Does saving more lives lead to overpopulation?

Comment: Responding to a public critique for his comments on reducing the population with the use of vaccines, Bill Gates tried to justify his opinion by saying that better health care would cause people to have fewer children.

I expected more logic from Gates. His attempt to justify vaccinations as, allegedly, allowing parents to have fewer children, is flawed. I know that people, for example, in the Philippines, have many children because, due to poor health care, only some of their children survive childhood. At the same time, due to poor social programs, aging parents have to be taken care of by their surviving children. So, having many children means that some of them will survive to take care of old parents.

Gates tries to justify vaccinations by saying that fewer children would be born, if parents knew that all their children would survive childhood. This logic, however, is incorrect.

True, if parents knew that their old age was secured, they would not need many children, which in itself is a burden. But, mathematically, it does not make any difference whether you have seven children and only two survive childhood, or you only have two children and no more. At the end, in both cases, only two children will live as adults and will be included in the population statistics. Nice try, Gates, but next time work harder and come up with a better story.

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