Why does Elon Musk want us all to have more kids?

The Tesla CEO has fuelled pronatalists with his hyperbolic talk of population ‘collapse’, writes Ben Stallworthy. And he isn’t the only prominent figure doing so...

Sunday 03 December 2023 18:27 GMT
<p>Pronatalist rhetoric is dangerous and is often laced with nationalism and prejudice.</p>

Pronatalist rhetoric is dangerous and is often laced with nationalism and prejudice.

An Australian model shared, on social media, 118 reasons why she doesn’t want to have children, and received a “wave of hatred” in response. It has resurfaced age-old conversations about women and parenting that echo political fearmongering.

Declining birth rates. Population collapse. Ageing populations. These are the political and economic trigger words surrounding this issue, and while weighty political discourse and criticism of individual choices may seem very different, they are increasingly coinciding. Pronatalism comes in many forms, and many should give us cause for concern.

Recent months have seen the pronatalist movement gather momentum here in the UK, with many of the same players involved repeatedly. Jacob Rees-Mogg has been vocal on this issue, and his fellow Conservative MP Miriam Cates has been at the epicentre, giving speeches at May’s National Conservatism and October’s Alliance for Responsible Citizenship conferences, writing opinion pieces for The Daily Telegraph, appearing on GB News and, earlier this month, holding an event in parliament, “From Baby Boom to Baby Bust”.

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