16 September 2011

Europe is not heading for a population collapse

 Mark O’Connor commenting on this article from the Guardian said,

"Rudd and Swann claim Australia needs the world’s highest per capita immigration rate in order to compensate for its aging population.  One of the simplest answer’s to this claim is to note that we have in fact one of the youngest populations in the industrialised world, and that regions like Europe with far more elderly folk have not accepted the high-immigration "solution".  This article in The Guardian by demographer Tomas Sobotka explains why.  It also criticises the pro-natalist claims of our government’s favorite demographer Peter McDonald.  Fred Pearce, referred to in the article, is a serial propounder of the Replacement Rate Fallacy – on which see http://www.australianpoet.com/overloading.html#rrf

Tomas Sobotka writing in the Guardian.co.uk on Friday February 5th 2010 commenced;

Fred Pearce vividly portrays population collapse in the town of Hoyers­werda in eastern Germany and links it with a likely future for Europe: "Europe’s population is, right now, peaking, after more than six centuries of continuous growth. With each generation reproducing only half its number, this looks like the start of a continent-wide collapse in numbers. Some predict wipeout by 2100" (Lonely planet, G2, 1 February).

As a demographer specialising in fertility and population trends in Europe I find it unsettling that so much attention is paid to overblown claims of the continent’s population demise. Yes, Europe as a whole is projected to experience a gradual decline of its population, from 732 million now to 691 million in 2050 according to the United Nations. But, although further decline after 2050 will most probably follow, this gets nowhere close to a collapse. …..

To read the article in full see www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/05/europe-not-heading-for-population-collapse


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