Child mortality and population in the Fallout universe

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by ElloinmorninJ, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. ElloinmorninJ

    ElloinmorninJ Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    386
    Jun 25, 2019
    So, I was just wondering this. We see a lot of people in the Wasteland, but, for some reason, babies are an exceptionally rare sight. The youngest children we see in the games are at most 6+, as they’re seen walking, talking, and etc. All of this made me think: what’s child mortality like in Fallout’s world? And especially, what’s infant mortality like in Fallout world.

    Fallout’s world is a dangerous one full of ghouls, supermutants, deathclaws, centaurs, Cazadores, radiation, hunger and disease. In Medieval times, infant mortality rates were so high (up to 50% by modern estimates) they brought the whole average lifespan down considerably. What do you guys estimate infant mortality rates in the FO Universe to be? Do you think it’s gotten worse then medieval times? Or less bad?
     
  2. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
    You got a lot of free time don't you.
     
  3. ElloinmorninJ

    ElloinmorninJ Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    386
    Jun 25, 2019
    Yeah. School break.
     
  4. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    We don't see an accurate representation of babies or children in any of the games. There's always way too few of them or there's none (in the case of babies). There's also not a whole lot of info about abortion, miscarriage or fertility. So any speculation into this will steer into fanon territory right quick. I think that women birth 7 year olds in a matter of days. Whatever babies we see are genetical freaks among the rest of the wasteland. Most women just swell up bigly and then splurt out a 7 year old looking kid. That's my fanon and you can't disprove it because Fallout 3's intro sequence isn't canon.
     
  5. ElloinmorninJ

    ElloinmorninJ Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    386
    Jun 25, 2019
    Yeah, I can kinda disprove it. In the Honest Hearts DLC that lady Walking-Cloud is the tribes literal midwife, and she mentions delivering babies. Dead Sea also mentions being “plucked as a babe from the Great Salt Lake” ie he was taken as a baby. And in Fallout 2 pregnancy is also mentioned, as well as babies.
     
  6. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
    Jesus fucking Christ.
     
  7. ElloinmorninJ

    ElloinmorninJ Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    386
    Jun 25, 2019
    What? I have a good memory
     
  8. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013
    I'd say it certainly isn't consistent across America. Different Wastelands and different parts of those Wastelands are going to have wildly different levels of medicine that would greatly effect child mortality. Somewhere like Vault City or Shady Sands is probably going to be similar if not the same as pre-war America, and the NCR as a whole probably similar to turn of the 20th century USA. Whereas places like the Mojave or Utah are going to be considerably worse and likely closer to contemporary failed states/warzones or something like the Medieval era.
     
  9. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Fallout dev don't know how babies are generated in the real world.

    They press «X» to skip dialogs every time someone tries to explain them.
     
  10. mustadiokeepsdying

    mustadiokeepsdying nathan drake

    73
    Aug 25, 2020
    i like how people are just fucking with OP
     
  11. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    But what do they consider babies? Maybe the first couple of days of the "7" year olds squirming around on the ground not being able to walk properly is their baby stage.
     
  12. Morgan_

    Morgan_ Putz

    Jul 3, 2020
    With finite development resources devs took the axe to babies.
     
  13. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013
    It's also worth noting the design philosophy Sawyer used for Vegas with regards to kids. You can't get away with killing them anymore in games and having lots of irritating invincible children around is basically a pointless immersion breaker (Since you should be able to merk everyone) so use them very sparingly to make particular points, and otherwise resign them to the realm of off-screen worldbuilding.
     
  14. TomJ

    TomJ Still Mildly Glowing

    206
    Jul 12, 2015
    Child mortality would likely be fairly high in most of the world, even including the NCR. NCR cities (excluding Vault City) would probably have infant and childhood mortality rates similar to Mexico today, which is ~14 per 1000 birth, the US is ~6 per 1000 for comparison. I'd imagine that since traveling long distances quickly isn't really a thing in the Fallout world, going to a hospital if you live outside a city in the NCR, their Infant mortality rate would be higher than the US. It wouldn't be at third world levels because they do have technology, but economic inequality and general isolation would increase that number a bit. I would, on the other hand that if you live in a place like Vault City or some other Vault city or other high tech society, the infant mortality rate is probably closer to 2 per 1000 like it is in Nordic countries.

    As to why they aren't in games, what would they add? I wouldn't be against having kids running around and the introduction of settlement building makes kids a bigger question. And there are probably mods that add families into Fallout, Rule 34 and all. But, other than generic settlers to give the world a flare of realism, how would having kids play into the game? I wouldn't be against having families in games just for the sake of realism (assuming the game engine could handle having more than 100 NPCs in the same play space and not die).
     
  15. ElloinmorninJ

    ElloinmorninJ Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    386
    Jun 25, 2019
    I’m not going to say anything graphic but if a woman give birth to a 7 year old she’d die. Mostly from a shattered pelvis. Hell actually her spine would break before she gave birth
     
  16. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    Nu-uh, they're mutants.
     
  17. ElloinmorninJ

    ElloinmorninJ Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    386
    Jun 25, 2019
    What are you, Enclave? They have the same proportions and bodily structures as humans. Mutating would actually make the birth process far worse in fact.
     
  18. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    Elasticity bruh.
     
  19. Slaughter Manslaught

    Slaughter Manslaught Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 11, 2006
    I suspect the answer is pretty much "it depends".

    I think the average in the wastelands is probably somewhere between Medieval levels or Victorian. One difference is that people in the Wasteland probably inherited some notion of germ theory and very basic hygiene, so the average probably knows microbes are a thing and washing your hand on water with soap is a good thing, as is constant bathing and showering. In that aspect, I suspect even tribals are above people from the middle ages or so - some RL tribals were pretty clean folks - brazilian amerindians were cleaner than the portuguese lol, and luckly we inherited their hygiene habits not that of the portuguese.

    Somewhere like the NCR is probably on the level of 20th century child mortality, depending if you live close to the cities or in the boonies. The Followers probably do a lot of child delivery I suspect, with midwifes being a thing in less developed places.

    The more civilized settlements of 1 and 2 probably have late 19th century/early 20ths average.

    One unknown factor: Mutation.

    If we're only counting natural birth, I think the Brotherhood of Steel might be one of the places with highest birth rate. They're natalists and don't like bringing in people from outside. They also have some of the best technology and life standards around. It might actually explain why even through the Brotherhood is a dying organization, there's still many Brotherhood folks around and it is all over the country - they pop boom every generation or so. I'm imagining they would have Peak Industrial Revolution level of birthrates but with far less deaths. Say, 7-4 children per couple.

    Too bad for them, the NCR is far bigger because they accept outsiders.

    Vaults have tightly controlled birth rates. Standards are good and infant death is probably pretty rare on vaults. They probably engage in some selection to prevent inbreeding. Probably produce and consume prophylactics like candy (a lot of people enclosed together? Its like a recipe for hanky panky). Would't surprise me if people got the snip after they fulfill a "Birth Quota". The real issue is limited resources and space.

    (now I want to see how a "Rat Utopia" vault with unlimited resources and uncontrolled breeding would end up. An opposite Vault with slowly decreasing resources having to apply Malthusianism to gradually reduce the popullation before the time to leave might be interesting as well)