be quite flimsy.

Another example of dubious use of data to support Howe's analysis of millennials can be found in an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education:

In 2000, Neil Howe and William Strauss published Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, which cast turn-of-the-century teenagers as rule followers who were engaged, optimistic, and downright pleasant. The authors assigned them seven "core traits": special, sheltered, confident, team-oriented, conventional, pressured, and achieving. These conclusions were based on a hodgepodge of anecdotes, statistics, and pop-culture references, as well as on surveys of teachers and about 600 high-school seniors in Fairfax County, Va., which in 2007 became the first county in the nation to have a median household income of more than $100,000, about twice the national average. Source
But Howe's analysis of millennials is just one part of his much bigger theory of the four turnings.  Perhaps the general theory of these four waves of history holds, even if his work on millennials is questionable. Well, this quotes makes me wonder:
And I think that as the fourth turning unravels and as the economy goes through the kind of trials and tribulations required to get to the other side, ultimately of course we will get to the first turning, which will be a new era of optimism and hope and solid foundation, solid economic and institutional foundations. But it won’t be without a period of tremendous insecurity before we get there. That is simply how history works, right?
OK, first of all, was I the only one who chuckled when Howe posed the rhetorical question that I put in bold? That's some first rate tautology, and lends credence to the concern that Howe doesn't hold his own work to high standards of faslifiability.

But, the bigger problem with this quote - at least for those of us here at PP - is the fact that it pretends that history happens in regular waves whereas we here tend to see very good reasons to believe that industrial expansion and contraction (imagine a peak oil graph) is a rather unique event in history based on fossil fuels.  Yes, of course other civilizations have also risen and fallen, but when Howe says, "ultimately we will get to the first turning…a new era of optimism and hope and solid…economic and institutional foundations" I don't think he is on the same page as anyone who recognizes the massive potential for destabilization brought about by chronically depleting fossil fuel availability.  Mr. Howe, there is good evidence to think that we are looking at a series of crises, contractions, collapses and conflicts, not a 20 year rough spot followed by a new age of plenty.  As usual, Arthur stated this much more succinctly than I have in his post Circles? If Only.

The reference in the title of this post is from Michael Lind's review of The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy. Lind also says that Howe makes a lot of great points ("brilliant aperçus"), but also that it's hard to see how this theory is a useful tool for either historical analysis or forecasting.  

For most applications, falsifiable methods of analysis and forecasting are superior.  Examples include Hubbert's theory, Hall and Cleveland's EROI, or the use of Joseph Tainter's and Jared Diamond's analyses of how past civilizations collapsed in order to better understand if similar trends can be found in our own.  

Unlike much of Howe's work, these other scholars seek to use concepts and data from the hard sciences to better understand the human world.  This is why I appreciate Chris' work as well, and why, as a social studies teacher who wants his discipline to have as much respectability as possible, I prefer social science theories based on hard data.


What is Order?   Is conformity Order or the illusion of Order?  Consider Anti-Fragility.   I would rather define "turnings" as turnings of B.S. levels.   The focus would be on the politicians.  

4th turnings are periods of insecurity when millions die like in WWII, the Black Death, etc. After such periods sure the 1st turning is going to feel better. But, I agree with HughK, that whether or not the Turnings theory of history is valid that we are entering a period of decline of resources that will make all of 4th turnings since 1500 seem negligible.  
To quote:

'Mr. Howe, there is good evidence to think that we are looking at a series of crises, contractions, collapses and conflicts, not a 20 year rough spot followed by a new age of plenty.  As usual, Arthur stated this much more succinctly than I have in his post Circles? If Only.'

Dear Tallestmanonearth and other Millennials.  As a Boomer I am doing all I can to lessen my personal load on the earth and the economic system that is currently functioning.  Having and loving a family is good.  I have one and thoroughly endorse this for the future of mankind. However hanging onto ( "Its a Wonderful LIfe" is not a good plan.  It's time for all of us to lower our expectations and start to figure out how to live happily ever after. Please accept this thought with all of the deep concern and affection that this grandfather has for his offspring.

Hugh, I was thinking the same thing. While I think it is good to look at previous cycles to help understand where we are and what may be factors in the future, I agree that our future is one of almost permanent decline. The economic situation the West faces is so bleak I wonder how order will be re-established and countries will continue, which is why I think catastrophic war may be the option taken.

The US economy has been so hollowed out and practical skills not promoted anymore, like for example how to manufacture things, that when the trade deficit and dollar end, I see massive permanent unemployment. I see no options that politicians are willing to take to address this.

I have been contemplating this myself, career wise. For various reasons 10 years ago I went into engineering, leaving behind a career in biology. This was in large part for the job opportunities. This may ironically have been a mistake since engineers will be a dime a dozen when growth stops and new infrastructure projects stagnate (well they already are). On the other hand, things like working with animals, medicine, the kinds of jobs that people will always have a demand for regardless of whether the economy is growing, will be the best bets for the future.

My recommendations for careers: medicine, repair mechanics, resource extraction technologies (since we still may get one more hoorah out of out our resources when we can no longer import them and their prices skyrocket – but it will be a boom and bust job market), public sector doing real jobs maintaining infrastructure, I would say agriculture as well but who knows how corporate agribusiness will affect jobs there.

Careers to avoid: retail, finance (obviously), bureaucracy of any kind including law I would presume, arts, any engineering field involved in building new infrastructure catering to growth (sectors maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure may be a safe bet but you will have to compete with all the other unemployed engineers).

Hugh, Mark-
I think there's a pony in there somewhere.  There's a reason it took 80 years before we repealed Glass-Stegall, and let the bankers run wild in an orgy of debt growth and financialization.  Nothing new under the sun - when the hard-won wisdom dies with the people that learned it, we make the same silly mistakes all over again.

That's why we are going through this debt supercycle.  Nobody remains alive that remembers how badly they tend to end.

And yet I agree that these cycles - however poorly backed up by data, but that I believe are nevertheless present - will be overwhelmed by declining net energy and peak resources.  Big wave overwhelms smaller waves.

We have a demographics cycle, a generational/behavioral cycle, a debt cycle, and a war cycle.   We also have an empire cycle.  Superimposed on that, we have a one-time global resource cycle, which has a massive peak followed (presumably) by a decline as net energy drops along with it.

Although having said that - empires have had "lumber" super cycles, followed by "coal" super cycles, and now oil.  Once Italy was stripped of wood, Romans had a hard time.  Once England was out of coal, they did poorly.  Once the US hit max oil production in 1971, we too started having a much harder time.

And unless we get Arthur's LENR devices, there's really nothing to replace oil.

I do think the generational cycles have something to do with the willingness/ability of people on opposite sides of the fence to compromise in order to get stuff done.  Back in the day, the parties cooperated to pass laws and keep doing the business of the country.  That's just not happening now.

Last night, I had clicked on aggrivated's link to Arthur's post from Neil Howe's previous podcast and then read down that thread as far as Arthur's next post which included the limits to growth plot of population, resources, etc. that we all know so well.  My daughters (soon to be 10 and 13) called me to find where they had hidden themselves in a darkened bedroom and I left the computer as it was.
When we finished (they were very cleverly hidden and it was a hilarious adventure finding them), they came out grabbed the computer and together were looking at the graph.  They called me over "Daddy, what's this?"  I simply said "It's the predictions of the limits to growth study from the early 1970's about what the world would be like for people over the next hundred years or so."  They had a few more questions but mostly they figured it out for themselves.  My older daughter pointed at the place where the death rate climbs rapidly about 2050.  She said "Daddy, how old will I be here?"  Together we figured out she would be about 50, as old as I am now.  My younger daughter realized she would be just a few years younger.  Next question:  "What has happened since 1970?  Are their predictions coming true?".  I told her to search for "limits to growth 40 years later."   She found the updated plot and realized we're closely tracking the 1970 prediction.  They were both angry, but in a calm sort of way (at least on the surface).  They really already knew this, but had never seen it depicted so clearly.  When I was tucking in my older daughter, she told me "at least when we hit this, you'll be and old man and can say 'I had a good life'.  If I have kids they're going to grown up just before this hits and I'll won't be that old yet."  I told her I knew and we discussed how to prepare for something like that and how to help others prepare and what we might be able to do now so it's not quite as bad.

It was quite an evening.  I'm still processing it and stewing on thoughts about where to go next with the conversation.


Quercus bicolor: your post touched me in a very profound way, and I can well imagine how hard it must be to process that and determine how to move forward with your family.
Your experience with your daughters is one that I wish I could clone and replicate far and wide so as to put many more adults into the position that you are feeling this morning. It is the kind of message that hits home in such a real, tangible and impactful way. Perhaps the limits to growth chart should be on the wall of of every home, school and business along side the daily calendar, to provide a daily reminder that time is running out to change our ways.

Your daughters have suffered what I term an informational stab to the heart. I so feel for their young minds trying to process and make sense of this. In a way it is almost like receiving a medical diagnosis telling you that you only have so much time left. From a global societal perspective, we need more informational stabs to the heart as that seems to be the only thing that ever wakes people up.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I am going to share it with my siblings and friends who have children in the hope that it resonates with them and moves them to new mindset.


Thank you Jan.  Reading your post inspired me to reread my post which brought the tears that I knew had to come before I could take the next step.  I'm going to start by sharing this with my coworkers today.  I just need to figure out the best way to do it.  Here is the 30 year update.  I haven't found a 40 year update yet.

Hugh:  I understand and pretty much accept your points about Howe and Strauss and their work on the turnings in history.  I would be happier if there were more hard scientific evidence backing up their claims as to how history "works".  In the meantime I find that accepting their works as a hypothesis which has yet to be proved or disproved gives me a different way of looking at history. I can use this as one of the mental tools I apply to situations in my search to understand what is happening and how things have come to be at the intersection where we seem to be standing. I find there is value in posing the question in various different ways as a means to help insure I have looked at all possibly relevant facts.
For anyone who has read the Foundation, Second Foundation and Empire science fiction trilogy (with two volumes added later,) by Isaac Asimov, what we need is a real life Hari Seldon with his psychohistory mathematics that could predict the ebb and flow of societies and civilizations.




Thank you to Jan and Quercus.
Informing my children, who are now 8 and 10 about the future of their lives is something that I have been seriously contemplating for many years. They are generally aware that…

  1. Dad is concerned with things that not many people speak about,
  2. Dad thinks that things may be harder going forward,
  3. Dad is concerned about the amount of wars that we fight.
  4. And Dad left his office job (accounting and finance) and started making a lot less money as a farmer.
    How do we communicate the remainder of our understanding of the world, while creating strong-minded, critical thinkers? How does one transmit this information and not overwhelm with negativity? How does one communicate it to them, and have the intellectual humility to leave room for the blind spots that We possess.
    I suppose that is were faith manifests, and we just doe the best we can as the time is right.

Aloha! Yes, you cannot ignore the population in relation to anything on the planet. Even here in Hawaii during Capt Cook days the ancient Hawaiians practiced infanticide due to limited resources and of course it helped out to have a war now and then to trim the growth. In a tribal ag based society that was the cycle.
Fast forward to the Debt Era and every damn country from Ecuador to Europe and Afghanistan to America all have this "false signal" we know as debt whereby food production and R&D is increased and population is unchecked moving higher being fueled by debt. Debt is just a promise to pay later except when "later" finally comes!

At the studio our former news show Countermeasures with Rebecca Costa interviewed Neil Howe back in May 2014. Prior to the show Rebecca Costa spoke of the Arab Spring and Egypt and why the lesser Middle East countries are rioting. The answer seems easy for governments to figure out, but the cure isn't so easy unless you are ISIS. Here is the video show Countermeasures, with guest Neil Howe.

Certainly Obama seems to slip on this issue of late along with Reagan in the 1980s in terms of immigration and the issues with illegal aliens. Just as the USA is the reserve currency with seemingly unlimited debt issuance privilege our population certainly has increased as if we have unlimited resources. Perhaps the key factor missing from QBs charts is the "debt per capita". Add in "corruption per capita" which tracks "debt per capita" very closely.

From my view it seems governments like Switzerland and Australia who strictly control their borders and immigration policy will outperform in the long run. Countries like Egypt who have no restrictions on domestic birth rates or border movements will do poorly and I might add Egypt, as Rebecca mentions, already has limited domestic resources. Of course a few other factors are involved like "corruption". Anytime you have high debt levels it seems human nature kicks in and you also have higher corruption on all levels of society. The idea of "free money" tends to demean things like work ethics. People are the economy so perhaps Bill Clinton was on the right path, but what self-loving politician would ever say ITS THE PEOPLE STUPID? In private they all probably get selective dyslexia and say, "ITS THE STUPID PEOPLE!" It is human nature for us humans whether its procreation or money or politics. As humble a member of the human race as I am it's our biggest flaw …

No disrespect to Mr. Howe, but I believe that the LTG will rip many of these assumptions to shreds.
Expect the unexpected.

Yes, JT, I agree that there is a lot of value in terms of looking at different hypothesis and frameworks in order to try to see something from as many different angles as possible.

I don't remember if I read all of the foundation trilogy or just book one (it's been a while…) but one thing I always wondered was if it really were possible to use something like psychohistory math in order to predict future human actions, wouldn't that imply that there was no such thing as free will?  

Whether that is true or not, we have the opposite problem in our civilization, as we make almost no effort to develop a comprehensive approach to the different possible trajectories that we face.  A few futurologists get some attention and often these (e.g. George Friedman, Michio Kaku, Ray Kurzweil) really only have half-baked forecasts that seem to ignore issues of energy supply or natural resource depletion.

Hopefully, some new energy tech will allow a Star Trek or Buck Rogers future soon, but it may be that our most prescient futurologists turn out to be Miller, Atwood, Bacigalupi, or - God forbid - McCarthy.

Probably the most down-to-Earth futurologist we have is Lester Brown.

Still, what Arthur and others have said recently about the close relationship - at least on a quantum level - between what we think and the physical world suggests that things could take a turn for the much better and I certainly haven't closed that door.  Maybe our own consciousness is the best gateway no matter the era or the trajectory. 

Yes, Howe's theory is more qualitative than quantitative, which makes it more difficult to falsify, but numbers without a narrative never tell the entire story. As an empirical foundation there is, of course, the grounding of Fourth Turning theory in the human lifecourse. More than being qualitative, I think that the weaknesses of Howe's theory are that it lacks cross-cultural analysis and sufficient time depth. It is concerned with American History, a period of time after the industrial revolution in which resource use and population were gradually (though exponentially) increasing. Incorporation of other contemporary societies' data, or with Roman or other well-studied ancient populations might give additional insights.
Yet I don't think that the hypotheses of Howe and the Club of Rome are mutually exclusive. Even if fracturing states, chaos and relocalization reigned for a decade, those who emerged from that would have strong (probably local) institutions, high solidarity, and optimism that the worst was over, that the storm had been weathered or that the end to suffering is imminent. This optimism doesn't even need to be rational or empirically grounded. Millenarian or eschatological religions (or in our future case potentially a quasi-religious deep ecology belief system) can play a leading role in this regard. As a case in point, the Toba hunter-gatherers (my professional expertise) reached a point of exceptional optimism in the 1940's and 50's immediately following their brutal sedentarization (í_massacre). Why? Because the words of Pentecostal Christianity fell on ears ready to hear its eschatological message, and on hearts in need of ecstatic release offered by the trance and glossolalia of the religious ceremony. Despite their utter collapse and subjugation as a society, optimism and strong institutions reigned following a period of crisis which their society did not even truly manage to survive.

Great post cgolias, you said;

Why? Because the words of Pentecostal Christianity fell on ears ready to hear its eschatological message, and on hearts in need of ecstatic release offered by the trance and glossolalia of the religious ceremony. Despite their utter collapse and subjugation as a society, optimism and strong institutions reigned following a period of crisis which their society did not even truly manage to survive.
So, do you think that if we get even more Kardashian spin-offs and maybe a longer football season, that we will continue to boil and smile while we cook to perfect doneness?  

More than anything, children need hope.  They need unstructured play time, especially outdoors in a natural setting.  They need opportunities to revel in beauty, a close friendship, pride of a job well done.  They need adventure, adult mentors who know just what to say (or not to say) to ignite their curiosity.  They need at least one adult who will listen to them without judging, ask just the right questions and tell just the right story to help them master that upright character trait they are working on (and developmentally ready for).
Scary problems like those pointed to by the limits to growth chart will not escape their awareness. When they ask us about them or we see that they are thinking about them, we can tell them what we know in a very matter-of-fact way.  We can answer every question they have, but we don't need to dwell on these scary stories.  Especially, we may want to avoid bringing them up in a dramatic and alarmist way.  (Unfortunately, school, tv, the internet and other adults tend to do this with them). 

The kids don't need drama, alarm, and repetition.  This creates hopelessness and all that can accompany it (distraction and escape, despair and paralysis, etc.).  They are young and not set in their ways, so they'll get the problem with a simple explanation.  What they need is hope, a good set of physical skills with which they can influence their outer world and (even more important) inner skills to process the strong emotions that often accompany difficult situations. They also need a whole lot of fun, adventure, and personal relationship with this earth and it's inhabitants to give them their inner skills.  I hope my children will have the strength, creativity and courage to face a very big set of problems in a way that will have a positive impact on them, their families, maybe their community and maybe even the larger society.

I don't doubt that at some point human optimism will again reassert itself. My concern is that before we get to that point we are going to see a LOT of suffering and destruction. How are societies going to supply the energy and food needed to continue along in at least quasi stability, when the ability to provide those basic needs disappears?

Specifically one could argue that the recent surge of production from tight shale oil which was arguably not even profitable at $100 was a consequence of Wall Street ponzi schemes. Essentially, the rest of the world subsidized that production via the reserve currency status of the dollar which gives the banks the ability to work "magic" with printed dollars that would never be possible in a real monetary environment, and especially not in a world of more isolated factions of societies scraping by on more local resources. This just-in-time, highly efficient, mega-globalized system of trade will not last much longer I believe. This will tip the EROEI of fossil fuel extraction even closer to 1:1.

In the US I see oil production dropping off significantly sometime soon once monetary sanity reasserts itself. We will still have residual stripper well production for a while though. Natural gas production will likely follow suit a decade or two later. Coal in the US seems to be in limited supply. Without those things, mechanized agriculture will become very difficult. Non-mechanized agriculture will not be able to support current populations.

The only solution in the semi-long run, meaning maybe 50 -100 years, is population reduction. Canada still has quite a bit of coal and oil so it will be able to supply North America for a while, which then begs the question, will Canada even remain an independent country for long? Already as we speak we have this new Bill C-51 which basically gives unlimited powers to Canada's secret police service to do whatever they like to "terror" suspects, with of course very vague definitions that can be contorted to mean anything they want. It is slated to be passed at the end of March with virtually no discussion. The justification for this bill to protect our freedoms was a shooting at Parliament last October which seems to have been another orchestrated false flag event like Sandy Hook, the same actors came up from the US to execute it.

My Grandparent's family:
two adults  - produce three children; 1920's (Flapper era)

three children  -  produce nine children; 1940's to 50's (Boomer era)

nine children  -  produce 19 children; 1970's to 1990's (Gen X and Y er's)

19 children  -   produce 17 children; 2000's to 2015. (Whatever your term)

Canada's birth rate 1.66  -  I believe the theoretical replacement rate needs to be around 2.1 to 2.2 . Canada is rethinking its immigration policy and has just canceled its temporary foreign worker program. Canada does not have enough people willing to man the McDonald's, Wendy's, etc. and is facing an estimated 20 to 25,000 shortfall in those job categories. Educated women tend to have fewer children. Canada just needs to import more educated women to run the fast food outlets in developed countries.Perhaps the solution is to educate more women and send more testosterone laden males to the Ukraine, ISIS or other conflict laden areas. I know I'm sounding facetious, but if we were to use our brains, we might be able to resolve our predicament. Otherwise the four Horsemen will do a bang-up job for us.