Author Topic: Demographics  (Read 48111 times)


ccp

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Re: Demographics
« Reply #51 on: March 29, 2014, 02:15:34 PM »
"Voting against their own interests will not last"

Wait till they have to pay the nation's bills.  The government should do more and more.   Until they realize they are the ones who will have to help foot the bill.

Yep.   The world is one big happy family.  Keep giving it all away.  Open the borders wide.   See how well that goes.

----------

Did you see the street survey of American University students who were asked how many Senators from each state are there?  Or name one Senator?

One girl even stated, " I am not into the America 'thing'".

We can thank liberal education for this.


Crafty_Dog

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Bioedge: Iran's falling birth rate
« Reply #52 on: May 31, 2014, 08:53:03 AM »


Hi there,

Another challenge to be faced by bioethics in the decades ahead is the downstream consequences of falling birth rates.

Once fertility begins to fall, it keeps falling to levels which once seemed (sorry) inconceivable. The replacement birth rate is 2.1 children per woman. But in South Korea, parts of Spain, and Russia it has fallen below 1.3. At that rate, population begins to decline fairly rapidly. A small population could have big political consequences.
This worries the leaders of Iran. The birth rate in Iran has fallen more swiftly than anywhere else in the world – from 6.4 in 1986 to a current low of 1.8. When they look into their crystal ball, they see a weak and depopulated nation.

This is why the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently released a 14-point plan to reverse decades of propaganda for small families and double his country’s population to 150 million. His proposals include: increasing the birth rate to more than 2.3; lowering the age of marriage; an Islamic-Iranian lifestyle and opposing undesirable aspects of the Western lifestyle; and providing treatment for both male and female infertility.

A bill is already being drafted to ban abortions and sterilisations. Government support for family planning and contraceptives has already been discontinued. A program offering free vasectomies has been terminated.

For Westerners like me, the social policy and politics of a theocratic country like Iran are quite mysterious. But if its rulers are as impatient and stubborn as the media makes them out to be, they may try to impose pro-natal policies, lest they drift into geopolitical irrelevance. Today most bioethics deals with issues relating to having fewer children. What happens when women are pressured into having more children? What dilemmas will bioethicists face then?

Cheers,

Crafty_Dog

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The Demographics of Gaza
« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2014, 10:07:48 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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Russian Demographics
« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2014, 09:17:06 AM »

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Morris: Latino vote less dangerous to Reps than feared
« Reply #55 on: December 16, 2014, 06:27:31 AM »
The Emerging Latino Divide
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on December 15, 2014
Tear up the textbooks, a new pattern may be emerging among Latino voters.  The conventional wisdom -- that Hispanics habitually vote Democrat over the immigration issue -- may be obsolete.
   
Gallup found that support for President Obama's amnesty order was primarily among the foreign born population -- whether Latino or not.  Hispanics born in the United States only backed the amnesty plan by 51-42.  Latinos born outside the U.S. backed it by 75-17.  (Non-Hispanics born outside the U.S. backed Obama's plan by 60-32).
   
Since only one-quarter of Hispanic voters are foreign born, this finding is electrifying!  It means that the knee jerk approval Democrats are expecting from the Latino community may not be forthcoming, particularly not in sufficient numbers to offset the backlash among non-Hispanic voters.
     
But the longer term political and social implications of this fissure in the Latino community, based on place of birth, are even more important.  Political science experts have long wondered if the rapidly growing Latino population would auger in a permanent Democratic majority.  When black and Latino voters reach one-third of the electorate combined (they are now one-quarter), will that cause Republican extinction?
     
Certainly if Hispanic voters follow African-American voting patterns it would spell bad -- and possibly fatal -- news for the GOP.  But the Gallup data suggest that Latinos are assimilating politically into the larger population and, unlike blacks, abandoning race consciousness in their voting patterns.  Like German-Americans, Italian-Americans, and Irish-Americans, they are mirroring national public opinion in their thinking rather than sticking with their ethnic orientation.
     
This birthplace gap in the Latino vote may help explain the 13 point gain by Republicans among Latino voters in the 2014 elections.  While Democrats still won Hispanics 2:1, they did not win by the 3:1 margin that Obama tallied in 2012.
   
For decades, politicians spoke of the gender gap in voting patterns before they realized that pro-Democratic voting patterns were largely concentrated among unmarried women.  It was more of a marriage gap than a gender gap.
     
So, with outspoken Latino advocacy groups urging immigration amnesty at the top of their lungs, the compliant and complacent media have assumed that they speak for all Latinos.  But they don't. While foreign-born Hispanics account for half of the U.S. Latino population, they are only one -quarter of the citizens and, perhaps, an even smaller share of the electorate.
   
So Republicans should not fear increases in the Latino population as much as they do.  In the second generation, the children of our new neighbors, show the classical signs of healthy assimilation.

Crafty_Dog

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Population decline and the great economic reversal
« Reply #56 on: February 18, 2015, 04:58:03 AM »

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Population Decline and the Great Economic Reversal
Geopolitical Weekly
February 17, 2015 | 09:52 GMT
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By George Friedman

In recent weeks, we have been focusing on Greece, Germany, Ukraine and Russia. All are still burning issues. But in every case, readers have called my attention to what they see as an underlying and even defining dimension of all these issues — if not right now, then soon. That dimension is declining population and the impact it will have on all of these countries. The argument was made that declining populations will generate crises in these and other countries, undermining their economies and national power. Sometimes we need to pause and move away from immediate crises to broader issues. Let me start with some thoughts from my book The Next 100 Years.
Reasons for the Population Decline

There is no question but that the populations of most European countries will decline in the next generation, and in the cases of Germany and Russia, the decline will be dramatic. In fact, the entire global population explosion is ending. In virtually all societies, from the poorest to the wealthiest, the birthrate among women has been declining. In order to maintain population stability, the birthrate must remain at 2.1 births per woman. Above that, and the population rises; below that, it falls. In the advanced industrial world, the birthrate is already substantially below 2.1. In middle-tier countries such as Mexico or Turkey, the birthrate is falling but will not reach 2.1 until between 2040 and 2050. In the poorest countries, such as Bangladesh or Bolivia, the birthrate is also falling, but it will take most of this century to reach 2.1.

The process is essentially irreversible. It is primarily a matter of urbanization. In agricultural and low-level industrial societies, children are a productive asset. Children can be put to work at the age of 6 doing agricultural work or simple workshop labor. Children become a source of income, and the more you have the better. Just as important, since there is no retirement plan other than family in such societies, a large family can more easily support parents in old age.

In a mature urban society, the economic value of children declines. In fact, children turn from instruments of production into objects of massive consumption. In urban industrial society, not only are the opportunities for employment at an early age diminished, but the educational requirements also expand dramatically. Children need to be supported much longer, sometimes into their mid-20s. Children cost a tremendous amount of money with limited return, if any, for parents. Thus, people have fewer children. Birth control merely provided the means for what was an economic necessity. For most people, a family of eight children would be a financial catastrophe. Therefore, women have two children or fewer, on average. As a result, the population contracts. Of course, there are other reasons for this decline, but urban industrialism is at the heart of it.

There are those who foresee economic disaster in this process. As someone who was raised in a world that saw the population explosion as leading to economic disaster, I would think that the end of the population boom would be greeted with celebration. But the argument is that the contraction of the population, particularly during the transitional period before the older generations die off, will leave a relatively small number of workers supporting a very large group of retirees, particularly as life expectancy in advanced industrial countries increases. In addition, the debts incurred by the older generation would be left to the smaller, younger generation to pay off. Given this, the expectation is major economic dislocation.  (MARC: This makes sense to me)  In addition, there is the view that a country's political power will contract with the population, based on the assumption that the military force that could be deployed — and paid for — with a smaller population would contract.

The most obvious solution to this problem is immigration. The problem is that Japan and most European countries have severe cultural problems integrating immigrants. The Japanese don't try, for the most part, and the Europeans who have tried — particularly with migrants from the Islamic world — have found it difficult. The United States also has a birthrate for white women at about 1.9, meaning that the Caucasian population is contracting, but the African-American and Hispanic populations compensate for that. In addition, the United States is an efficient manager of immigration, despite current controversies.

Two points must be made on immigration. First, the American solution of relying on immigration will mean a substantial change in what has been the historical sore point in American culture: race. The United States can maintain its population only if the white population becomes a minority in the long run. The second point is that some of the historical sources of immigration to the United States, particularly Mexico, are exporting fewer immigrants. As Mexico moves up the economic scale, emigration to the United States will decline. Therefore, the third tier of countries where there is still surplus population will have to be the source for immigrants. Europe and Japan have no viable model for integrating migrants.
The Effects of Population on GDP

But the real question is whether a declining population matters. Assume that there is a smooth downward curve of population, with it decreasing by 20 percent. If the downward curve in gross domestic product matched the downward curve in population, per capita GDP would be unchanged. By this simplest measure, the only way there would be a problem is if GDP fell more than population, or fell completely out of sync with the population, creating negative and positive bubbles. That would be destabilizing.

But there is no reason to think that GDP would fall along with population. The capital base of society, its productive plant as broadly understood, will not dissolve as population declines. Moreover, assume that population fell but GDP fell less — or even grew. Per capita GDP would rise and, by that measure, the population would be more prosperous than before.

One of the key variables mitigating the problem of decreasing population would be continuing advances in technology to increase productivity. We can call this automation or robotics, but growths in individual working productivity have been occurring in all productive environments from the beginning of industrialization, and the rate of growth has been intensifying. Given the smooth and predictable decline in population, there is no reason to believe, at the very least, that GDP would not fall less than population. In other words, with a declining population in advanced industrial societies, even leaving immigration out as a factor, per capita GDP would be expected to grow.
Changes in the Relationship Between Labor and Capital

A declining population would have another and more radical impact. World population was steady until the middle of the 16th century. The rate of growth increased in about 1750 and moved up steadily until the beginning of the 20th century, when it surged. Put another way, beginning with European imperialism and culminating in the 20th century, the population has always been growing. For the past 500 years or so, the population has grown at an increasing rate. That means that throughout the history of modern industrialism and capitalism, there has always been a surplus of labor. There has also been a shortage of capital in the sense that capital was more expensive than labor by equivalent quanta, and given the constant production of more humans, supply tended to depress the price of labor.

For the first time in 500 years, this situation is reversing itself. First, fewer humans are being born, which means the labor force will contract and the price of all sorts of labor will increase. This has never happened before in the history of industrial man. In the past, the scarce essential element has been capital. But now capital, understood in its precise meaning as the means of production, will be in surplus, while labor will be at a premium. The economic plant in place now and created over the next generation will not evaporate. At most, it is underutilized, and that means a decline in the return on capital. Put in terms of the analog, money, it means that we will be entering a period where money will be cheap and labor increasingly expensive.

The only circumstance in which this would not be the case would be a growth in productivity so vast that it would leave labor in surplus. Of course if that happened, then we would be entering a revolutionary situation in which the relationship between labor and income would have to shift. Assuming a more incremental, if intensifying, improvement in productivity, it would still leave surplus on the capital side and a shortage in labor, sufficient to force the price of money down and the price of labor up.

That would mean that in addition to rising per capita GDP, the actual distribution of wealth would shift. We are currently in a period where the accumulation of wealth has shifted dramatically into fewer hands, and the gap between the upper-middle class and the middle class has also widened. If the cost of money declined and the price of labor increased, the wide disparities would shift, and the historical logic of industrial capitalism would be, if not turned on its head, certainly reformulated.

We should also remember that the three inputs into production are land, labor and capital. The value of land, understood in the broader sense of real estate, has been moving in some relationship to population. With a decline in population, the demand for land would contract, lowering the cost of housing and further increasing the value of per capita GDP.

The path to rough equilibrium will be rocky and fraught with financial crisis. For example, the decline in the value of housing will put the net worth of the middle and upper classes at risk, while adjusting to a world where interest rates are perpetually lower than they were in the first era of capitalism would run counter to expectations and therefore lead financial markets down dark alleys. The mitigating element to this is that the decline in population is transparent and highly predictable. There is time for homeowners, investors and everyone else to adjust their expectations.

This will not be the case in all countries. The middle- and third-tier countries will be experiencing their declines after the advanced countries will have adjusted — a further cause of disequilibrium in the system. And countries such as Russia, where population is declining outside the context of a robust capital infrastructure, will see per capita GDP decline depending on the price of commodities like oil. Populations are falling even where advanced industrialism is not in place, and in areas where only urbanization and a decline of preindustrial agriculture are in place the consequences are severe. There are places with no safety net, and Russia is one of those places.

The argument I am making here is that population decline will significantly transform the functioning of economies, but in the advanced industrial world it will not represent a catastrophe — quite the contrary. Perhaps the most important change will be that where for the past 500 years bankers and financiers have held the upper hand, in a labor-scarce society having pools of labor to broker will be the key. I have no idea what that business model will look like, but I have no doubt that others will figure that out.

Crafty_Dog

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Spain is dying
« Reply #61 on: December 11, 2015, 08:14:35 AM »


Crafty_Dog

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If these numbers are accurate , , ,
« Reply #63 on: July 25, 2016, 02:28:33 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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China's contraction
« Reply #64 on: October 22, 2016, 06:45:55 AM »

ccp

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Democratic Party is the party of the rich.
« Reply #65 on: October 22, 2016, 02:55:56 PM »
If true one can come up with several theories as to why.

Granted this is from Columbia so must be taken with a grain of salt:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/business/rich-vote-republican-not-this-election-maybe.html?_r=0


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WSJ/Stpehens: Demographics, Immigration, and "other people's babies"
« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2017, 01:25:32 PM »
 By Bret Stephens
March 20, 2017 7:02 p.m. ET
583 COMMENTS

Tokyo

Japan is an excellent place to test the proposition that countries do better with low levels of immigration. In a land of 127 million people, there are just over two million foreign residents, and only a third of them are here for the long term. The number of illegal immigrants, which peaked at a modest 300,000 in the early 1990s, is down by 80%.

As for refugees, in 2016, Tokyo entertained 10,000 requests for asylum. It accepted a grand total of 28. Steve Bannon would smile.

The result, say immigration restrictionists, is plain to see. Japan’s crime and drug-use rates are famously low. Life expectancy is famously high. Japanese students put their American peers to shame on international tests. The unemployment rate clocks in at 3.1%. All this is supposed to be a function of a homogenous society with a high degree of cultural cohesion—the antithesis of cacophonous, multiethnic America.

Just one problem: The Japanese have lost their appetite for reproduction. To steal a line from Steve King, the GOP congressman from Iowa, the only way they can save their civilization is with “somebody else’s babies.”

Japan’s population shrank by nearly a million between 2010 and 2015, the first absolute decline since census-taking began in the 1920s. On current trend the population will fall to 97 million by the middle of the century. Barely 10% of Japanese will be children. The rest of the population will divide almost evenly between working-age adults and the elderly.

Imagine yourself as a 35-year-old Japanese salary man. You can expect that an ever-larger share of your paycheck will go to the government to fund the pensions and health care of your parents—who, at 70, can reasonably expect to live another 10 or 15 years, and who aren’t likely to vote for politicians promising to strip their entitlements.

Being Japanese, you were raised to make financial sacrifices for your elders, even if it means not having children of your own. Besides, it’s hard to want children with the economy in such bad shape. As Morgan Stanley’s Ruchir Sharma has noted, lousy demographics mean a lousy economy: The average rate of GDP growth in countries with shrinking working-age populations is only 1.5%. In 2016, Japan’s growth rate was 1%—and that was a relatively good year by recent standards.

What if the government paid you to have babies? Alas, along with millions of your countrymen, you suffer from what the Japanese call “celibacy syndrome” and aren’t interested in sex, never mind procreation. You’re also unhappy: In 2016, Japan ranked 53rd on the U.N.’s World Happiness Report, a notch above Kazakhstan but below El Salvador and Uzbekistan.

So Japan is in trouble, and the government knows it. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has tinkered with formulas to bring in lower-skilled temporary workers for housecleaning and farm jobs, and he has promoted various tax breaks and subsidies to ease the burden of raising children and caring for aging parents.

But whatever their other benefits, “pro-family” policies won’t reverse the demographic trend. Only large-scale immigration can do that, and the Japanese won’t countenance it. The flip side of cohesion is exclusion. The consequence of exclusion is decline.

Which brings us back to Mr. King and the U.S. immigration debates. A decade ago, America’s fertility rate, at 2.12 children for every woman, was just above the replacement rate. That meant there could be modest population growth without immigration. But the fertility rate has since fallen: It’s now below replacement and at an all-time low.

Without immigration, our demographic destiny would become Japanese. But our culture wouldn’t, leaving us with the worst of both worlds: economic stagnation without social stability. Multiethnic America would tear itself to pieces fighting over redistribution rights to the shrinking national pie.

This doesn’t have to be our fate. Though it may be news to Mr. King, immigrants aren’t a threat to American civilization. They are our civilization—bearers of a forward-looking notion of identity based on what people wish to become, not who they once were. Among those immigrants are 30% of all American Nobel Prize winners and the founders of 90 of our Fortune 500 companies—a figure that more than doubles when you include companies founded by the children of immigrants. If immigration means change, it forces dynamism. America is literally unimaginable without it.

Every virtue has its defect and vice versa. The Japanese are in the process of discovering that the social values that once helped launch their development—loyalty, self-sacrifice, harmony—now inhibit it. Americans may need reminding that the culture of openness about which conservatives so often complain is our abiding strength. Openness to different ideas, foreign goods and new people. And their babies—who, whatever else Mr. King might think, are also made in God’s image.

Write bstephens@wsj.com.

Appeared in the Mar. 21, 2017, print edition.

G M

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Re: Demographics
« Reply #68 on: March 21, 2017, 03:30:03 PM »
There is a difference between bringing in lawful immigrants to be Americans and open borders where illegal invaders create colonies in your country.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Demographics
« Reply #69 on: March 21, 2017, 10:05:59 PM »
Pithily stated!


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Re: Demographics: Minnesota's Decline
« Reply #72 on: May 18, 2017, 12:16:13 PM »
"Any discussion of Japan must include the subject of demographics."

Also true in Russia, Europe and the US where population and workforce declines are masked by legal immigrants or illegals who often take lower paying jobs and/or live off of public assistance.  Coverage of a new MN study below.  Like Sweden, we are replacing our declining population with people coming for reasons other than the business climate. 

With an income tax rate comparable to NY and Calif and double what they charge in  Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, not to mention zero state income tax like neighboring South Dakota and Texas and Florida, Minnesota has a net out-flow of people going to or coming from other states.  Rich people leave and poor people come, generally speaking.

We have a major inflow of Muslims from east Africa (Somalia) "placed" in Minnesota by the (Obama) state department, as well as 'secondary' immigration where people immigrate and then move to Minnesota for good benefits more so than the weather.

The people leaving tend to be people who want to escape the nation's worst death taxes, and punitive retirement taxes.  The people coming in are more likely to be on government programs according to the (Minneapolis) Startribune:  http://www.startribune.com/affordable-housing-crisis-hits-eden-prairie-families/420163473/

Whether new residents come from the south side of Chicago or the civil war in Somali, new residents seem more prone to crime and terror.
http://www.startribune.com/routine-arrest-leads-minneapolis-police-to-arsenal/422377353/
Also jeopardize public health:
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/05/08/minnesota-measles-outbreak-officials-say-somali-families-targeted-with-misinformation.html
-----------------------------------------
From the Center for the American Experiment:
https://www.americanexperiment.org/2017/05/minnesotas-decline-minnesota-may-lose-congressional-seat-2020/

Minnesota’s decline: Why Minnesota may lose a congressional seat in 2020

 Written by Kim Crockett  in Minnesota Budget, Minnesota Economy on May 17, 2017  Print
As we await the end of the legislative session, Minnesota’s population numbers and growth are in the news, driven by a preliminary report from the Metropolitan Council that estimates current population for the Metro.  The report, required by state statute, will set LGA funding for the Metro.

As reported in the Pioneer Press: “Growth in the urban cores of Minneapolis and St. Paul continue to spur the region’s population gains, according to a new report by the Metropolitan Council…The preliminary report, released Tuesday, says the seven-county metro area grew by 191,628 residents between 2010 and 2016. Both St. Paul and Minneapolis saw significant gains: St. Paul’s population grew to 304,442 in 2016… Minneapolis’ population hit 419,952 in 2016.”

I checked in with the state demographer’s office (because I do not trust the Met Council’s methodology or integrity) and confirmed that there has been a notable uptick in the number of residents in the two core cities. Where are people coming from?

Out of the 5.49 million people in the state, about half a million (457,200 as of 2015) were born outside of the United States. The news reports I read did not mention that the only net positive growth as a state is from foreign-born residents.

Or that people from Minnesota are leaving, and people from the U.S. are not moving here, in sufficient numbers to help Minnesota grow.

We recommend reporters visit the State Demographer’s website where one can find detailed reports on just how Minnesota is growing—and how Minnesota is declining, demographically speaking.

A short report called “Ada to Zumbrota”  underlines the state’s demographic trends that may cost the state a Congressional district following the 2020 Census. One conclusion from the report: “As deaths are predicted to outnumber births in 2040, migration in Minnesota is going to become increasingly important if Minnesota is to continue growing.”

Here are some highlights and a new graph for you to consider:

While both the U.S.-born population and foreign-born population have grown since 1970, the foreign-born population has swelled more quickly…Minnesota had about 113,000 foreign-born residents in 1990, but that number had more than quadrupled to about 457,200 residents by 2015.

Some of that growth is from refugees settled her by the State Department: the Minnesota Department of Health reports that between 2010 and 2016, Minnesota welcomed about 16,571 refugees. (The Department of Human Services puts the number at 15,808). Since 1979, the State Department has placed approximately 105,000 refugees in Minnesota. (Minnesota is also a favored destination for “secondary” refugees, people who are settled by the State Department in another state but move to Minnesota. Secondary migrants are not in the official count of refugees; we are working on getting those numbers.)

Back to the report:

In terms of percentage change, natural increase (births minus deaths) has historically been slower in Minnesota than the U.S. average. However, Minnesota’s foreign-born percentage change began far outpacing national trends between 1985 and 1995 and continues to do so (in part because our number of immigrants are a small fraction of all those in the nation).

The net change for Minnesota’s foreign-born population between 1990 and 2000 alone was 13% annually. By comparison, population growth due to natural increase in Minnesota was less than 1% annually during those same years. (see Figure 2).

tate trends do not tell us what demographic is driving the growth in the Metro area but it seems reasonable to assume that many foreign-born residents, especially refugees, are making their home in the Metro area at least initially (before perhaps finding housing and hopefully work elsewhere in the state).

What do these trends tell us about our state?

It is no surprise that Minnesota is attractive to immigrants and refugees. Who would not want to live here (no jokes about the weather, please).

But why is Minnesota so unattractive to its own population—or to people from around the U.S.?

The answer is simple: state and local policies are hostile to good jobs and economic growth.



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Mark Steyn interview: America Alone
« Reply #74 on: June 26, 2017, 04:58:23 AM »

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Stratfor: Worldwide fertility rates continuing to drop
« Reply #77 on: January 03, 2018, 06:22:07 AM »
By Caitlin Cheadle for Visual Capitalist

Total fertility rates, which can be defined as the average number of children born to a woman who survives her reproductive years (aged 15-49), have decreased globally by about half since 1960.

This has drastically shaped today's global economy, but a continued decline could have much more severe long-term consequences. If the world has too many elderly dependents and not enough workers, the burden on economic growth will be difficult to overcome.
Global Fertility Rates
FERTILITY RATES START TO DECLINE

First, it's important to address some of the reasons for these falling fertility rates.

In developed nations the introduction of commercially available birth control has played a large role, but this also coincided with several major societal shifts. Changing religious values, the emancipation of women and their increasing participation in the workforce, and higher costs of childcare and education have all factored into declining fertility rates.
BIRTHRATES WANE, ECONOMY GAINS

Initially, reduced child dependency rates were actually beneficial to economic growth.

By delaying childbirth, men and women could gain an education before starting a family. This was important in a shifting labor market where smaller, family-run businesses were in decline and a more skilled and specialized labor force was in demand.

Men and women could also choose to start their careers before having families, while paying more in income taxes and enjoying the benefits of a higher disposable income. Increased spending power creates demand, which stimulates job growth – and the economy benefits in the short-term.
A GLOBAL PHENOMENON

 
Global Fertility Rates

Worldwide fertility rates began to fall substantially in the mid-1960s. While each country has its own underlying causes for this, it is interesting that in developed and developing nations, the downward trend is similar.

Part of this is due to developing countries' own efforts to rein in their rapidly expanding populations. In China, the One Child Policy was introduced in 1979, however fertility rates had already dropped significantly prior to this. India's government was also active on this front, sterilizing an estimated 8.3 million people (mostly men) between 1975 and 1977 as a method of population control.
THE AGE IMBALANCE

So here we are now, with a global fertility rate of just 2.5 – roughly half of what it was 50 years ago.

Today, 46% of the world's population lives in countries that are below the average global replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman.

Because these countries (59 to be exact, including BRIC nations Brazil, Russia, and China) are not repopulating quickly enough to sustain their current populations, we are beginning to see a substantial imbalance in the ratio of elderly dependents to working-age people, which will only intensify over the coming decades.
Global Elderly Dependence Ratio

By 2100, the U.N. predicts that nearly 30% of the population will be made of people 60 years and older. Life expectancy also continues to increase steadily, which means those dependents will be living even longer. Between 2000 and 2015 the average global life expectancy at birth increased by around 5 years, reaching an average of 73.8 years for females and 69.1 years for males.
ECONOMIC REVERSAL

What does this mean for the economy?

As this large aging population exits the workforce, most of the positive trends that were spurred by declining fertility rates will be reversed, and economic growth will face a significant burden.
Working Age Population

The global increase of elderly dependent populations will have serious economic consequences. Health care costs for the elderly will strain resources, while the smaller working population will struggle to produce enough income tax revenue to support these rising costs. It's likely this will cause spending power to decrease, consumerism to decline, job production to slow — and the economy to stagnate.
SOLUTIONS

Immigration has been a source of short-term population sustenance for many nations, including the U.S. and Britain. However, aside from obvious societal tensions associated with this strategy, immigrants are often adults themselves when they relocate, meaning they too will be elderly dependents soon.

Several nations are already experiencing the effects of a large proportion of elderly dependents. Japan, with one-quarter of its total population currently over the age of 65, has been a pioneer in developing technologies, such as robotics, as a solution to ease strained health care resources. Many countries are restructuring health care programs with long-term solutions in mind, while others are attempting to lower the cost of childcare and education.

Crafty_Dog

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Census in California
« Reply #78 on: January 18, 2018, 11:34:13 AM »

DougMacG

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Demographics, Will The “C” Question Destroy The Democratic Party?
« Reply #79 on: January 18, 2018, 11:45:40 AM »
Along the same lines as previous post,

"This is the “C” question: are you a citizen or not."

Will The “C” Question (Citizenship status) Destroy The Democratic Party?
http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2018/01/will-c-question-destroy-democratic-party/

"If millions of non-citizens refuse to participate in the US Census, the Democrats will take massive political beating."

Why are we giving representation to non-citizens?

Crafty_Dog

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World Population
« Reply #80 on: March 26, 2018, 09:46:07 AM »

G M

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Re: Demographics, Will The “C” Question Destroy The Democratic Party?
« Reply #81 on: March 26, 2018, 11:14:12 AM »
Along the same lines as previous post,

"This is the “C” question: are you a citizen or not."

Will The “C” Question (Citizenship status) Destroy The Democratic Party?
http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2018/01/will-c-question-destroy-democratic-party/

"If millions of non-citizens refuse to participate in the US Census, the Democrats will take massive political beating."

Why are we giving representation to non-citizens?

It's part of the plan to replace us with more obedient populations.


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WaPo: Many more men than women in China and India
« Reply #82 on: April 20, 2018, 06:22:07 PM »
"Nothing like this has happened in human history. A combination of cultural preferences, government decree and modern medical technology in the world’s two largest countries has created a gender imbalance on a continental scale. Men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India.

The consequences of having too many men, now coming of age, are far-reaching: Beyond an epidemic of loneliness, the imbalance distorts labor markets, drives up savings rates in China and drives down consumption, artificially inflates certain property values, and parallels increases in violent crime, trafficking or prostitution in a growing number of locations.

Those consequences are not confined to China and India, but reach deep into their Asian neighbors and distort the economies of Europe and the Americas, as well. Barely recognized, the ramifications of too many men are only starting to come into sight.

“In the future, there will be millions of men who can’t marry, and that could pose a very big risk to society,” warns Li Shuzhuo, a leading demographer at Xi’an Jiaotong University.

Out of China’s population of 1.4 billion, there are nearly 34 million more males than females — the equivalent of almost the entire population of California, or Poland, who will never find wives and only rarely have sex. China’s official one-child policy, in effect from 1979 to 2015, was a huge factor in creating this imbalance, as millions of couples were determined that their child should be a son.

India, a country that has a deeply held preference for sons and male heirs, has an excess of 37 million males, according to its most recent census. The number of newborn female babies compared with males has continued to plummet, even as the country grows more developed and prosperous. The imbalance creates a surplus of bachelors and exacerbates human trafficking, both for brides and, possibly, prostitution. Officials attribute this to the advent of sex-selective technology in the last 30 years, which is now banned but still in widespread practice.

In the two countries, 50 million excess males are under age 20."

Read more in link:

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The Suicide of Europe
« Reply #83 on: May 16, 2018, 10:52:15 AM »



Crafty_Dog

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Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox "The Imperial Animal"
« Reply #86 on: May 22, 2018, 10:16:48 AM »
 "The contest between production and reproduction remains as hard fought and poignant as ever, though in a way it is being settled faute de mieux: more women having few children. This may be a good thing in ecological terms, but it is not self-evidently the result of glad free choice. One certainty is that birth rates in the industrial communities are at historic lows, and it remains our suspicion now as it was our assertion twenty years ago that this is all about the interaction of a complicated urgent biology and a self-assured heartless industrial system. Zookeepers esteem zoos in major measure by how successfully their resident reproduce. Where does the Human Zoo stand in the ratings?"

From the Introduction to the second edition (1989) of Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox for their book "The Imperial Animal"

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GPF: China Growing Old Before Rich
« Reply #87 on: May 29, 2018, 07:12:00 PM »
China: Growing Old Before It Grows Rich
May 29, 2018
By Phillip Orchard

The Chinese Communist Party may finally be getting out of the family planning business. Three years ago, the party scrapped its infamous one-child policy. Last week, Bloomberg reported that China’s State Council is mulling ending birth limits altogether. The damage to China’s demographic outlook done by tight population controls has been immense – and it may take several generations for the country to recover.

The Damage Done

When Deng Xiaoping’s government implemented the one-child policy in 1979, population control was all the rage across the globe. Amid booming population growth in the years following World War II, some demographers were warning that the human race was about to breed itself into extinction. Most famously, Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 best-seller “The Population Bomb” warned that hundreds of millions of people, mostly in the developing world, would starve in the 1970s alone. This, of course, turned out to be wildly off the mark. Among other failures, it did not anticipate extraordinary advancements in agricultural technology and mechanization. The famines that did occur were primarily caused by age-old scourges like war, political instability and gross policy mismanagement.

But for China, the threat was all too easy to visualize. A decade earlier, between 23 million and 55 million people starved to death during the famine that resulted from Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward, and collectivization had left the country’s agricultural sector in tatters. Meanwhile, China’s population was exploding, growing by about 20 percent annually in the years since the Communist Party had won the Chinese civil war. To stave off another disaster, the party turned to its most tried and true policy response: tightened control over even the most intimate affairs of its people.

Today, China has become a victim of its own success. In 1980, Chinese population growth, measured as the crude birthrate minus the crude death rate, had reached 15 per 1,000 people. By 2015, when the one-child rule was lifted countrywide, this had dropped below 5.5 per 1,000 people. Fertility rates today are estimated to be around 1.7 children per adult female, well short of the 2.1 replacement rate. In fact, fertility rates have been below replacement levels since the early 1990s, bottoming out at just 1.18 in 2010.

This means that the average Chinese citizen is getting older, fast, and this trend is expected to pick up speed beginning around 2030. According to China’s National Development and Reform Commission, China’s working-age population (those aged 16 to 59) will fall more than 23 percent to around 830 million by 2030 and 700 million by 2050. By then, a full third of the Chinese population will have reached retirement age, compared to around 15 percent today.

Making matters worse, fertility rates haven’t increased substantially since Beijing decided to allow families to have a second child three years ago. In 2016, according to official figures, 18.46 million Chinese babies were born, nearly 2 million more than the previous year and the highest number since 2000. Nearly half were born to families that already had a child. But things came back to earth in 2017, with births plummeting some 3.5 percent to 17.23 million, nearly 3 million short of official forecasts.

The problem for China is that government policy hasn’t been the only thing keeping birthrates low. The one-child policy has, in many ways, become self-sustaining. In Chinese culture, people are generally expected to take care of their parents when they reach their golden years. This means average Chinese households will be expected to take care of four parents – and have no siblings to share this burden with – leaving less time and money to raise kids of their own. This, combined with factors like career pressures, changing social pressures, the lower birthrates that generally coincide with urbanization and so forth, means Chinese couples have become less inclined to have more kids even if allowed to. According to the Population Research Institute of Peking University, “fertility desire” – the number of children the average Chinese adult female wants (or believes she will be able to afford) – is between 1.6 and 1.8.

Drags on China’s Growth

A shrinking, aging population poses problems for any country; China’s size and position on the development curve simply make them more acute.

For one, it means a lot more retired people to take care of – and fewer working-age people to shoulder the burden of rising pension payouts, health care costs and so forth. In China, the dependency ratio (the number of people too young or old to work divided by the working population) is expected to surge to nearly 70 percent by 2050, compared to just more than 36 percent in 2016. In other words, there is expected to be 1.3 workers for every retired person by the middle of this century, down from nearly three today. Even if the end of the two-child policy compels Chinese couples to start having substantially more children, an immediate bump would actually make the dependency ratio worse for another 15-20 years (in other words, until those newborns enter the workforce).

 
(click to enlarge)

Magnifying this problem are macroeconomic challenges. For example, a shrinking population means declining consumer demand and output. Tighter labor markets drive up wages, making export-oriented industries less competitive – a major concern for a manufacturing-dependent country like China, whose economic rise is fueled by abundant low-cost workers.

To a degree, health care advances that enable people to live and work longer, combined with technological advances that enable the Chinese economy to sustain productivity with fewer workers, will help soften the blow. This, in part, explains Beijing’s hearty support for emerging technologies – such as self-driving cars, robotization and artificial intelligence – that will inevitably displace workers in the short term. Nonetheless, the demographic outlook is expected to be yet another drag on China’s continued economic rise.

Projections at this time-scale are bound to be inexact, but the International Monetary Fund forecasts that demographic pressures will reduce Chinese gross domestic product growth by 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent over the next three decades. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, demographics is a major contributor to what it expects will be a sharp decline in economic growth beginning in the not-too-distant future. Between 2030 and 2060 (the same period when the Chinese government expects to see the sharpest drop in the working-age population), the OECD forecasts just 2.3 percent annual growth, down from an estimated 6.8 percent last year.

Why It’s Worse For China

China isn’t alone in this challenge. South Korea, Japan and a number of Western countries have comparably low fertility rates and shrinking, aging populations. (Every day in Japan, the world’s oldest country, nearly a thousand more people die than are born.) But China is different in four main ways.

First, this trend is happening faster in China than elsewhere. The slice of the Chinese population made up of retirees will jump from less than 10 percent to a full quarter in just 25 years. In Western countries, this shift has taken place far more gradually, generally over a century or more. China will have far less time to adjust.

Second, it’s happening earlier on China’s development curve than any other major economy. In other words, China is growing old before it grows rich. When Japan reached the percentage of retirees China has now, per capita incomes were double those of China today. When South Korea crossed this threshold, incomes were nearly three times as high. This meant more money to sink into eldercare in aggregate, plus fewer one-child households left holding the bag. And even these countries are still struggling to cope with the rising social costs and economic stagnation tied to demographic decline.

Third, at least compared to Western countries, China has never been particularly receptive to immigration. The United States’ ability to attract and absorb immigrants is an enduring source of national strength, occasional political spasms over the issue notwithstanding. China has no tradition of attracting foreign immigrants; just 1,576 foreigners were granted permanent residency in China in 2016. And it’s unclear how the country’s rigid systems of social control would adapt to a major influx of outsiders.

Finally, China’s political-economic balance is far more precarious than that of more developed economies. The benefits of its economic rise have not been shared equally between the coasts and the interior. For a variety of other structural reasons, economic growth is already expected to gradually slow over the coming decades; demographics will make the challenge only more difficult to manage. Making matters worse, the one-child policy led to an explosion of gender-selective abortions, creating a sizable imbalance between the sexes. By 2014, there were 41 million more men than women in China – and this gap is widening. In other words, there will be tens of millions of males with poor chances of marrying and looking for an outlet to vent their frustrations. In fact, after it lifted the one-child policy in 2015, the government saw a wave of protests by couples demanding compensation for being denied the right to build a bigger family.

In a democratic country, mass social and economic dissatisfaction may lead to the fall of a particular government, but in democracies, governments come and go all the time. To the Communist Party, the threat of social unrest is existential. The public tolerates the party’s tight social controls so long as it continues to deliver on its pledge to make the whole country a modern, vibrant state. In this climate, even a modest economic slowdown could reverberate in ways that threaten to make the whole project come undone.

The post China: Growing Old Before It Grows Rich appeared first on Geopolitical Futures.

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WSJ: Demographics & Growth
« Reply #88 on: May 30, 2018, 07:07:58 AM »
Can America Grow Like It Used To?
There are reasons to think not, chief among them the aging population.
Can America Grow Like It Used To?
Photo: mike blake/Reuters
By William A. Galston
May 29, 2018 7:22 p.m. ET
36 COMMENTS

While controversies over Iran and North Korea have dominated the recent news, most Americans remain focused on the economy, where declining unemployment and faster growth have improved President Trump’s standing. But can the U.S. economy return to the 3% annual increases in gross domestic product witnessed during the postwar years? This question was the subject of last week’s Wall Street Journal debate among four opinion contributors— Mary Anastasia O’Grady, Arthur Laffer, Jason Furman and me.

We agreed on the normative proposition that the U.S. would benefit from faster economic growth. More upward mobility expands the American dream and reduces competition over scarce opportunities. Growth increases government revenue, taking the edge off tough choices between guns and butter, and between the present and the future.

We also agreed on the basic framework for analyzing growth. If economic production is determined by the number of hours worked times output per hour, then we can increase long-run growth through a larger labor force, higher productivity, or both.
Opinion: The Economic Growth Debate--William Galston
William Galston says immigration plays a big role in promoting economic growth.
Can the Economy return to 3% Growth?

Watch the whole event here

And finally, we agreed that there was room to raise the aggregate level of work in our society. Consider the basic facts. This April, the official employment rate was 3.9%—the same level as in April 2000. But this apparent similarity masks a consequential change. Over those 18 years, labor-force participation among Americans of prime working age (25 to 64 years) dropped by 2.5 percentage points. In the same period, labor-force participation for U.S. women 25 to 64 fell from eighth to 26th among nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. For men, the ranking dropped from eighth to 29th. American men experienced the largest decline of any OECD country, and American women were the only female cohort in the entire OECD whose workforce participation fell.

These international comparisons strongly suggest that better policies could make a difference. We need to make it easier for formerly incarcerated men to rejoin the workforce, for women to balance the demands of work in the home and in the market, and for older Americans to continue working well past what previous generations considered retirement age. We need to attack substance abuse—especially opioids—which thwarts too many men and women on the threshold of the workforce. And where there is solid evidence that poorly designed social supports discourage work, we should restructure them.

Although these changes would make a difference, they can do nothing to alter the reality that America is aging rapidly. Two thousand was the last year in which the entire baby-boom generation was of prime working age, and 2019 will be the first year in which none of it is. During the last two decades of the 20th century, the U.S. workforce expanded at an annual rate of about 1.5%. During the next two decades, it will expand at an estimated 0.5% annually. By itself, this slowing growth of the workforce will be enough to knock a full percentage point off annual economic growth. Productivity improvements that once yielded 3% growth will now yield only 2%.

There is no sign of a new baby boom on the horizon. On the contrary, the birthrate reached an all-time low in 2017, continuing six decades of decline. So there is only one way to boost the growth rate of the workforce: expand dramatically the number of working-age immigrants admitted each year. If the U.S. prioritized working-age entrants the way most other advanced countries do, it would increase annual labor-force growth by up to 0.3% without increasing the aggregate level of immigration.

I’ve said little about the other key component of economic growth—productivity—because most economists regard it as unpredictable. Between 1950 and 1973, it grew at 2.4% annually before collapsing to just 0.7% from 1974-81. It accelerated to 1.7% between 1982 and 1990, and to 2% from 1991-2001. But then, just when analysts began to hail a new golden age of information technology, productivity growth fell to 1.4% in 2002-07, and to 0.9% during the past decade.

We understand the basics of productivity—investment in the workforce, plant and equipment, research and development, and infrastructure, plus an environment that encourages innovation. But the pace at which new technologies and processes are integrated into the workplace remains mysterious. If a new generation of robotics and artificial intelligence yields a productivity boom, we could return to the growth of the postwar years. But we don’t know enough to bet on it.

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DougMacG

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Re: WSJ: Demographics & Growth
« Reply #89 on: May 30, 2018, 08:42:30 AM »
Galston, as I understand it, is the opposing view columnist on the Journal's editorial page, not to take away from his valid points.  From that debate, I would point you to the Laffer view:  https://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-the-economic-growth-debate-arthur-laffer/E8F37B96-F324-4E49-A4DE-BAC016D42F88.html  Demographic aging in many economies around the world most certainly is a limiting force on growth.  My view is that in spite of an aging population we are nowhere near our limit of growth.  Trump already increased the growth rate roughly 50% over that under Obama and a doubling of Obama's growth rate is more than possible, IMHO.  Government-based policies are the main limit on our growth. 

We (mostly) don't work in coal mines anymore.  In government alone, look at the number of people in leadership that are over the mandatory retirement age if we had one.

Our businesses and industries may have to innovate to hang onto valuable employees as they age and wish to keep going at perhaps a slightly slower pace.  Companies have tended to be quite rigid with the full time or nothing choice while public employees are taking 'retirement' in the prime of life like my brother and law who retired from the federal government at 48.

Within a workforce NON-participation rate of 37% and 100 million adults not working peak under Obama, not counting those 65 and over, we have plenty of potential labor not already working, (IMHO).

Among the motivated to rise financially, there are people working two jobs and others who might want to do that for a while if the disincentive system is alleviated.

Imagine the labor pool increase if the workforce participation rate nationally moved toward that of the most productive states, millions more workers and still nowhere near the potential.
https://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/compare-mn/labor/labor-force.jsp

The development of labor savings devices is among the opportunities for export and economic growth.  It's hard or perhaps stupid to think we have peaked in productivity growth.

Regarding retirement and social security, Medicare, etc., ages should be judged IMHO relative to the current population, not according to how things used to be.




Crafty_Dog

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GPF: China's looming labor shortage
« Reply #90 on: February 11, 2019, 09:09:38 AM »
China’s Looming Labor Shortage
Experts now say its population will start to decline in 2030.
28 Comments
By The Editorial Board
Feb. 10, 2019 5:09 p.m. ET
Children learn to make lanterns in a kindergarten in Xiaji Township of Baoying County, east China's Jiangsu Province, Dec. 29, 2018.
Children learn to make lanterns in a kindergarten in Xiaji Township of Baoying County, east China's Jiangsu Province, Dec. 29, 2018. Photo: Xinhua/Zuma Press

Somewhere Julian Simon is smiling. In the 1970s and 1980s, the World Bank, the Club of Rome, author Paul Ehrlich, and the United Nations predicted catastrophe if China’s government couldn’t stop its people from having babies. Simon argued from his post at the University of Illinois that this was wrong. He said the problem wasn’t too many Chinese but the political and economic system oppressing them. Simon even predicted in 1985 that if China opened its economy to market forces, the growth might leave China facing a labor shortage.

Well, here we are. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently confirmed that Simon, who died in 1998, was right. In its Green Book of Population and Labor, the academy now says China’s population will start to decline in 2030, that the decline is “unstoppable,” and that it is “bound to cause very unfavorable social and economic consequences,” especially in a society that is rapidly aging.
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This means China can no longer count on the large, young workforce that has long driven its economic growth. In 2016 a Renmin University professor published a paper for the EU-China Social Protection Reform Project reckoning that by 2050 China’s economic growth rate would drop to 2% due to the population decline. This in turn means fewer working-age people to support rising health-care and pension obligations.

Simon’s prediction for China was based on what he had seen in Singapore. Like China, Singapore’s government initially pushed population control—only to reverse itself with policies that now encourage Singaporeans to have more children.

There’s a lesson here for the Western experts and institutions that pushed population control on developing nations. Their prescriptions led to human-rights outrages such as sterilizations and forced abortions, and they have left the societies that took their advice scrambling to reverse the sorry consequences. This includes China, where three years ago the government officially allowed families to have two children instead of one.

But the efforts to reverse declining birth rates with incentives to have babies haven’t succeeded. This is consistent with results of natalist subsidies in Western Europe and most other places where they have been tried.

Western nations at least grew prosperous before they grew old. China may be the first nation to grow old before it reaches developed status. They should have listened to Julian Simon instead of the World Bank.

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GPF: Euro Demographics
« Reply #91 on: March 04, 2019, 10:25:16 AM »
European Muslims: A Demographic Opportunity
Sep 20, 2018
By Jacob L. Shapiro
Summary
The Muslim population in Europe has been growing since World War II, topped off by the migration crisis in 2015. Today, about 33 million Muslims live in Europe, equal to 6 percent of the population. Not since the Ottomans laid siege to Vienna in 1683 has Islam played such a prominent role in European affairs.

Yet the numbers are slightly deceiving. Islam has become such a serious political issue in Europe not because of the growth in Muslims itself but because the Muslim population is younger and growing faster than other demographic groups. This is in part because of the migration wave and in part because European fertility rates have fallen below replacement level. The trend sows fear among the native population that its influence and way of life is ending, and it is compounded by the desire of the immigrants to retain at least elements of their previous national, ethnic and religious identities. These demographic shifts have led to internal disagreements that threaten to tear the European Union apart. They also profoundly shape internal political dynamics in many of Europe’s most powerful countries. Forty-five percent of Europe’s Muslims live in one of three countries: France (5.7 million), Germany (5 million) or the United Kingdom (4.1 million).

The future of the EU, and of countries like France and Germany, will be shaped by whether these countries can assimilate Muslims. Since France, Germany and the U.K. have the largest Muslim populations, this Deep Dive will focus mainly on the challenges that each faces. We’ll attempt to estimate the scale of the challenge of integration, but we’ll also cover its benefits for the host countries, where immigration will help solve labor shortages to come. We then draw on the history of European Jewry in the 18th century for insights into how European Muslim integration might proceed. We conclude that the significant minority of European Muslims who thus far have refused to assimilate will continue to pose a problem for their host countries, and the prospects for the majority to eventually “belong” in their new homes are mixed.

The Nature of the Problem

First, a caveat: Demographic data on European Muslim populations are difficult to parse and fraught with inconsistencies. France, for instance, does not account for religion in its national statistics, as doing so would violate its strict adherence to “laicite,” a distinctly French approach to secularism to which we will return. Whereas Pew estimates that Muslims make up 9 percent of France’s population, a French think tank called the Institut Montaigne puts the figure at closer to 6 percent. German data on religious affiliation depends on public affiliation with a public law religious society – in Germany’s last census in 2011, 33 percent of Germans did not identify with any religious society. Furthermore, there is no specific category for “Muslims” in the German census – they are instead subsumed by a general category of “others.” The data that follows thus constitute a useful but imprecise snapshot of the issue.
 
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Europe’s Muslim population first began to increase during the dramatic period of economic growth and reconstruction after World War II. There was a critical need for low-skilled labor throughout Western Europe, and though the bulk of that need was satisfied by internal European migration from east to west, substantial numbers of Muslim migrants also came to Europe for work. In 1936, there just 70,000 Muslims living in France, or 0.17 percent of France’s population. By 1960, there were 1 million, or 2 percent of the population. From 1960 to 1970, the Muslim population of the United Kingdom increased from 105,000 to 668,000. The German figures are perhaps the most staggering, growing from 20,000 Muslims in 1951 to 1.2 million in 1971.
 
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The ethnicities and nationalities of the immigrants depended somewhat on their destination. Many of the Muslim migrants to France came from Algeria, which France ruled as a colony from 1830 to 1962. Today, 38 percent of French Muslims are of Algerian descent. Muslim migration to the U.K. came predominantly from Britain’s former colonies in South Asia: More than 50 percent of British Muslims today are of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin. Germany had fewer former colonial holdings from which it could import foreign labor, which is a major reason Germany has had a tougher time integrating its Muslim population than the U.K. and France. Germany instead recruited cheap labor from its former World War I ally: Turkey. More than half of all Muslims in Germany in 1973 were Turkish, and the German Federal Office of Statistics estimates that the current population of Turkish descent in Germany is roughly 3 million – a number that is widely considered conservative.

The demographic makeup of Muslim migration to Europe in this period was equally important. Many Muslims who came to Europe in the 1960s and 1970s were young, single men. They were taking advantage of labor shortages in European countries, and the jobs that they got were often menial. This was not a problem at first. In fact, Muslim migration was one of a number of migrations that helped supercharge the Western European economies after the war. But by the end of the 1970s, the period of economic growth had run its course. The first workers to get laid off were the foreign workers and migrants who had left their families and homes behind in search of higher wages and better opportunities. In West Germany, the government did not even count Turkish workers in its official unemployment statistics; instead, it encouraged Turks to return home. But many Muslim migrants throughout Europe decided to stay – and used the money they had earned to bring their families to join them in Europe too.

The result was a self-perpetuating disconnection between Muslim migrants and the countries they now called home. Even though European countries had encouraged Muslim migration to fill low-skill jobs, the concern was never to integrate them into German or French or British society but to profit from their labor. The social mobility that a citizen of these countries enjoyed was not enjoyed equally by Muslim migrants. Furthermore, the migrants were far from home, living in a political culture and a religious environment radically different from the ones in which they had grown up. Sour prospects and the innate human desire for familiarity led to a de facto segregation that was as much by choice as it was by imposition. Muslim migrants felt unwelcome, so they created their own, often separate communities, which only raised suspicion and hostility among the natives toward Muslims, for whom there were fewer jobs and prospects.

This dynamic has only worsened over time as more Muslims have migrated to Europe, not in response to labor shortages but to escape violence or poverty. A 2016 U.K. Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government report identified 42 wards where a minority faith or ethnic group was a local majority. Nine of the top 10 were Pakistani Muslim wards. The same report also found that almost 16 percent of all British Muslims speak little or no English – double the next highest group (Hindus at 8 percent). In France, the Institut Montaigne estimates that the unemployment rate for those of North African descent is roughly 30 percent, whereas countrywide unemployment is 9.1 percent as of July 2018. Similar conditions are present among Turkish workers in Germany. They face an unemployment rate of roughly 16 percent, more than three times the national average of 5.2 percent in August.

The issue has been aggravated by high fertility rates among European Muslims relative to other religious and ethnic groups. In France and the U.K., for example, Pew projected the average total fertility rate for Muslims would be around 2.9 children per woman – compared to 1.9 and 1.8 children per woman for non-Muslims, respectively. In Germany, the total fertility rate of 1.9 for Muslims is actually below replacement rate, but that is still significantly higher than the non-Muslim rate of 1.4. The average European total fertility rate for non-Muslims is around 1.6, compared to 2.6 for Muslims. Combine this with continued migration to European countries from the Muslim world – Germany alone received almost 1 million Muslim migrants from mid-2010 to mid-2016, before Chancellor Angela Merkel came under intense political pressure to stop migration – and it is not hard to imagine the more aggressive projections on Muslim population growth in Europe coming to fruition.
 
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These statistics led one well-known French financial analyst, Charles Gave, to estimate in 2017 that within 40 years, Muslims would become a majority of the French population. That seems far-fetched, and Gave wouldn’t be the first to be guilty of overestimation. After all, in 2003, Pew estimated that Muslims would make up 10 percent of Europe’s population by 2020 – well over the actual rate, according to Pew in 2018, of 6 percent – and worried that it was projecting too low a figure. Even so, the broader issue remains: Muslims have more babies and are younger and poorer than non-Muslims. In the U.K., the median age for Muslims is 25; the national median age is 39. In France, the average age of Muslims is 35.8 years, compared to 53 for Christians. That Europe will become more Muslim in the coming years is a given – what’s unclear is how much more.
 
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The Challenge of Integration

The deeper and often unasked question is why the growth of Europe’s Muslim population is so controversial. Muslims are not the only minority group in Europe. Both the U.K. and France, for instance, have significant black minorities (at roughly 3 percent and 1.5 percent of the total population, respectively). The U.K., France and Germany have all seen significant migration from India, Vietnam, China and other Asian countries in recent years as well – to say nothing of intra-European migration, including the high number of Poles who have migrated west in search of better jobs. The number of Muslims in these countries is also still quite low. Pew estimates that if European countries get tough on migration, by 2050 the Muslim population in most European countries won’t exceed 10 percent, with France being an exception at 12.7 percent. Western European countries are not as monochromatic as Eastern European countries, but compared to a country like the United States, where a recent U.S. census report projected that whites will be a majority-minority by 2045, they aren’t especially diverse.

The primary reason the Muslim population is problematic for European governments is because of its reluctance to assimilate into European society. “Islam,” after all, does not denote where one is from; it denotes adherence to a faith, one that informs how a believer should think about politics, cultural norms and justice. Non-Muslim migrants, or Muslim migrants who are not particularly religious, have typical immigrant struggles – overcoming language barriers or nostalgia for their home or their family or a particular kind of food. But these obstacles do not lead groups to want to be treated differently from British, French or German citizens. If anything, it leads to a greater desire to “belong.” There are, however, groups of religious Muslims in Europe who have no desire to belong at all. They want to practice their religion free of government influence and are even confused as to why this is problematic – from their perspective, European states are supposed to be “freer” than the states they came from. They also view European society as potentially corrupting – and try to isolate themselves from those influences as much as possible.

To be clear, these Muslim communities are a minority of the Muslims in European countries, and a fairly small minority at that. In the U.K., for instance, almost half of all Muslims were U.K.-born. Even more striking, a recent U.K. government report found that 86 percent of British Muslims feel a “strong sense of belonging to Britain” – higher even than the national average of 83 percent. Seventy-eight percent answered in the affirmative in a follow-up question about whether they desire full integration into British life. This is an overwhelming majority – but it’s the other roughly 20 percent who are the problem for London. The same U.K. study showed that 23 percent of British Muslims supported the introduction of sharia (Islamic law) in parts of Great Britain. Thirty-one percent said polygamy should be legal (compared to 9 percent for the national average), and 32 percent would not condemn violence against someone for mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Four percent even said they sympathized with terrorists and suicide bombers.

In other words, in the U.K., there are some 800,000 Muslims who do not value some of those basic fundamentals of British political life like the rule of law and freedom of speech. That 4 percent of British Muslims sympathize with Islamist terrorists may seem like a small figure, but it adds up to more than 150,000 people. The national average for Britain was 1 percent, so this is not a strictly Muslim issue – if no one except these Muslims supported terrorism, they would make up 0.3 percent of the total British population. The larger issue is that although all societies have radical fringes, the fringe of European Muslims is a relatively larger part of the whole and is resistant to assimilation or change. This, in effect, poisons the well. Even though the vast majority of British Muslims identify with their country and want to integrate, their reputation in Britain is damaged by those who resist assimilation. And the fear and suspicion that these Muslims create only reinforces prejudices and discrimination, which in turn further radicalizes British Muslims who feel isolated from British life.

A similar picture can be seen in both France and Germany. Institut Montaigne found that while 71 percent of French Muslims generally supported the French secular state, 29 percent “consider religious laws to be more important than the laws of the French state.” The study also pointed out that the vast majority of people with these views are young, low-skilled laborers living in segregated communities inside France. As in the U.K., a significant minority of French Muslims reject some basic tenets of French political life and French culture. Even more distressing in France is that those with more radical views are also the youngest – 50 percent of young people held these views as opposed to 20 percent of the French Muslim population over 40. Whether growing old will moderate the views of these young French Muslims is an open question – that 20 percent is still a distressingly large figure is not.

For Germany, the picture is less clear, partly because Germany experienced such a massive influx of Syrian refugees in the past three years. These migrants have had as little time to assimilate into German society as German sources have had to collect data on how well they are assimilating. Yet in a 2015 study, before the influx of Muslim refugees to Germany had really begun, independent German think tank Bertelsmann Stiftung noted that almost a quarter of the 4.7 million Muslims in Germany at the time had arrived since 2011. That Germany opened its doors to Muslim migrants has historical precedence: Germany recruited Turkish laborers to come to Germany in the 1960s to help cope with labor shortages. But Germany, more so than France and the U.K., never expected or wanted Muslims to integrate. Muslims and other migrants were not considered part of German society, and Germany only began trying to integrate Muslims (and migrants in general) in the 1990s.
 
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Indeed, until legal reforms were instituted in 2000, it was hard for Muslim migrants and their families, the majority of whom were Turkish, to become German citizens. (German nationality laws were based on a Wilhelmian law from 1913 that stressed German descent over all else.) But though the German government has sought to make Germany more welcoming to immigrants and has instituted policies specifically to better integrate them into society in recent years, their success so far has been mixed. The Bertelsmann Stiftung study found that 96 percent of German Muslims feel “connected with Germany,” though it also noted that almost one quarter of Muslims born in Germany did not learn German as a first language. A U.S.-based think tank, the Migration Policy Institute, pointed to high membership among Muslims in German associations (50 percent) and high numbers receiving school qualifications (85 percent) as signs that integration is succeeding.

What is most striking about this evidence is how similar the situation is in the U.K., France and Germany, despite radically different politically structures, ethnic makeups of the Muslim populations and approaches toward integration into society. In all three countries, a large majority of Muslims assimilate into society and become as British, French or German as any citizen, despite discrimination and in general poorer economic prospects compared to the national average. And yet in all three, a significant minority of the population not only resists assimilation but hives itself off from the rest of the country’s citizenry, espousing different views on everything from who should possess legitimate authority to what women should be allowed to wear in public. All three countries have also in recent years experienced Islamist terrorist attacks, which have reinforced mistrust of Muslims, which creates a vicious cycle that gives way to the very isolation that breeds radicalization among Muslim youths.

A Historical Comparison

The only real historical basis for comparison to the challenges European Muslims currently face is the fate of European Jews in the 20th century. Like European Muslims, European Jews were spread throughout the Continent, and at times, Jews would migrate to new countries to escape persecution or violence. This is not to say it’s a perfect comparison. The Jews living in Europe had been there for centuries, and especially in Western European countries, they were often well-off. And unlike European Muslims, the majority of European Jews lived in Eastern Europe (in 1933, in Poland, they made up 9 percent of the population, as compared to just under 1 percent of Germany’s population). Despite the differences, the experience of European Jews – a religious minority in Europe – informs thinking about Islam’s future in Europe.
 
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European Jews lived through one of the most transformative periods in European history – the slow, centuries-long transformation of Europe from a patchwork of multiethnic monarchies into individual nation-states. The European Jewish experience varied greatly depending on the given state. In Great Britain, membership in a religious community was not mandated by law. As a result, British Jews felt less dissonance between their religious lives and their national lives. British Jewish institutions even mimicked the Anglican Church in their development, so strongly did Jews want to integrate into British society.

The situation was much different in France. After the French Revolution, the National Assembly debated granting citizenship to French Jews and concluded famously that “the Jews should be denied everything as a nation but granted everything as individuals.” To become French, Jews had to check their religion at the door. In that sense, not much has changed in the intervening centuries.

Germany was a more complicated case. Before 1871, there was no Germany to speak of, and local Jewish communities interacted with the various Germanic states in a variety of ways. In Prussia, Jews were offered equal rights – but only if they recognized the absolute authority of the Prussian government and did not hold views antithetical to those of Prussian society. That “but” helped create a de facto Jewish reformation. For a long time, European countries were often made of different confessional groups, with authority delegated to the spiritual leaders of those groups. But the advent of the nation-state and the attempted integration of Jews into the new national European societies created crises in various religious communities, and Judaism was no exception. The very concept of today’s three main Jewish denominations came from this tumultuous time and from internal arguments about how much tradition to conserve versus how many reforms should be undertaken so that Jews could live prosperously in the new Europe.

Germany became the center of gravity for Jewish religious reform, but in truth, throughout Europe, Jews reconceptualized their relationship between organized religion and the state. (Eastern Europe, which we won’t address at any length here, became the epicenter of Jewish nationalism, one strain of which became Zionism.) Many Jews assimilated seamlessly into European society. Others held on to tradition with fundamentalist zeal, closing themselves off from what they saw as the corrosive influence of European modernity. In the end, it didn’t much matter. European Jews was never truly integrated into European society. The word “anti-Semitism” was coined by a German association in 1879 – eight years after a recently unified Germany had granted Jews full equal rights. Jews eventually became an easy scapegoat for Hitler during his rise to power, and European Jews, as well as gypsies and political dissidents, were marked for slaughter as a result. (Anti-Semitism also was not a strictly German phenomenon – Germany had only some 600,000 Jews. With the notable exception of Denmark, no European nation-state conquered by the Nazis defended Jewish citizens as if Jews were national brethren.)

European Muslims come from countries that, like 18th-century Europe’s multiethnic empires, are not organized on the basis of liberalism or nationalism. One of the reasons some Muslim migrants have such difficulty integrating into European societies is that in Islam, there is little distinction between governance and piety, and in most Muslim states, there has been no social or political revolution that necessitated the reinterpretation of Islam to allow for a separation of mosque and state. A religious Muslim’s primary identity is wrapped up in the “ummah” – the greater Islamic community – not his or her state of residence. Tribes, families and sects – not nations with constitutions and individual rights – are the political environments from which most of these Muslim migrants come. As with European Jews in the 18th century, this clash between Islam and Western political values may well lead to institutional religious reform to attempt to integrate.

This is not a process that will happen overnight, nor will it be seamless. But it is already possible to see the different ways in which European Muslims are struggling to maintain their religious beliefs while integrating into their new national communities. For example, in a recent 134-page report published by the Muslim Council of Britain, a Muslim sheikh made a religious case that Islam actually requires Muslims integrate into the societies in which they live. Quoting heavily from the Quran, the sheikh concludes that “Islam places a lot more emphasis on integration and human relationships than the worship of God itself.” The problem, for both European Muslims and for the nation-states where they live, is that while compromises and reforms may help integrate Muslims into European society better, no country or group has yet found a successful way of bringing the fringe elements in from the cold. And for as long as a fifth of European Muslims resist assimilation, domestic hostility toward Muslims will continue, as will Islamists attacks.

A Silver Lining?

There is one silver lining to this story. The rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and the horrors wrought by World War II were in part a result of economic crisis. The dismembering of Germany after World War I, followed by the Great Depression, essentially catapulted the world into a temporary Dark Age. Discrimination is often a byproduct of economic duress, and Jews in Europe were an obvious target for the masses: a religious minority that had always seemed to be a nation living within nations, with whom Christendom had a violent past, and which had in general profited seemingly at the expense of ordinary people, or so the line of thinking went. It is easy to dismiss it now, but it is impossible to dismiss how attractive such ideas were in the decade leading up to World War II.

European Muslims are by and large not wealthy. They are also generally younger than their neighbors. And that may make all the difference. Muslim migration first came to Europe when European countries were experiencing shortages of labor due to economic growth. Now, European countries are getting older and their populations are shrinking, a situation that is in turn creating new demand for labor. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suffered grievous political harm because of her open migration policies, but the flipside is that migrants in Germany have essentially functioned as an economic stimulus. Oxford Economics recently published a report suggesting that the influx of Muslim migrants into Germany would raise gross domestic product by almost 1 percent by 2020, and that the influx of people might also curb inflationary pressures. The deeper problem for Germany is that it is simply an aging population: Next year, there will be fewer Germans under 30 years old than Germans over 60. Making its Muslim migrants truly German would go a long way toward combating Germany’s aging process.
 
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The U.K. and France, while also aging, do not face as stark a challenge as Germany does in this regard, but neither are they immune from demographic factors. France is in the least danger, though its non-Muslim total fertility rate has dropped for three consecutive years, falling to 1.9 children in 2017. Indeed, both the U.K. and France have total fertility rates that exceed the European average. The rub, however, is that Muslims in the U.K. and France are having babies at a significantly higher rate than non-Muslims. And though it is impossible to know whether the Muslims who are reproducing at these higher rates belong to the portion of the Muslim populations that have not assimilated into European societies, it is a good bet that they do, as a combination of traditional values, marriage at an early age and lack of access to education all lead to higher birth rates – and are all ways one could describe those Muslim communities that don’t integrate into British and French society.

The aging of Europe provides an opportunity. Nothing is better for integration than the prospect of economic opportunity and social mobility. And there will be plenty of jobs for young people in Europe in the coming decades, so much so that Poland is literally paying women to have babies, and Germany was willing to break taboos on immigration just to attract younger people to a country that has historically been hostile to immigration. The existence of opportunity is hardly a guarantee of Muslim assimilation, but it also means that Muslims will not be seen as stealing jobs from qualified German, French or British citizens. For the first time since the 1970s, European societies are actively encouraging migration and attempting to integrate Muslims into European societies, which may help balance against the hostility toward Muslims in these countries. At the very least, economic issues will not exacerbate the problem of integration that is already there.

The situation can be summed easily, even if it defies an easy solution. The size of the European Muslim population is increasing. While many European Muslims have assimilated into European society, a substantial minority, perhaps as many as one-fifth of all European Muslims, have not only failed to assimilate but reject the basic political and cultural tenets of the countries in which they live. These pockets of resistance to assimilation, often egged on by lack of economic prospects and discrimination, lead to hostility and suspicion on the part of the domestic population, while only exacerbates the problem of integration. The countries with the three biggest Muslim populations in Europe – France, Germany and the U.K. – have struggled to integrate Muslims into their societies, and despite the various differences in their approaches, all have failed to prevent the emergence of a strain of Islamic identity that the nation-state has yet to metabolize successfully. Europe is aging, and the economic opportunity that this will offer to young and relatively less wealthy European Muslims may help lead to assimilation. Even so, Europe’s historical approach to religious minorities leaves much to be desired and suggests integration will never truly be successful.

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GPF: The predictive power of demography
« Reply #92 on: March 04, 2019, 10:54:21 AM »
The Predictive Power of Demography
Oct 11, 2018
By Jacob L. Shapiro

Summary

Fertility rates below replacement level are widely considered to be detrimental to national power. If such rates are accompanied by an overall population structure in which older people outnumber younger people, what was detrimental becomes an impending catastrophe. These prevalent beliefs would benefit from more critical scrutiny.

That demographics are relevant to a state’s power is not up for debate. Whether an aging population is indicative of future weakness, however, is a question worth considering. In the 20th century, population structure was actually a relatively weak predictor of national power. Germany in 1933 worked itself into a violent hysteria over fears that population decline spelled national decline. Then it nearly conquered Europe. Moreover, predicting the future age and fertility of a population proved almost impossible for most demographic experts of the 20th century. In the 1960s, American demographers feared overpopulation; by the late 1970s they were writing of a baby bust that would last the rest of the century. They were wrong on both counts.

This Deep Dive is a modest first attempt to check assumptions and rethink the issue. We begin by considering the examples of 1933 Germany and 1980 America. Many of the false assumptions about those countries in those years are now being made about China in 2018. We conclude that although demographics provide an important snapshot of a nation’s status, they are not a good predictor of future strength.

Germany, 1933: A Case Study

Since the 1870s, birthrates have declined in all Western nations. Among the many reasons for the slump, three stand out.

First, the Industrial Revolution, which enabled a population explosion in the first half of the 19th century, altered the return on investment of having children. Whereas children had been a resource, the industrialization of society made them an economic drain. Second, freed from the rigors of their traditional childbearing role, women entered the workforce in greater numbers. And third, advances in contraceptive technologies significantly increased women’s ability to control their reproductive cycles, and as a result, lowered birthrates. There was a cyclical component to the decline in birthrates as well. The Industrial Revolution had been a time of tremendous economic growth. Such boom periods are usually followed by periods of contraction, and toward the end of the 19th century, the boom was nearing its end. This is hardly an exhaustive picture of the situation, but it was the context in which a newly unified German state emerged in 1871.

Germany was a latecomer to the economic benefits of the Industrial Revolution, but by the end of the 19th century it had made up for its slow start. From 1871 to 1914, its population increased by roughly 27 million, or by about 66 percent. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, the military manpower between Germany and France was more or less equal. But by the eve of World War I, Germany’s population of roughly 68 million was over a third larger than France’s. Crucially, when Germany was recruiting soldiers to fight in the Great War, it was drawing from a pool of 7 million men aged 20-24 compared with France’s 4 million. Germany’s population explosion in no small part contributed to its ability to wage war simultaneously against the British, French and Russian empires – and to come close to victory. In the end, it was defeated – at a cost of 2.5 million soldiers and civilians, or some 4 percent of its total population – because of U.S. intervention.

Besides the losses, Germany by the end of the 19th century had already begun to experience declining birthrates, just as the vanguard of the Industrial Revolution had before. Its total fertility rate began to decline in 1883, but at 5.23 children born per woman, and with a relatively higher fertility rate compared with its main European rivals like the United Kingdom (4.62) and France (3.4), Germany still had a population growth advantage. The end of the Great War did not result in an attendant rise in Germany’s birthrate; in fact, it dropped precipitously, from 25.9 births per thousand in 1920 to 14.7 by 1933. Meanwhile, industrialization was sweeping through Eastern Europe and the young Soviet Union, and with it came the same increases in population and productivity that had enabled Germany’s rise.

In 1926, the national statistics office, the Statistisches Reichsamt, published its first study on the German fertility problem. One scenario in the study predicted that, as a result of the casualties during World War I and the long-term decline in fertility, the German population would begin to shrink as early as 1945. Three years later the office revised its projections, estimating a sharper drop in fertility, and therefore in the population. Population decline had thoroughly entered the German zeitgeist. A slew of popular works emerged in the 1930s decrying Germany’s impending demographic doom. The most famous writer on the subject was Friedrich Burgdorfer, whose “Volk ohne Jugend” (“A People Without Youth”) was widely read. Debates over whether to legalize abortion hinged on whether Germany could afford to allow women to abdicate their national duty. France had once feared the Germanization of Europe; now Germany feared “Slavonization.”

The fear of Germany’s demographic decline was part of the dangerous ideological cocktail that Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party would take advantage of during its rise to power. Beyond the insecurity over Germany’s inability to reproduce and the paranoia over the threat posed by the Slavic east, a large population was considered crucial to ensuring the national defense. The population’s robustness and virility were seen as key indicators of whether Germany would survive in a world where social Darwinism was widely accepted. In Germany, the increased emphasis on the study of demographics coincided with a focus on race science and eugenics. The Reichstag was set ablaze in February 1933; four months later, the first German census in eight years was published, with special sections on Jews inside the Reich. The quest to correct Germany’s fertility problem became an official Nazi policy and obsession.
 
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It’s not hard to see why Germany was so self-conscious of its population structure. The Great War cut a deep gash into an entire generation, and, except for a few years immediately after the war ended, the base of the German population pyramid was disintegrating. The Nazis wasted little time attacking the issue. Five months after assuming power, Hitler’s government implemented a marriage loan policy, whereby it redistributed income tax revenue to married couples in the form of 1,000-reichsmark loans (in the vicinity of $6,500 in 2018), repayment of which was canceled by one-fourth for every child born. Only couples deemed racially pure enough were entitled to apply for the program – and from 1933 to 1938, 1.1 million marriages were granted. In addition, women were encouraged not to participate in the labor market, and abortion laws were enforced with new thoroughness. The Nazi fertility policies attracted global attention. The American Journal of Sociology wrote in 1940 that Nazi Germany represented “the only case in which deliberate national policies … have increased the fertility of an entire nation.”

But the long-term “damage” to Germany’s population structure could not be erased overnight, or even over five years. Germany’s net reproduction rate was 0.76 in 1933; Nazi policies managed to increase it to 0.95 by 1938 – still below the replacement level of 1.0 and therefore insufficient to stop the imminent shrinkage of the German population. In five years, Germany had managed only to return to the same rates the Statistisches Reichsamt had observed in 1926.

In the end, though, Germany’s declining fertility rate and misshapen population pyramid did not prevent the Nazi regime from building the most formidable war machine Europe had ever seen. It did not stop Germany’s blitzkrieg into Poland or its march into Paris. Certainly it did not hinder Germany from conquering most of continental Europe by 1942. It required the full exertion of the combined populations of the U.S., the Soviet Union and the U.K. to defeat the supposedly demographically challenged Aryan race.

In 1926, Germany was worried that its 55-year-old experiment as a unified nation-state would fail because of its declining fertility rates, its graying population and the influx of Slavs from the east. Not only did this demographic profile not cripple German strength, but it obscured the myriad other factors (especially military might and industrial base) that made Germany the most powerful country in Europe. Furthermore, the widely accepted orthodoxy on the disastrous effects of imminent population decline was not a benign ignorance. The Nazis expertly, malignantly manipulated it to come to power and to solidify domestic support for mass extermination and continental conquest (in addition to the marriage loans). In this sense, the German case study is an example of how an aging population leads not to weakness, but rather to aggression. Instead of a death knell, an accurate prediction of the implications of Germany’s demographic profile in 1926 would have rung alarm bells about the country’s imminent play for global domination.

The United States, 1980: A Case Study

The 1970s were a difficult decade in American history. The Vietnam War came to an ignominious end. The Watergate scandal led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation – and, along with President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Gulf of Tonkin controversy in the previous decade, permanently scarred the institutional legitimacy of the U.S. executive. U.S. national debt almost tripled, from $371 billion at the beginning of the ’70s to $908 billion by the end. War in the Middle East led to high oil prices. Inflation rates hit 14 percent by 1980, while gross domestic product growth rates stagnated. Dissidents and clerics joined forces in Iran to overthrow the U.S.-backed government and kept 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage for over a year. By the end of the decade, a former actor and governor of California who promised to make America great again had won the presidency in a landslide.

Amid the stagflation and insecurity about America’s future, a serious demographic problem reared its head. The year Ronald Reagan was elected, the total fertility rate in the U.S. fell to 1.76. It was a stunning reversal. The fertility rate had reversed its decline in the beginning of the 20th century, rising to 3.58 from 1933 to 1958. These were the baby boomers, and on the back of war reconstruction and consumer demand, the U.S. economy soared and its demographic pyramid looked the Platonic ideal of a healthy population. In the 1960s, the concern was not with the potential for an aging or shrinking population, but with overpopulation. In the late ’60s, numerous books were written about the negative future effects of overpopulation, the most famous of which was Stanford biology professor Paul R. Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb,” in which the author predicted that 65 million Americans would die in the 1970s from lack of food.

By the end of the 1970s, it was a potential future decline in population, not overpopulation, that most concerned American demographers. In 1979, Population and Development Review published an article titled “Will US Fertility Remain Low?” which concluded that the “baby bust” could last until the end of the 20th century. (Although, to be fair, the authors were unsure enough of their predictive powers that they left open the possibility that the situation might reverse within a year.) The following year, The Sociological Quarterly printed a slightly more pessimistic article: “Will US Fertility Decline Toward Zero?” As in 1930s Germany, there were debates about abortion (Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, came down in 1973) and access to contraceptives. There was also concern over an increase in the divorce rate, which reached its peak in the early 1980s. Doubts surfaced about the future viability of social security for an aging U.S. population.

 
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And, as in Germany in the 1930s, the insecurity of American virility led to fears that the U.S. would be eclipsed on the world stage. Germany had feared the Slavs; the U.S. began to fear the world’s most populous country, China. Unlike Germany, the U.S. did not develop a pseudo-mystical race narrative, nor was it concerned about acquiring land to expand, but its decision to enter a de facto alliance with China against the Soviet Union reflected this worldview. In Nixon’s own words from a speech in July 1971, China was a country with “the capacity” and “the kind of people” to pose a serious challenge to the United States. It was a statement about quantity as much as quality. Nixon believed that a “multipolar” world was emerging and that, despite its failures in Vietnam, the U.S. had to focus its future foreign policy more on Asia, where the world’s most populous states were modernizing and fast catching up with the West. The general feeling was that difficult times lay ahead for the United States – and that sentiment was reflected in U.S. birthrates.

It was a pessimism that, it turns out, was profoundly misplaced. Within 11 years, the Cold War was over. The Soviet Union collapsed on itself, and the United States was the country left standing. U.S. fertility rates improved slightly from their nadir in the 1970s, climbing to 2.08 by 1990. Furthermore, U.S. fertility rates and birthrates since the 1970s have stayed relatively constant, and slightly higher, when compared with those of most developed countries. This is true despite the recent media hysteria over data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May. That report concluded that births in the U.S. in 2017 had declined by 2 percent to the lowest number in 30 years and that the general fertility rate was down 3 percent to a record low of 60.2 births per 1,000 women. It seems that any insecure moment in U.S. history is punctuated by both a decline in fertility rates and an accompanying fear that U.S. power has entered a secular decline.

Historical evidence doesn’t bear this out. Demographers, politicians and popular culture all emphasized the aging of the U.S. population as a sign that the U.S. was in decline four decades ago – and a decade before the U.S. emerged as the sole global superpower. If population structure were a primary aspect of a country’s ability to project national power, then the United States should not have gotten where it did in 1990. One could make a case that relative to that of the Soviet Union, the U.S. population structure was far stronger, and that this played a role in the Soviets’ defeat in the Cold War – but that was not the widely accepted argument of the time. Instead, an unhealthy population pyramid, a declining birthrate and an aging population were all seen as reasons not only that the U.S. might lose the Cold War but that there would soon be global parity in terms of economic and military power between the United States and China, Japan and the Soviet Union. The demographic orthodoxy in this case served only to obscure the fact that the U.S. was far from decline. It was in fact on the cusp of unrivaled strength.

China, 2018: An Open Question

Enough about the past; the more important question concerns the future – and there is no more important demographic question about the future than the fate of China. During the 1970s, when most of the world was fretting over population decline, China was concerned primarily with population control. Among the numerous reforms Deng Xiaoping instituted when he succeeded Chairman Mao was the one-child policy. In Mao’s China, a large population was a strength. Indeed, it was something the People’s Republic of China touted to the world. During the opening session of the U.N. World Population Conference in 1974, the leader of the Chinese delegation proudly stated that China’s population had increased 60 percent in 20 years and would soon surpass 800 million. Of course, Mao’s China was not a modern country. Primarily rural and intentionally distant from the global economy, China in 1979 was more like a pre-industrial European country than an emerging behemoth.

Deng had a different vision for China. Where Mao had emphasized self-reliance, Deng emphasized self-enrichment. But he did not have generations to wait. Mao had unified the Chinese people, but if China’s newfound independence was to be preserved, the country had to join the 20th century, and it had to do so as quickly as possible. China’s population was a tremendous asset in this endeavor: Its hundreds of millions of peasants could work for far lower wages than people in competing countries, making China ideally suited for success when it entered the global trading system. But in the long term, if China’s population continued to grow at previous levels, it could threaten the survival of the Communist Party’s rule. After all, industrialization in Western economies was not a linear or universally enjoyed success. The dislocations of industrialization in the 19th and 20th centuries transformed family life, created new wealth inequalities and included periods of busts as well as booms that China could not afford.

China was, in effect, trying to accomplish in a few decades what had taken most Western countries over a century to achieve – and it was trying to do so in a way that ensured extremely low unemployment. Social and political stability was not just a policy goal for the Chinese government – it was an existential challenge. Birthrates and fertility rates declined organically in the West beginning in the latter half of the 19th century as a response to changes in the structure of national economies over the previous 50 years. China did not have time to wait, and so the government began to impose lower birthrates on its population so that it would have fewer mouths to feed and fewer people to employ. The fewer children in China, the more wealth would be available for Chinese adults. The country’s one-child policy, from this perspective, has been overwhelmingly successful. In 1980, Chinese population growth, measured as the crude birthrate minus the crude death rate, had reached 15 per 1,000 people. By 2015, when the one-child rule was lifted countrywide, it had dropped below 5.5 per 1,000 people. Meanwhile, fertility rates have been below replacement level since the early 1990s, bottoming out at just 1.18 in 2010.

The result of this policy, however, has turned China’s population pyramid into a demographer’s worst nightmare. China industrialized faster than any economy in history, but now it is also aging faster than any economy in history. The number of working-age Chinese has been declining since 2013, and the PRC’s own projections suggest the overall population will begin to shrink as early as 2020. This is regularly described in the mainstream press and in academic circles – indeed, even at GPF – as an impending crisis. There is no denying that China, though it has achieved substantial enrichment since 1979, remains a country with hundreds of millions of poor people, many of whom have not enjoyed the success of Chinese coastal elites and for whom future prosperity seems a more dismal prospect today than at any time in the past 39 years. It is not a coincidence that Chairman Xi Jinping is now speaking of “self-reliance” in China once more.
 
(click to enlarge)

But there is something too simplistic in the argument that China’s aging population consigns it to doom. Such prognostications were not true about Germany in the 1930s or the United States in the 1970s. Nor can it be true that China’s overpopulation in the 1980s was an inevitable crisis and its aging population in 2018 is also an inevitable crisis. Indeed, while China’s population pyramid has become inverted in the past 30 years, its GDP has increased by a factor of 63, from $177 billion to $11.2 trillion. Chinese society has enjoyed these monumental gains more evenly than it would have without the one-child policy, considering that according to at least one expert, the policy prevented the birth of some 400 million Chinese. The Communist Party of China might not still be the ruling power in Beijing if 400 million young Chinese citizens were added to the current combustible economic environment in which the country finds itself. The World Bank’s international poverty line is $1.90 a day, and as of 2015, only 700,000 Chinese citizens fell below the line. Imagine if 400 million more were added to the equation.

This is not to say China’s aging population poses no challenges. The burden of taking care of the increasing number of elderly Chinese will fall on the younger generations. And yet, those generations will likely never want for a job. Worker shortages will be a problem for the Communist Party, not worker surpluses, and they are a problem the party is far better equipped to handle. Technology, immigration, imports and foreign conquests are all potential solutions to help bridge the gap. The more important point is that China is about to embark on a period of its history in which there will be more than enough jobs to go around. The issue will no longer be employing the poor at unprofitable jobs but making sure that Chinese workers are sufficiently trained and prepared for the jobs that will be needed. Considering the accomplishments that China’s centralized, autocratic governing structure has managed, this is not an impossibility. Dictatorship has many flaws, and in the long run is often brittle, but one of its primary advantages is that policy changes like the ones China needs to make can be decided and implemented rapidly, as the one-child policy demonstrated.

In reality, if China’s future is precarious, it’s not because of its aging population. It is because of the high concentration of wealth on the Chinese coast and the transfer of that wealth from the coast to the interior that must happen if a replay of Chinese history – namely, a revolution by the relatively less well-off – is to be avoided. Considering past Chinese history and the center of gravity of China’s problem, a smaller population may be a net benefit. That Chinese families have not entered a baby boom since the repeal of the one-child policy in 2015, rather than an indictment of China’s virility, may be evidence that the country succeeded in modernizing its economy in 36 years and now has the demographic profile of any modern industrialized economy. At the very least, it is not an accurate predictor of China’s national power over the next 20 years.
Demographics are a crucial part of geopolitics, and yet for all their importance it is notoriously difficult to predict their consequences. Despite this difficulty, it has long been asserted that a country with an aging population and a declining fertility rate is destined for national catastrophe. The claim does not hold up to scrutiny. The age and fertility of a population can still offer significant insights into how a state will behave and evolve, but an aging population does not presage in and of itself an imminent decline in national power. The conventional wisdom was wrong about Germany in 1933, and it was wrong about the U.S. in 1980. This should be considered when thinking about China’s future.

The post The Predictive Power of Demography appeared first on Geopolitical Futures.




Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: Russia takes on its demographic decline
« Reply #93 on: March 27, 2019, 04:43:20 PM »


Russia Takes on Its Demographic Decline
A picture taken on March 30, 2017 shows a woman entering a building of Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) in Moscow.

Highlights

    Russia's demographic decline will be a key concern for Moscow in the coming years as a result of emigration and low birth rates.
    Contradictory data sets and the Kremlin's plans to attract migrants make it difficult to predict the exact extent and speed of Russia's demographic decline, but it will nevertheless impact the Russian economy and Moscow's ability to project power abroad.
    Even if Russia succeeds in attracting significant numbers of migrants to mitigate its population decline, Moscow will face greater difficulties associated with managing domestic ethnic tensions and political instability.

 

From great power competition with the United States to internal unrest, Moscow has plenty of issues to deal with, but another problem looms ominously on the horizon: demographic change. Because of emigration and low birth rates, Russia's population is projected to decline precipitously in the next few decades. This could have significant geopolitical implications, impacting everything from the country's economy to its military power to its ability to project influence around the world — especially in its near abroad. But due to the disparities between population projections, and to Moscow's efforts to mitigate its decline, the true scale of the demographic threat facing Russia is unknown. While a perusal of various data sets suggests that fears of Russia's imminent demographic demise might be exaggerated, the country's planners still have much work to do to arrest the decline.

The Big Picture

Russia's demographic outlook will play a major role in shaping the country both internally and internationally in the coming decades. The looming population decline will challenge Moscow's ability to sustain its economic and military power, just as the changing ethnic balance in Russia will complicate Kremlin efforts to manage social and political instability.
See 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast
See Eurasia section of the 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast
See Russia's Internal Struggle

Disparate Data Sets

The primary sources for Russia's demographic data are the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat), a Russian government agency, and international bodies such as the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In tracking Russia's historical and current population data, there is little discrepancy between the Rosstat and U.N. figures, but there is a far larger gap between Rosstat and the OECD regarding Russian emigration to specific countries like the United States and Germany.

That's because Rosstat only counts Russians who officially cancel their registration in their homeland — something that most emigrants do not do. As a result, the number of Russians emigrating from the country is much higher than the numbers Russia has officially reported, according to a study that the independent media outlet Proekt released in January, citing OECD data. Indeed, certain destination countries, including the United States, have reported Russian immigration figures as many as six times as high as those reported by Rosstat.

Crucially, however, the Proekt report cited OECD migration data published by the destination countries, which doesn't necessarily indicate that incoming Russians actually arrived from Russia. Instead, these "persons holding a Russian nationality arriving from anywhere" could, for example, be Russian citizens who emigrated from France to Germany. This could explain why the OECD figures diverge so much from Rosstat's numbers, as the latter only tallies people leaving Russia. But while the gap between the Russian and international numbers is simply too large to suggest that the difference consists of Russians migrating from third countries to the likes of the United States or Germany, it is likely an exaggeration to claim that the true rate of emigration is six times as high as the Rosstat figures; instead, the reality is somewhere in between.

What Awaits Russia

When it comes to projections for Russia's overall population, the country is currently projected to lose about 8 percent of its population by 2050 according to the United Nations. (Rosstat does not publish such projections.) Naturally, larger emigration numbers would accelerate the population decline. But given the incongruous data sets, it's difficult to project a precise timeline for Russia's downward demographic trend.

Another factor to consider is the Kremlin's efforts to offset its population decline and emigration trends. According to the Russian business daily Kommersant, the Russian government plans to attract 5 million to 10 million migrants from neighboring countries with large Russian-speaking populations, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Moldova, to offset Russia's population decline over the next six years. The government's efforts to attract migrants, as well as it bid to encourage more births, managed to hold the population trend steady in recent years, but 2018 was the first year since 2008 in which Russia's population dropped in absolute terms, falling by 93,500 to 148.8 million people. The country's current plan to attract at least 5 million migrants in just over five years, however, is far more ambitious.

The extent to which the Russian population will decline will have significant implications for Moscow. The continued fall in population will undermine Russia's economic position, particularly as the people most likely to leave are young, educated professionals in sectors like technology and the military. Rosstat, too, has noted the increased brain drain: In 2017, 22 percent of emigrants from Russia possessed advanced degrees, up 5 percent from 2012. The fall will make maintaining tax revenues and sustaining the pension system challenging for Russia, something that prompted the government to raise the retirement age effective this year.

The change will also alter Russia's demographic composition, as migrants from faster-growing countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia are likely to migrate to Russia in greater numbers to make up for the population loss. This, in turn, could foment more ethnic tensions in the country and increase political instability, as evidenced by recent protests against migration in Moscow and Russian Far Eastern cities like Yakutsk. The potential for ethnic tensions notwithstanding, the Russian government has few options but to attract more immigrants to offset its impending population decline.

From a geopolitical perspective, a weakened economy and smaller population will also compromise Russia's ability to project military power and political influence, as the country will lag behind countries that are growing in population and competing for influence in the region, including great power competitors China and the United States and even smaller powers like Turkey and Iran. So while the exact extent of Russia's demographic decline and changing ethnic makeup is difficult to predict, there is little doubt it will give Moscow great cause for concern in the long term.


ccp

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Democrats are achieving their goals
« Reply #95 on: June 21, 2019, 05:54:48 AM »
while cans sat on their asses collecting from Kochs:

https://www.texastribune.org/2019/06/20/texas-hispanic-population-pace-surpass-white-residents/

could not find how many of these new arrivals are illegals or children of illegals.

son texas will go way of california

and the ball game is over for the Republican Party
yeah we may be winning some Latinos over but only a minority ............


DougMacG

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Re: Demographics, the coming population bust
« Reply #97 on: August 19, 2019, 03:35:32 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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