The return on investment of sex for reproduction is going down. Although I don’t care for homoerotic pandering, LGBT is economically viable these days. So is serial monogamy without children. So is the possibility that a pair bond for seniors will be different from the one that raised the kids. Marriage norms were embedded in a culture when people died by fifty. Marriage hasn’t been tested much from there to a hundred. The Canada I grew up in won't be there for my grandchildren. It won't even make sense to them.
We have fewer kids. Government policy offering a Baby Bonus will never turn that around. The gains (and joy) of having kids are real but a much smaller dose of parenthood can bring it on. Since a child born is pretty much a child that reaches adulthood, way fewer births will produce the same number of viable adults. Since the economics of industry and nation states mean that individuals can support themselves with a job outside the family and tribe, and they can count on pension income and medical care without their kids when they age, they don’t need to reproduce to survive personally.
Reproductive pairing brings childbirth pain and includes two decades of expensive, vulnerable, tied-down safe-space to raise a crop of youngsters.. This was once the only way to survive. Now it’s becoming optional. It was also the only way for the tribe to survive which meant parents controlled who paired with whom. Now individuals generally decide and romance is factored in too.
Such pairing and need of safe space has mandated marriage and cultural institutions that protect it and the offspring. That isn’t so today for many Canadians. Although marriage often works well into the grey and wrinkled years, it was designed for teens who could expect to put in a couple dozen years “being fruitful and multiplying” before dropping dead.
The Canadian census will have startling findings in years to come.