How many children should a couple have for zero population growth?

Real Estate Agent with Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) DB-17066

Most people say each couple should have two children to replace themselves to obtain a Zero Population Growth.  However, I don't think that is accurate.

If I was Adam and my wife was Eve and we started off on the world today, the earth's population would be 2.

If my wife and I had two children at age 20; my children would have two children by the time I am forty; therefore, the world's population would double to 4.

Their children would have two more by the time I am 60 so the population would be six.

Then they would have two more by the time I died at 80 at the average age span of 80 so they would finally replace me and my wife, but the population would be six or triple with each couple only having two children.

If our world's population was at equilibrium, then it could be sustained at 2 children per couple; but as our population continues to grow, wouldn't we need to be under 2 children per couple to initially slow the growth or die quicker or have children later in life?


Scientists have looked at replacement fertility rates, mortality rates, etc., but my math is much easier.  What do you think?


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Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

I do not think about this at al some peope can some cannot

Jan 27, 2018 04:37 PM #1
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Interesting Jim. I did my part. I had two sons so I'm keeping things even steven 

Jan 27, 2018 05:14 PM #2
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Good morning Jim Paulson 

Very interesting, thank you for sharing. 

Have a great day. 

Jan 28, 2018 07:17 AM #3
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Jim I remember when this topic was a hot topic. At least it was to one of my older brothers who had one kid and said, that's it.  I like your math explanation a whole lot better than his rants from way back when!

Jan 28, 2018 10:51 AM #4
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