Opportunity in Dropping Birth Rates
With so much happening in the world, its easy to be overwhelmed and miss how wider policies and geopolitical changes can create opportunities to profit before the masses realize whats happening.
During the Covid crisis of the last two years, there was constant debate on whether excess deaths worldwide resulted from the virus or not. Facts, data, and statistics were presented by both sides to prove their position. Government leaders and healthcare officials loudly proclaimed the excess deaths due to Covid, and as always, a compliant media acted to scare everyone into giving up their rights.
On the other side were people (including medical professionals) arguing excess deaths were not a reality and that Covid was being blown out of proportion, with false data also being manufactured like deaths in a motorcycle crash which were incorrectly attributed to Covid due to government incentives.
Don't worry; I'm sick of everything to do with Covid as much as you are and have no interest in going over this argument. I'm just happy the stupidity is behind us. What cannot be hidden for much longer nor debated are the facts starting to emerge about dropping birth rates worldwide. You can hide or exaggerate the causes of death, but you cannot hide the simple fact that fewer babies are being born.
We are now seeing data such as this coming to light from Sweden:
During 2022 births per 100,000 women 18-45 yo in Sweden have declined progressively, reaching the lowest levels -12.7% and -11.5% in October and November, respectively. For the year, the average was -8.6% compared to same period in 2020-2021..... Except for 1922, however, there has never been such a sharp decline in birth rate over a single year as occurred in 2022.
Is it pure coincidence that the birth rates did not drop during the initial year of the Covid virus (i.e. 2020 and early 2021) but only started dropping nine months after the worldwide rollout of the mRNA vaccines? This means the drop in birth rate can’t be blamed on the virus itself and people cowering in fear inside their homes, afraid to go near each other. Sweden's vaccine rollout began in the first quarter of 2021. Look at what happened to the birth rate nine months later:
Credit: This chart and others equally as alarming taken from :
So far there are only a small amount of data points, in part because strangely many governments seem to be delaying the release of new birth statistics. As more information comes to light, I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions. It's too soon to make any definitive judgements, but it is a significant coincidence.
I am not interested in a big debate about what is now causing a MASSIVE drop in childbirths (as well as other adverse health side effects, which I also won't go into in this piece). As an investor, I am interested in developing trends and opportunities they present. Birth rates have been dropping for decades in the Western world and many already further-developed countries. Well below the required natural replacement rates for a population. For a long time now, Western Europe, Japan and many other countries have seen their native populations decrease due to these lower birth rates and in some cases start to become a minority of the population. The more wealthy and comfortable a society becomes, its birth rates drop.
Lower birth rates result from various factors. On the one hand, there are economic and lifestyle choices, better access to contraception and lower infant mortality rates. There are also health factors that come to play in fertility rates which in turn leads to lower birth rates not out of choice, but the inability to conceive, including poor nutrition, increased work, less downtime, high anxiety levels, lack of exercise and physical fitness, and poorer lifestyle choices (drugs, cigarettes, alcohol).
But now, in addition to all the above well known reasons, are we seeing an additional massive hurdle being put in the way of young couples of childbearing age who were duly mRNA vaccinated and are trying unsuccessfully to fall pregnant? Will this be permanent? Will the problem 'wear off' if people stop boosting themselves with a vaccine that successfully manipulates their DNA but does nothing to prevent them from catching or spreading the virus it claims to protect against?
Due to the nature of government and media needing to suppress this new reality, it may be a while before mainstream news cycles and the wider population becomes aware of this issue or can no longer ignore it. You can be sure there will be a very unhappy population when told, "oops, so sorry – yes, one of the possible side effects of the Covid vaccine we forced you to take now turns out to be sterility and infertility."
But for us as investors, this is where asymmetry is found—catching an upcoming trend before the broader market realises what's happening.
Taking into consideration what I believe will be a rapid rise in the inability of young and middle age couples to become pregnant, I think there is a high chance that in the coming years, we will see a massive increase in demand for Assisted Reproductive Services (ARS) by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of couples around the world to increase their chances of success where nature is failing them. In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) was already well on the increase from traditional problems people experience mentioned above before this additional spanner was thrown in the works.
Who is best positioned to benefit from a rapid increase in the demand for ARS services? Healthcare professionals? Drug companies? Medical instruments or research players? Private hospital companies? The key will be to find businesses where ARS, pregnancy services and IVF treatment have an outsized impact on total group revenue.