It’s about Demography, Stupid!

It’s about Demography, Stupid!

Here’s a very readable and effective chart that shows that the world is actually in population decline as based on the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of countries.   Note that a 2.1 TFR is required for replacement – statistically,  a man and woman need to have 2.1 children in order to replace themselves.  Anything below that rate a country moves into population decline.

We have commented before on absolute population numbers which show that the world’s population is still growing.  That is because of “population momentum.”  For an explanation of population momentum, go here.

In 2010, 48 percent of countries of the world had below replacement fertility rates,

-by the year 2050,  that number will increase to 78 percent,

-and by the year 2100, it is safely projected that 82 percent of the world will have below replacement fertility. 

Seventy-eight percent by the year 2050!  To understand the significance of these numbers, recognize that a country with a  Total Fertility Rate of  1.4  will lose one-third of its population every generation.  There are 34 countries that are already there.

What happens to a country, its economy, its social protection programs, etc. with that kind of decline?   This should sober us all up – even the most dedicated environmentalist and population control advocates.  As environmentalists like to say, our current way of life will be “simply unsustainable.”

World Population Prospects, the 2010 Revision

Figure 8: Population by Total Fertility (millions)

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2011): World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision. New York
Note: Only countries with a population of 100,000 or more in 2010 are included

(Updated: 15 April 2011)

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