...it is likely that world population will peak at nine billion in the 2050’s, a half-century sooner than generally anticipated, followed by a sharp decline. _ProjectSyndicateMore people are beginning to look at the rapid aging and shrinking of populations in the developed world. And some people are predicting that the baby bust that is seen in modern nations is likely to spread to the primitive third world, resulting in a rapid and significant collapse of the global population beginning in the second half of this century.
According to the United Nations’ Population Division, the world’s human population hit seven billion on October 31. As always happens whenever we approach such a milestone, this one has produced a spike in conferences, seminars, and learned articles, including the usual dire Malthusian predictions. After all, the UN forecasts that world population will rise to 9.3 billion in 2050 and surpass 10 billion by the end of this century.
Such forecasts, however, misrepresent underlying demographic dynamics. The future we face is not one of too much population growth, but too little.
Most countries conducted their national population census last year, and the data suggest that fertility rates are plunging in most of them. Birth rates have been low in developed countries for some time, but now they are falling rapidly in the majority of developing countries. Chinese, Russians, and Brazilians are no longer replacing themselves, while Indians are having far fewer children. Indeed, global fertility will fall to the replacement rate in a little more than a decade. _ProjectSyndicate
Europe, Russia, Japan, and South Korea seem to be aging and shrinking particularly quickly. But it will not be long before the process begins in earnest in China and other parts of the developing world. This transformation is apt to trigger significant unrest both within and between the countries where it is most pronounced. International wars and intranational unrest and civil war are both likely to occur, as differential birthrates between subpopulations shift the balance of power away from a dominant group and toward groups of lower rank.
The TFR for most developed countries now stands well below replacement levels. The OECD average is at around 1.74, but some countries, including Germany and Japan, produce less than 1.4 children per woman. However, the biggest TFR declines in recent years have been in developing countries. The TFR in China and India was 6.1 and 5.9, respectively, in 1950. It now stands at 1.8 in China, owing to the authorities’ aggressive one-child policy, while rapid urbanization and changing social attitudes have brought down India’s TFR to 2.6.The average IQ of populations will play into this global transformation. The highest birthrates are currently in regions and nations with the lowest average IQ levels. This dysgenic trend is likely to continue for several decades longer, at least.
An additional factor could depress future birth rates in China and India. The Chinese census suggests that there are 118.6 boys being born for every 100 girls. Similarly, India has a gender ratio at birth of around 110 boys for every 100 girls, with large regional variations. Compare this to the natural ratio of 105 boys per 100 girls. The deviation is usually attributed to a cultural preference for boys, which will take an additional toll on both populations, as the future scarcity of women implies that both countries’ effective reproductive capacity is below what is suggested by the unadjusted TFR.
...These shifts have important implications for global labor supply. China is aging very rapidly, and its working-age population will begin to shrink within a few years. Relaxing the one-child policy might have some positive impact in the very long run, but China is already past the tipping point, pushed there by the combined effect of gender imbalance and a very skewed age structure.
The number of women of child-bearing age (15-49 years) in China will drop 8% between 2010 and 2020, another 10% in the 2020’s and, if not corrected, at an even faster pace thereafter. Thus, China will have to withdraw an increasing proportion of its female workforce and deploy it for reproduction and childcare. Even if China can engineer this, it implies an immediate outflow from the workforce, with the benefits lagging by 25 years.
Meanwhile, the labor force has peaked or is close to peaking in most major economies. Germany, Japan, and Russia already have declining workforces. The United States is one of a handful of advanced countries with a growing workforce, owing to its relative openness to immigration. But this may change as the source countries become richer and undergo rapid declines in birth rates. Thus, many developed countries will have to consider how to keep people working productively well into their seventies. _ProjectSyndicate
Since such low IQ areas are also places with some of the highest crime rates in the world, expect the large population overflow from these areas to immigrate to parts of the modern world, bringing high crime rates with them. This is likely to prove a terrible shock to the aging populations of Europe, who will be totally unprepared for dealing with these violent and prolific youngsters from alien, untrainable, and unassimilable populations.
The US has already experienced this culture shock, in the face of a quasi-invasion of violent illegals from Latin America and the Caribbean. But in much of Latin America, population growth is likely to decline, leading to lower rates of emigration to the North.
In subSaharan Africa, on the other hand, populations are slated to soar. The overflow from those populations is likely to flow directly toward North Africa and on to Europe, joining overflows from Southern and Western Asia.
If you want to see Western Europe as a tourist, before the deluge, you had better hurry. Most of Eastern Europe will likely resist the alien invasion.