Demographic Winter?

One of the great lies of our time is that we are facing ecological problems if we don’t slow down our population growth; “overpopulation” will lead to depleted resources and mass starvation. China, Japan, and much of Europe bought it and reduced their birth rates to below 2.1 children per woman (the statistical dividing line between growth and no growth). Take a look at the accompanying map before reading the rest of the article.

population-growthThe figures from different countries vary, but some example illustrations follow:

  • The average birth rate for the European Union is 1.5 and in Italy, it’s 1.2.
  • Russia is losing roughly 3/4 million people a year. By 2050 they are concerned that they will not have enough people of military age to defend it long borders.
  • The industrialized world will soon face severe labor shortages. The European Union estimates a shortfall of 20 million workers by 2030.
  • In industrialized nations as a whole, those over 60 now constitute 20% of the population — a figure which will rise to 32% by 2050. By then, these societies will have two seniors for every child.
  • Russia, Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Japan, and Singapore have begun to realize the problem. They are offering various monetary incentives to have children and even payments for a period of years after the birth to help offset the cost of raising the child. See the Wikipedia Article here.
  • Japan is now realizing that it will have to import most of the workers to build the facilities for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
  • Maine is concerned about younger residents leaving and the older generation dying off which will cause businesses to continue to lose employees and customers. At the same time their remaining aging population will demand more of state government’s dwindling resources.

America has avoided the statistical decline largely by allowing immigration and those immigrants have children, changing the statistics that hospitals and states report. In reality, more people generated more prosperity and higher standards of living in decades previous to the 1930s. The trend has started away from population growth and it might be difficult to stop or reverse – in the US and worldwide.

Some groups criticize whistle blowers on the decline in births and think that the whistle blowers are blaming the problem on their sub-group. Examples of these groups are the gay marriage advocates, Pro Choice advocates, and women who would rather work than raise children. I am not trying to fix blame in this post, but simply pointing out several things that I was unaware of until recently and started writing my reflections for this blog.

Did you know about these trends? You should care about the issue and form your own solutions. If you change your views then perhaps others can be persuaded to change also.


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