Population Decline Hysteria & More Ponzi Demography — Global Issues

Source: United Nations.
  • Opinion by Joseph Chamie (portland, america)
  • Associated Press Service

Proponents of population growth, including many policymakers, traditional economists, business leaders, conservative writers and media commentators, are fueling demographic hysteria. . gloom and doom after the Chinese government’s declaration of the world’s largest population decline.

China’s population decline is reported as 850,000 won, which is the difference between 9.56 million births in 2022 versus 10.41 million deaths. With China’s population at 1.4126 billion, a reported decrease of 850,000 amounted to 0.06 percent.

Much of the media has described China’s population decline with various hysterical phrases, including “demographic time bomb”,population disappears” and “demographic collapse” (Diagram 1).

The hysteria of population decline has in turn facilitated Ponzi demographicsThis requires maintaining strong population growth. Ponzi demographics are basically a pyramid scheme that generates more money, power and influence for some people by adding more and more people through natural increase and in some cases by immigration.

Its basic strategy is relatively simple: privatize benefits and profits and socialize the burdens and costs arising from population growth. However, the Ponzi demographic is clearly unsustainable. Population cannot continue to grow indefinitely without severe social, economic, environmental and climate consequences.

However, the unsustainability of Ponzi demographics is unlikely to be of concern to those calling for strong, sustained population growth with no end in sight. The unsustainability and serious consequences of long-term population growth are often ignored, dismissed or trivialized.

Instead of getting caught up in the Ponzi population and demographic decline hysteria, it is prudent, instructive, and should review China’s past population growth, considering the possibility of future growth. and consider some of the major challenges posed by those projected demographic changes.

China’s population 1.4126 billion VND people in 2022, accounting for 18% of the total population in the world, has increased rapidly in recent times. In 1950, China’s population was a little over half a billion. China’s one billion population milestone was reached in 1981. By the end of the 20th century, China’s population had grown to approximately 1.3 billion (Figure 1).

China’s future population in the coming decades will largely depend on how its birth rate evolves. If the fertility rate of 1.18 births per woman remains unchanged at current levels, China’s population by mid-century is projected to fall to 1.28 billion, a decrease of about 10%.

The United Nations’ commonly cited mean population projection assumes that China’s fertility rate will increase slightly over the next few decades, reaching 1.39 births per woman by 2050. If that happens. In addition, China’s population in 2050 is projected to decline again, reaching 1.31 billion.

According to the United Nations High Variance Population Projection, China’s fertility rate is more than half that of the medium variant, i.e. 1.89 births per woman by 2050. High Variance Project resulting in China’s population in 2050 essentially unchanged at its current size of 1.41 billion.

In addition, fertility in the UN low-variant population projections is less than half the number of children compared to the median variant, i.e. 0.89 births per woman in 2050. Expected population ​China’s 2050 in low-variable forecast is 1.22 billion people, a 15% decrease from its current population.

China is not alone in its low birth rate. About 100 countries around the world have fertility rates below the replacement level of 2.1 births per woman.

Furthermore, the fertility rate of about 30 countries by 2022 is less than 1.5 births per woman. Some of these countries have fertility rates about half or less of replacement fertility, including China, Italy and south Koreaand is therefore facing population decline (Figure 2).

The current low birth rate, including in China, is expected to increase slightly in the coming decades. However, despite the government’s wishes, policies and programs to raise fertility, expectations of a return to replacement fertility in the near future can be simply described as fantasies about future fertility. As a result, the current populations of about 50 countries, including China, are projected to decline by mid-century.

Besides population decline, China, like many other low fertility countries, is experiencing demographic aging. The average age of China’s population is expected to continue to increase in the 21st century. China’s average age increased from 18 years old in 1970 to nearly 39 years old today. By 2070, the average age of the Chinese population is expected to be 55 years old, three times the average age of the population in 1970.

Besides the expected population decline, demographic aging is a major challenge for China. The consequences of the demographic reality of an aging population structure with a reduced number of young workers supporting an increasing number of elderly people are inevitable.

Therefore, careful review, comprehensive assessment, and major adjustments are needed, some of which may not be as popular with the public as increasing officials. Retired Agewill be needed.

Outside of China, too much water with fertility below replacement level will face population decline and an aging population structure in the coming decades. On the contrary, many other countriesparticularly in Africa, where fertility rates above 4 births per woman are projected to experience rapid population growth and a relatively young population structure over the course of the century.

The end result of the significant differences between countries in terms of future population growth rates is that the world’s current population of 8 billion is projected to continue to grow. Over the next 40 years, the world’s population is expected to grow by another 2 billion, reaching 10 billion around 2058.

So, in summary, it’s time to stop fueling the population decline hysteria with its doom and gloom and push the Ponzi demographic of strong, unsustainable population growth. It’s time to recognize, understand, and analyze today’s demographics and their likely trends in the decades to come. And importantly, it is time for countries to prepare for the formidable challenges of their respective projected demographic realities in the 21st century.

Joseph Chamie is a consulting demographer, former director of the United Nations Population Division and the author of numerous publications on population issues, including his recent book, “Population levels, trends and differences”.

© Inter Press Service (2023) — All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service


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