It has reportedly been a bad year for sex. We're not talking a specific dry spell for one unlucky person; it transpires there are a number of countries simply not getting enough of it.
You might think this is a good thing, we're always being told population numbers are getting dangerously high, but if a country suddenly has a smaller workforce than the previous one pensions, social care and numerous other problems arise.
In Spain, fertility rates are creeping downwards and a special commissioner has been hired to try and help reverse the trend. Edelmira Barreira Diz 'the commissioner for the demographic challenge' remarked:
We have a lot of work ahead of us.
In Hong Kong, the population is dwindling and the fertility rate is a mere 1.8 children per woman. In 2013, the country proposed the idea of cash rewards to encourage couples to have children. This was inspired by a similar scheme in Singapore but the plan never materialised.
Italy’s fertility rate is just 1.43, well below the European average. The country has resorted to a series of adverts encouraging its citizens to get cracking with slogans like, “Beauty knows no age, fertility does". Unfortunately the adverts have been deemed a failure.
India at large has no issue with fertility, however, the Parsi community is shrinking. Their situation is another example of targeted advertising being used to aid matters; with slogans like, “Be responsible – don’t use a condom tonight”.
Denmark’s fertility rate of 1.73 children per woman is low enough to have seen a travel company offer to provide three years’ worth of baby supplies for any child conceived on a holiday booked through the company.
The problem got so bad in Russia in 2007 that 12th September was named the official Day of Conception. It was a national holiday with the express intention of citizens conceiving children. Women who gave birth nine months later were rewarded with a refrigerator.
An innovative approach to the problem was proposed in Japan where a group of students introduced Yotaro in 2010, a robot designed to give couples a preview of parenthood.
Singapore has the lowest fertility rate in the world, a staggering 0.81 children per woman. The country spends roughly £1.6 billion annually on programs encouraging people to have sex. They have even limited the number of one bedroom apartments available to encourage people to live together in the hope this might help improve things.
South Korea promotes the concept of family in any way it can, from offering cash incentives to people who have more than one child, to offices shutting their lights off at 7pm every Wednesday for “Family Day”.