Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Forget overpopulation. The world could soon face a population bust

In Srinivaspuri, a large urban slum in southern Delhi, small groups of women gather in a one-room school lined with tattered alphabet posters on a pleasantly warm spring morning. They've come to discuss a delicate topic with us: how many children they plan to have.

The women are in their teens, 20s and 30s, some single, others married. But all of them say they want better lives than their mothers lived. They want to work, to have money and to be able to stand up to the men in their lives. Two children would be perfect.

This is remarkable. An Indian woman coming of age in 1960 would have had, typically, six children, according to United Nations data. If she came

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