Elon Musk and His Father, Errol, Are Worried About Population Decline

  • Errol Musk says his son should expand his family. If money is no object, he said, “Why wouldn’t you?”
  • He and Elon Musk, who is the father of 10 known children, have expressed concern about the drop in the birth rate.
  • Elon Musk had twins with Shivon Zilis in November and a daughter with Grimes in December.

Elon Musk’s father, Errol Musk, supports his billionaire son to have more children.

“I see no reason why Elon shouldn’t have more children,” said Errol Musk. “The monarchies of the past thought nothing of having children – and they were all illegitimate,” he added. “About 80% of them in Europe were illegitimate, you know – 20 or 30 kids. You’ve got the money and you’re a king or something, why wouldn’t you?”

In July, Insider exclusively reported that Elon Musk, 51, had twins in November with Shivon Zilis, a 36-year-old executive at his brain-computer interface company, Neuralink. The babies join his growing brood.

The Tesla founder has another set of twins, Vivian and Griffin, 18, and triplets, Kai, Saxon, and Damian, 16, from his first marriage to author Justine Musk. In 2020, musician Grimes gave birth to their first child, a son, X Æ A-Xii, and they welcomed a daughter, Exa Dark Sideræl, via a surrogate in December, weeks after Zilis and Musk’s twins were born. (Elon and Justine Musk’s firstborn, Nevada, died of cot death in 2002.)

During a recent phone conversation with Insider, Errol Musk said his son “officially” has 10 children.

Errol Musk, 79, praised Elon Musk’s decision to procreate with Zilis. “I think she’s a very smart girl,” he said, “and you know, if you want your kids to be smart, you most likely want your wife to be pretty smart.” (Elon Musk and Zilis never married .)

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In August, Reuters reported that Zili told colleagues that she had conceived the twins through in vitro fertilization and that she and Elon Musk did not have a romantic relationship. Errol Musk said he doesn’t know the details of their relationship but suspected “they made it up.”

“I can’t ask him a question like that, you know. ‘How did you do that?'” he said. “I mean, it’s pretty personal, isn’t it?”

Elon Musk was born in 1971 to Errol and Maye Musk, a model, in Pretoria, South Africa. The two divorced in 1979. Errol Musk, who Elon Musk says has an unusually high IQ, ran a successful engineering firm and put his children through a strict home education in addition to their schooling.

In 2017, Elon Musk told Rolling Stone that his father was “such a terrible human being.” The SpaceX founder’s official bio, released earlier this year, said Elon and Justine Musk “vowed that their children would not be allowed to meet Errol.” But Errol Musk told Insiders that he used to watch Damian play the piano in Bel Air when he was a little kid and that he was just visiting his son in Texas last winter when he met Exa Dark Sideræl.

Appearing on an Australian radio show in July, Errol Musk responded to recent paparazzi photos of a shirtless Elon Musk by saying, “Elon is very well built, and he’s very, very heavily built, but he ate badly.” On When asked by the interviewer if he was proud of his son, Errol Musk replied: “No. Well, you know, we’re a family that’s been doing a lot for a long time. It’s not like we suddenly started doing something.” He later said he misunderstood the question.

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Errol Musk told the Daily Mail his son texted him days later: “Dad, the press is playing you like a fiddle so please keep calm.”

Despite their differences, Elon and Errol Musk share concerns about the future of the world’s population.

Since 2017, Elon Musk has been using his platform to draw attention to falling birth rates, especially in industrialized countries. On May 24th he tweeted, “Population collapse is the greatest threat to civilization.” Demographers have argued that this is an exaggeration.

He has suggested that declining birth rates among wealthy and highly intelligent people are a significant part of the problem. “Statistically, the richer someone is, the fewer children they’ve seen,” he says said in a tweet in June. A few days later, he directed his followers to watch the opening scene of “Idiocracy,” a 2006 film about the dumbing down of the earth’s population. From his own expanding family, he said“I try to set a good example!”

In his interview with Insider, Errol Musk took an even more controversial stance.

“Overall population growth seems out of the ordinary, but it’s not growing in the countries where you would like it to be, it’s growing where it later needs to be supported by the countries with very low population growth,” he said.

He expressed concern about declining birth rates in so-called “productive nations” such as Italy, Canada and Germany. He added, “These other nations are people who are — you know, if you want to call things as they are, they’re not really productive nations that have 15 kids a couple.”

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While he didn’t claim to speak for his son, Errol Musk said it was a topic they’d discussed over the years. (In response to Insider’s request for an interview about the population decline, Elon Musk responded with two emojis that “roll on the floor and laugh.”)

The elder Musk, who has seven children of his own, claimed he was recently approached by a Colombian company to donate his sperm. He told Insider that he ultimately turned down the offer because he was uncomfortable with the idea of ​​his birth children not knowing his identity.

Errol Musk made headlines this summer when it was revealed he had had a second child with stepdaughter Jana Bezuidenhout, whom he had dated as an adult, having raised her from the age of 4. However, he says he has no plans to continue having children.

“You know, I’m quite old,” he said. “It’s not fair to the kid when I probably won’t be there.”

Errol Musk said he wanted to see his famous son settle down.

“He’s always up in the air,” he said. “The last time we talked about it, Elon said to me, ‘You know, I’ve spent one night in three weeks in the place that I can call home.’

“That’s what bothers me as a father. I’d like to see him have a nice partner, you know?” he added.

“I think that’s bad for his kids too, because they don’t see much of him either.”

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