|a The article highlights the decrease in the rate of world population growth as of May 2004. Forecasts by the United Nations and other organizations show that, even in the absence of major wars or pandemics, the number of human beings on the planet could well strat to decline within the lifetime to today's children. Demographers at the International Institute for Applied System Analysis predict that huma population will peak at 9 billion by 2070 and then strat to contract. Long before then, many nations will shrink in absolute size, and the average age of the world's citizens will shoot up dramatically. The problem is not that most people in secular societies demand more and more investment in human capital, this demand threatens its own supply. The clear tendency of economic development is topward a more knowledge-based, networked economy in which decision-making and responsibility are increasingly necessary at lower levels. Many couples discover that by the time they feel they can afford children, they can no longer produce them, or must settle for just one or two. Secular societies need to rethink how they go about educating young adults and integrating them into the workforce, so that tensions between work and family are reduced.