The De-Population Bomb

News Analysis by Kip Hansen – 25 May 2021

The headlines are stark and worrisome and the rhetoric even more so:

“Long Slide Looms for World Population, With Sweeping Ramifications“

“Fewer babies’ cries. More abandoned homes. Toward the middle of this century, as deaths start to exceed births, changes will come that are hard to fathom.”  “All over the world, countries are confronting population stagnation and a fertility bust, a dizzying reversal unmatched in recorded history that will make first-birthday parties a rarer sight than funerals, and empty homes a common eyesore.

Maternity wards are already shutting down in Italy. Ghost cities are appearing in northeastern China. Universities in South Korea can’t find enough students, and in Germany, hundreds of thousands of properties have been razed, with the land turned into parks.”

So begins a recent article in the New York Times written by Damien Cave, Emma Bubola and Choe Sang-Hun. 

The article goes on to state “Demographers now predict that by the latter half of the century or possibly earlier, the global population will enter a sustained decline for the first time.”

Wow!  It’s only been fifty years since:

The Population Bomb … a best-selling book written by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich (who was uncredited), in 1968. It predicted worldwide famine in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth. Fears of a “population explosion” existed in the 1950s and 1960s, but the book and its author brought the idea to an even wider audience.”

Most of us lived through the 1970s and the 1980s and there was no worldwide famine.  Instead, the world prospered and the West and most of Asia grew rich and human life expectancy continued to rise:

The longest record is from the UK, the world trace (brown) has been highlighted.  It is this trend that has the demographers worried.  People are living longer everywhere. 

And people worldwide are having fewer children:

In the map below,  in many places — all the countries that are shown as light yellow — are below what is known as the “replacement rate” of 2.1 children per family.  Yet, there are still parts of the world with rapid population growth:

Those countries colored the first shade of orange (2-2.5) have very slightly more births than deaths, which would include most of Latin America and southern Asia (including India, Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar, and much of Southeast Asia).  The Middle East is a hot spot for population growth and almost all of Africa still has high to very high birth rates. 

Here is the chart once more, with those countries with VERY LOW birth rates re-colored blue:

That one country with very low birth rates in SE Asia is Thailand.

So what’s the big deal?  We’ve had censuses in both the United States and China – both “world powers”.  Here’s China:

While China’s population is still growing – having reached nearly 1.5 Billion – the growth rate has been dropping and is now less than 0.5% per year.  At the same time, its population is aging.  “A decline in the birth rate and an increase in life expectancy means there will soon be too few workers able to support an enormous and aging population, the academy [Chinese Academy of Social Sciences]  warned.” [ source ]

And in the United States:

The press declared:

U.S. Population Over Last Decade Grew at Slowest Rate Since 1930s

With immigration leveling off and a declining birthrate, the United States may be entering an era of substantially lower population growth, demographers said. . . . . a remarkable slackening that was driven by a slowdown in immigration and a declining birthrate.”

Why are demographers worried?  It is because they are making the same mistake that Paul and Anne Ehrlich made in the 1968:

“The change may take decades, but once it starts, decline (just like growth) spirals exponentially. With fewer births, fewer girls grow up to have children, and if they have smaller families than their parents did — which is happening in dozens of countries — the drop starts to look like a rock thrown off a cliff.”  [ source – repeating the NY Times link ]

Funnily enough, the link in the article shows no such exponential spiral:

[ for larger image in a new window click here ]

The different colors refer to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – and how population projections will change as these goals are met – or not.  Regardless of the SDGs, there was no spiral of exponential growth and no spiral decline, just a steady increase or decrease.  The thicker blue trace is the expected population path if we continue as we are going now – “business as usual” — with improvements in female education and contraception needs being met – again, with no exponential decreaseno death spiral of decline.

The NY Times journalists exhibit a decided lack of mathematical understanding when they use the term “decline … spirals exponentially”.

Exponential growth (or decline – flip vertically) looks like the green trace below:

 The repeated mis-use of the fear-inducing “exponential” – which has been attached to every possible future disaster scenario — has led to a very loose popular definition which just seems to mean “big” — both with increases and decreases. 

Yet, in the United States, there is this: The Federal government will pay people to have babies – sort of. 

Looking back at the NY Times article, the authors state:

“The strain of longer lives and low fertility, leading to fewer workers and more retirees, threatens to upend how societies are organized — around the notion that a surplus of young people will drive economies and help pay for the old. It may also require a reconceptualization of family and nation. Imagine entire regions where everyone is 70 or older. Imagine governments laying out huge bonuses for immigrants and mothers with lots of children. Imagine a gig economy filled with grandparents and Super Bowl ads promoting procreation.”

Why a decline in population might require a “reconceptualization of family” escapes me — and I am used to these kinds of crazy rhetorical whims of fancy — and I can not even imagine what he authors might mean by that.

Let me point out that the use of the term “fertility” in all of this does not refer to the ability of any one man to impregnate any one woman – or the ability of any one woman to bear a child.    That’s how we use the word “fertility” in everyday English – when we use the term  “Fertility Clinic” – a medical establishment which helps men and women who are having trouble conceiving a child to do so.  In demographics, fertility means the number of children actually being born to each woman of child-bearing age (statistically).  It has nothing whatever to do with the women’s individual ability to conceive children.  Fertility thus can be altered by the increasing the availability of contraceptives in a society in which women would prefer to have fewer children or increasing access to abortion.  Fertility has been shown over time to be related to Standard of Living – as a nation’s Standard of Living improves, birth rate (fertility) falls.

The well-developed nations of the world have less-than-replacement-level birth rates.  The still-developing nations have high birth-rates.  Hidden (or, maybe not-so-hidden) in this story of concern is the specter of racism – not just white-black-brown racism, but anti-immigrant racism both in the East and in the West.  As the home-grown population ages and declines in the US, Europe, Korea and Japan, the need for young workers to take the entry-level jobs needed to keep society running often requires that “foreign workers” be imported – and those workers are not “us” but rather “them”. 

In the United States, for example, thousands upon thousands of immigrant laborers —  both those arriving through approved, legal, channels and those illegally entering the country across porous borders — cook, clean, do yard care and landscaping, build houses, butcher chickens and pigs in slaughter-houses and harvest America’s crops – in every part of the country.  Managers in almost all industries now need to speak Spanish if they are in positions which supervise laborers.  I have shopped in a WalMart in which I had trouble finding a floor  employee that spoke English.  Over time, if our society resolves its identity-politics stance, these Spanish-language speakers will become just “my next-door neighbors, the Sanchez’s”.  (I grew up in such a neighborhood in 1950’s Los Angeles – and could swear in Spanish before I could do so in English.)

It is odd to hear misanthropic progressive voices now begin to complain about low birth-rates after decades of denigrating the nuclear family and pushing contraception and abortion to fight “runaway population growth”.  

Bottom Line:

There are reasonable concerns about populations falling below the replacement rate, just as there were (and still are) reasonable concerns about populations with unsustainable population growth in nations without the resources to support such large populations. . 

Neither population growth nor decline, however, is a looming disaster.

# # # # #

Author’s Comment:

My wife and I have four children, all long grown-up and out on their own.  We consider children both as an integral part of our 50-year relationship and a blessing – to us and the world.  We have two grandchildren so far and are ever so grateful for them – and hope for more. 

Societies instituting anti-family policies are mis-guided in so many ways and will reap the eventual consequences. 

What the world does not need is another hopped up scare – though maybe the de-population meme will encourage couples to bring children into the world. 

Address comments to “Kip. . .” if speaking to me.

Thanks for reading.

# # # # #

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Nick Schroeder
May 25, 2021 6:11 am

All 7.6 E9 people on earth today could stack easily, if somewhat uncomfortably, within half of the Grand Canyon. (Do the math.)
That’s NOT ttooo mmmannny people!!!
And that 7.6 E9 was not reached from too many bornings but too few dyings.

So, what’s the real issue?

I figure it’s a cabal of first world liberal, progressives who figure they got theirs and don’t care to share with the rising third world losers (black) who don’t add value and the violence, poverty, disease and famines of energy poverty is as effective as a bullet in the head and mass graves without leaving progressive fingerprints.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 25, 2021 6:33 am

Another more potent virus from Wuhan and the overpopulation problem sorted.

Reply to  Vuk
May 25, 2021 7:25 am

The US saw a decline in the number of pregnancies during the pandemic.

Rhys Jaggar
Reply to  Vuk
May 25, 2021 7:36 am

Do stop trying to imply that funding for Wuhan research didn’t come from US sources too. It really makes me sick the way Americans lie about it all the time.

Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
May 25, 2021 8:52 am

Paranoid much, or is it that your brain is just consumed by hatred.
Where did Vuk imply that none of the funding came from the US sources?
BTW, you are aware that the level of funding was small compared to the overall budget?
Why do you feel the need to imply that the US’s role was bigger than it actually was?

Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
May 25, 2021 9:02 am

If it wasn’t for COVID, the extremely strong economy would given Trump a landslide win and a majority in both sides of Congress. Trump was a huge threat to both Communist China and the US bureaucracy (the “swamp”). COVID served the purposes of both the country where the research was conducted and and the US interests that funded it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ralph Dave Westfall
Gerry, England
Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
May 25, 2021 9:57 am

Unlikely – the Democrats would have just had to work harder to steal the election than they did.

Reply to  Gerry, England
May 25, 2021 10:16 am

What exactly is “unlikely?” And why?

Mike O
Reply to  Gerry, England
May 26, 2021 12:17 pm

The election wasn’t stolen. It was almost stolen by the capital riots, but fortunately congress was able to do its duty. Us conservatives will try again. Hopefully with someone a little more honest.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
May 25, 2021 11:45 pm

He did have a landslide win.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 8:20 am

Social Security has indexed outlays.
Medicare/Medicaid/Obamacares have floating outlays proportional to prices, specifically progressive prices. The social meme “fat is beautiful” is a past, present, and progressive comorbidity doesn’t help.

Reply to  n.n
May 25, 2021 8:28 pm

He’s talking about there not being enough money coming in from the people working and paying for social security (or Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security here in Canada) to pay out to the ever increasing amount of retirees. The programs used to be run like a Ponzi scheme until demographics chimed in and now the pension board is actually investing the money. Hopefully the money lasts and economy survives liberal idiocy.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 9:11 am

There is a complex relationship between social class and fertility. Birth rates for both were high before the industrial revolution. At that time birth rates of the upper class were higher than working class eg, Queen Victoria’s 9. The current situation evolved in the late 19th C.

This video is using uncommon surnames to trace social class mobility. It might be in one of his earlier talks that he goes into family size.

Peter Buchan
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 11:42 pm

Kip: “Over time, if our society resolves its identity-politics stance”.

Kip, while most of your perspectives and observations here are pretty cogent, the idea that the demographic vacuum created by low fertility rates will (or could) be solved by drawing in persons from other cultures, races and nationalities will, I fear, be dashed on the rock of human nature. In fact, the concept that multiculturalism and multi-ethic societies are stable models for a nations state is still in the “experimental” phase, and it seems to me that this experiment is not going too well, anywhere.

One could reasonably argue that the concept of the Nation State itself should be re-examined – and this is happening in many spheres as I type these words – but if history teaches anything it is that the hierarchies needed to organise human affairs are only stable over time under high levels of cultural, social and political trust. To reject this notion as anachronistic, one must also “stand ready to view almost all of human history as a mistake”.

Demographic changes are now inevitable but it seems to me that, if one of the core objectives remains how to prevent serious conflagrations and suffering in the nuclear age, it is reckless to oversimplify the conditions under which future prosperity and peace are to be achieved. It seems far more likely that automation, robotics and AI can and should be put to use to maintain living standards as populations shrink rather than seeking to maintain tired, disproven economic models that place the blunt pursuit of “GDP growth at any cost” at the center of the discussion. In fact, perhaps that’s also all A.I. and automation will ultimately prove truly useful for.


Peter Buchan

Peter buchan
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 27, 2021 1:18 am

Kip – You are of course correct that, at least up until recently, the history of the US has shown a pattern of accepting immigrants from all corners – and rather peacefully and productively so. But it strikes me as inductive to extrapolate outward from this particular example. For many reasons, but here’s just one: people tend to get along when they consider themselves safe – physically, culturally, existentially, politically, strategically (consider the Pax Romana) – but history teaches that cohesion is always and everywhere contingent on at least the perception that those conditions can be maintained ad infinitum.

This is no longer the case. Less discussed is that US “peace and prosperity” was, at least in the last century, largely based on a) US dollar and geo-strategic hegemony and b) the greatest private and governmental debt-expansion in human history. In other words, lifestyle and status had very significant “artificial and imported” components. But the money is running out – fast – and the world is going (no, has gone) multipolar. Predictions that US society will fracture when that happens are proving true – at least so far.

The proposition that “all peoples will assimilate across the world because some did so in the US over 200 (extraordinary) years” seems rather ahistorical to me, if not unscientific. Unless of course some new emergent phenomenon has taken place in the human psyche that has escaped detection or description.

I fear we are in a cul de sac with overly idealistic and ideologically driven theories on capacity for unbounded cultural and ethnic assimilation. An opinion I must say I feel somewhat uncomfortable holding, let alone sharing these days, but at the end of the day I prefer making my decisions in a framework that represents the teachings of history.

Best and thanks for all the input on WUWT. Like and respect your work.


Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 26, 2021 1:04 pm

It would be interesting to see a metric that rather than births, showed “reached reproductive age”. Not sure which African country it is that looks like 9 kids per family, but how many of those 9 kids survives to maturity?

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 25, 2021 7:41 am

Back in the Ehrlich period when exponential was still understood correctly, someone calculated what human birth rate resultant the earth could hold space-wise. Probably could still be found, recall that it was huge, but of course naive.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 8:26 am

Yes, planned population schemes are Green in the short-term, but ultimately green. Normalizing dysfunctional orientations and voluntary “choice” was a stroke of genuine genius. Keep women appointed, available, and taxable. We have now entered The Twilight Fringe.

Jeff in Mesa
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 3:57 pm

Hasn’t Ehrlich been incorrect on pretty much everything he predicted?

Reply to  H. D. Hoese
May 25, 2021 8:05 am

I just reread population bomb last month. He extrapolated the then-decreasing population doubling rate to fill all of earth body-to-body in not many decades.

He simultaneously predicted:
1) exponential (really exponential) population growth
2) zero technological advance
3) zero political change

Reply to  KevinM
May 25, 2021 9:43 am

Did you catch the racism, and the logic flaw, right at the very beginning?
It begins with a visit to a crowded city in India. Ehrlich implies that this crowded, poorly living mass of humanity is where we all are headed.

At least Margaret Sanger built her myth on white women being pressured to have too many babies. Ehrlich scared his white audience with the spectre of brown babies overpopulating the world.

Also, India is vast, and an astounding amount is sparsely populated. He gave the impression that India was literally overflowing with people.

I attended a pro baseball game. We also were jammed together, hungry, and teeming all over the place.


The parking lot right by the stadium was nearly deserted. Only a few attendants in the same acreage.

What gives?

The ballpark was the desirable place to be.

Mumbai was and is crowded partly because it is the desirable place to be, even if poor.

You could walk, or hop a train, and get out to the rural areas. But your job prospects, and prospects of charity, and of having other resources nearby, are far better in the crowded city.

This is why we live in cities.

i have visited family, and friends in New York City. All lived in what I would say were SMALL places. Especially given the rent!

None of them live there anymore. They were there by choice, and have moved away by choice.

Aide from prison or a concentration camp, none of us id forced to be crowded into a city. We can be just as poor out in the countryside.

Can we be just as rich? That is a much greater challenge.

This is the logical flaw Ehrlich makes in his opening anecdote about “Population Bomb.”

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
May 25, 2021 12:21 pm

You call it a logical flaw. That would imply Ehrlich uses logic. His recent comments clearly show he has no capacity or desire to use logic.

Logic does not play into any of the “thinking” of liberals, if it did, they would be conservatives.

“If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain”
I do not completely agree with that adage. I think it came from the voices of “haves” those that were well to do. I started working at 15 and became a conservative far earlier than 35, I THINK due to coming from a lower middle class family where losing a shoe in the river one spring made for problems the rest of the summer one year. I wore out a pair for flip/flops and went bare foot a lot that summer!

One year, when my parents bought a new house and we moved, the TV broke. We didn’t get a new one for more than 6 months. That was a really good thing for me personally. I spent that time reading and playing chess, etc. and developed the ability to think logically. It was at the “right” time for me, 5th grade, 10-11 years old, I went from a B-C student to A student. Amazing what a little thing like not watching the boob tube for 6 months could do.

Some would have called us poor but we had a house with AC and food. We just didn’t waste things and were expected to take care of what we had. When you think of what those on welfare have today, they have much more than we had. They must, look at the clothes, shoes, tattoos, piercings with jewelry hanging from them, cell phones, cars, TVs, smoking, vaping, drinking, drugs, etc.

I never smoked, even though my father did, because I, from the time I started working, always “costed” anything I bought by the number of hours I had to work to pay for it, after taxes. The first real job I had at a sheet metal shop, we would all go out to eat lunch on Fridays and realized lunch cost me 2 1/2 hours of work. I continued to go for social reasons, but in general I took my lunch for the rest of my working life, at least 4 of 5 days a week. That is one of the reasons we are “well off” today. Now that I am retired I still can’t seem to shake the pattern, even though investments and rental property bring in more than my pensions and social security, and I make more retired than I did while working.

I think many people that post here have much the same type of story, conservative before they were out of college, always thought what spending would cost them in the long run, etc. You know, reasonable logical people. Of course the usual disclaimer: Loydo, griff, Simon and others excepted.

Mark D
Reply to  Drake
May 27, 2021 7:15 am

I think I would change that to

If You Are Not a Liberal as a child, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative as an adult You Have No Brain.

It seems to me the world is experiencing one giant temper tantrum.

Richard Page
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
May 25, 2021 12:37 pm

Ehrlich merely repeated the mistakes Malthus made. Malthus lived in a city at a time when there was a movement from rural populations to urban populations for work. Malthus saw overpopulation because no-one had compensated for this movement – he failed to consider the implications for the rural areas and made too many wrong assumptions about the balance between food producing areas and residential/industrial areas. Ehrlich and others should have done some further work and corrected these mistakes but ‘bad news sells’ – he put wealth and career above all else. It’s all based on biased perceptions and false assumptions.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
May 26, 2021 3:20 am

Did you catch the racism, and the logic flaw, right at the very beginning?

It begins with a visit to a crowded city in India. Ehrlich implies that this crowded, poorly living mass of humanity is where we all are headed.

Well unless you include racism, we will of course all follow they Indian example: Why should we be any different?

mike macray
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 25, 2021 8:08 am

Bit blunt and brutal Nick, but basically true.

Jeff Labute
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 25, 2021 9:10 am

I had the same thought. If the average person on earth were 50Kg and roughly equivalent to the density of water… then put everyone in a blender, we would will a fish tank 724m cubed. lol. Barely a drop in the bucket. I think there would be lots of room in the grand canyon to fit everyone comfortably which is probably a better idea than mine 😉

**please do not try this at home or write a book about it**

Personally, I think we need to find a way to generate more CO2 come the day when it begins to decline and we see a massive de-greening of the biosphere. Although it is likely our geo-engineering efforts will be in vain. Every other way to make CO2 is more difficult than burning fuels.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeffy
Richard Page
Reply to  Jeff Labute
May 25, 2021 9:30 am

I’m thinking one of these marine life park’s such as sea world might work as a series of tanks that size. Finding a blender big enough is the only real problem I can see. sarc (no, really!)

Reply to  Jeff Labute
May 25, 2021 8:37 pm

Knowing that plants would starve at around 150ppm and thrive at 1500ppm, you can guess how I feel about burning fossil fuels (in efficient modern plants with scrubbers on, of course!)

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jeff Labute
May 25, 2021 11:57 pm

I have had several very slim girlfriends, and I do not think any of them were as light as 50kg.
That is 110 lbs.
A girl would have to be skinny and short and no muscles to be that light.
A man would be a skeleton with some skin hanging off.

Jeff Labute
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 26, 2021 7:25 am

You’re right. I thought 50Kg was a fair round-about guess. I looked this up and someone else says:
“The average body mass, globally, was 136 pounds (62 kilograms.) In North America, which has the highest average body mass of any continent, the number was 178 pounds (80.7 kg).”

This would put us at 778m cubed. Still fitting comfortably in the Grand Canyon or not so comfortably in a big fish tank.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 28, 2021 11:22 am

My own wife was 98 lb when I met her. I have always liked petite women. But remember guys, no matter what she weighs, 1) it will change, and 2) it is NEVER a good idea to mention it!

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 25, 2021 9:54 am

Running the math, everyone on the Earth could comfortably fit within Texas, at a density of the Greater NYC area (NOT Manhattan – the larger area including Long Island).

The rest of the US’ developed agricultural land would easily grow 3000+ calories per day, per person.

Using 1/3rd of the volumetric flow of the Columbia River (between WA and OR) would give everyone 100 liters of water a day.

We would need zero of the rest of the world – No Canada, Mexico, Africa, Asia, Europe, etc. Nothing on the oceans.

We’re really no over-populated, not by a long-shot. We’ve got issues with distribution of people and resources, but those are political – not scientific or engineering – constraints. And usually benefit those in power…

Rather than worry about overpopulation, we should worry about tyrants who treat their people as fodder, as simple resources to be consumed for their own gains.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
May 25, 2021 11:10 am

I think it has been at least 50 years since I was last in Manhattan — and I hated it then! It is a dirty city, everyone seemed to be on the take. I was in military uniform and two guys attempted to relieve me of my duffel bag in broad daylight. It seems to me that cities of that density bring out the worst in people.

There are reasons that some people prefer rural living rather than crammed into high-density public housing. A world of what is possible is rarely what is desirable. A world of what is possible is a world of desperation.

While technology has provided us with gadgets, such as the computer I’m typing on, having lived during a period of time when the US population has more than doubled, I have experienced reduced personal freedoms with respect to where I can freely travel and what I can do. It is a tradeoff I’m not happy with.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 26, 2021 1:18 pm

Too bad Giuliani’s efforts to clean up NYC are being flushed down the drain.

Mark D
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 27, 2021 7:20 am

John Calhoun’s experiment explains that phenomena.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 25, 2021 10:06 am

I feel I must unpack that mixture of left- and right-wing positions somewhat.

In my view the #1 moral imperative is to preserve advanced civilization, while expanding it to (“developing”) as much of the world as are willing to accept it.

Economics tells us that when a country or an ethnic group gets richer, they spend more money and effort to raise the socioeconomic status of each of their kids. Thus they have fewer of them. This is happening now in most of the world, except places dominated by ideologies that oppose comfortable lives for ordinary people (Africa and south Asia).

These trends in themselves are good things, but they lead to two potential problems. One is that falling populations mean less economic growth and less tech progress (if you need this explained, read the works of Julian Simon). The second is that falling populations make rich countries vulnerable to overthrow by barbarian hordes (either from foreign countries or domestic bad-guy groups such as Antifa). A third, indirect result is that countries that have Social Security (a pyramid scheme to pay for pensions) are likely to have it go broke when the working-age population falls.

Both left- and right-wing political thinkers tend to fail to notice at least one of these threats, because they don’t think in economic systems.

My conclusion, though, is that our crisis now is in education more than in birth rate. We need a lot more people in our countries who understand the stakes they have in preserving civilization, and so will fight to do so for selfish reasons. That means, I think, subsidizing working Americans to adopt children if they won’t have them (instead of subsidizing only useless eaters to breed, as we do now). And we need to be willing to exile those with the opposite attitude, and keep them away.

Last edited 1 year ago by jdgalt1
zack aa
Reply to  jdgalt1
May 25, 2021 2:11 pm


Precisely so. Though the article, like a supreme court case seems focused on one specific thing “exponential,” v. the general discussion about an inevitable decline for at least some decades in some geographies. America still attracts immigrants, Japan, China, Western Europe? Maybe not so much.

I wonder though about that first presumption, a moral imperative. Since “correct” morality is such a fluid construct across time and place, why worry about the future of a race once one has met up with (their own version) of their maker?

For me, it’s a more practical question for today’s people, do we build more highways, more dams, more houses we want but already refuse to pay the actual costs of, leaving more massive debt onto a declining population base that will need less of it all and will be stuck repairing it. It seems a far more likely future difficulty than the horrors of GW.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 25, 2021 10:51 am

More than “somewhat uncomfortably!” An infrastructure is required to supply people with the food and water they need, and dispose of their waste products; factories are needed to supply them with the material goods they need to survive, and recreational space is necessary for them to retain their sanity. That is, the world as we know it! (One might argue that the population density of very large cities contribute to the high rates of homicide, suicide, drug use, and mental health issues.)

Such comparisons have been made by others and they all overlook that fact that people need more than just the physical volume that their bodies occupy.

Sal Minella
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 25, 2021 2:20 pm

An apartment complex made up of two story structures with 1000 square feet per story with walking and driving spaces between squares of structures, located in a space 500 miles by 500 miles would contain Earth’s entire population. With ONE person per 1000 square feet or single floor.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Sal Minella
May 26, 2021 1:19 am

Ooh, I cannot wait to live there.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 28, 2021 11:28 am

Right. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Krishna Gans
May 25, 2021 6:25 am

“Thanks” to lockdowns, I see a lot of babies when looking around.
On the other hand we have COV-19 and the respective vaccs. Lets look, what the balance will show in a few years…..

Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 25, 2021 7:26 am

When people are worried about their jobs, they stop having kids.

Reply to  MarkW
May 25, 2021 8:55 am

Unless the don’t have jobs, or maybe don’t have husbands. Lots of money to be had for the odd unmarried female, if she knows the system.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  MarkW
May 25, 2021 11:25 am

They also stop when they are concerned about having to go into a hospital to have children where they face exposure to the sick during the pandemic, and isolation due to “lockdowns” and the like doesn’t lead to much breeding among those not already in a stable relationship (“singles”).

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
May 26, 2021 8:31 am

well, they stop trying to have kids. However, those without a job to occupy a third of their day tend to find other activities to fill all that “free time”, which includes the activities that lead to pregnancy.

I’d say the bigger hurdle that the pandemic put in the way of people’s procreative activities wasn’t the loss of jobs but rather it was the loss of social contact. It’s kind of hard to make babies when you are afraid to leave your house and meet with the people with whom you’d otherwise engage in the intimate activities required to create babies.

Ron Long
May 25, 2021 6:31 am

Although it is politically incorrect to do so, if you compare IQ by Nation (, you see almost an exact duplication of the figure “Children born per woman, 2019”. As a scientist I am curious what that means, maybe it is a statistical curiosity? Maybe it is a another view into population dynamics?

MM from Canada
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 8:02 am

“For instance, I test very high [on an IQ test], but have not been a huge success.”

I guess it depends on how you define “success.”

You have 4 children, and 2 grandchildren so far. Presumably, you raised your children to be reasonable, functional, and contributing members of society, and presumably they are. I’d call that success.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mary Jones
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 11:22 am

Kip, you said,

I test very high, but have not been a huge success

Your unstated assumption is that there should be a relationship between ‘success’ and IQ. It has been my experience that luck plays a large role in ‘success’ — being in the right place at the right time or offering a product or service at the right time in history. I also feel that a not too overt tendency towards fraud or larceny provides an advantage in business. And then what does success mean? Bill Gates is younger than me. However, he looks older. Does his money compensate him for that? It doesn’t matter because his money doesn’t buy him the ability to age gracefully.

There is an old joke aimed at Mensans:
Q: If you are so smart, how come you aren’t rich?
A: Because I’m smart enough to know that there are things in life more important than money.

Reply to  Ron Long
May 25, 2021 7:18 am

Venn diagrams are much more useful than “averages” when comparing normally-distributed characteristics of populations. The amount of overlap in physical and mental characteristics by country (and race) is quite enlightening.

Reply to  Ron Long
May 25, 2021 7:33 am

In my years of observing people, I have come to the conclusion that drive is more important than intelligence when it comes to determining who is the most successful.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 8:55 am

There will always be those who’s first priority is not advancing their careers.
Some of these people end up making the world a better place for their having been in it.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
May 25, 2021 11:24 am

Jonas Salk

Reply to  MarkW
May 26, 2021 3:27 am

Indeed. I have a friend, who has a degree in I think engineering, who made a career out of software till IBM laid him off and he found himself unemployable. Yes he lives a comfortable middle class existence…but his brother who left school without any qualifications. started playing golf, and worked in a car showroom as a salesman. Pretty soon he was running a business hiring out prestige cars to snobs, is on his 3rd trophy wife and is a multi millionaire.

You just have to want ‘success’ enough

IQ measures one specific thing. The ability to do abstract inductive reasoning – to find and recognise patterns. It is a rare and useful skill, but its not the only one one can have…

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 28, 2021 11:42 am

In fact, that almost exactly fits the description of dyslexics. And oftentimes they can’t even read, but if they can’t fix a mechanical device, it can’t be fixed period!

Reply to  Ron Long
May 25, 2021 8:33 am

In America, IQ is well correlated with success. There is also an IQ (I think it’s 80) below which the army won’t accept a recruit because that person won’t be able to do anything useful. Remember McNamara’s morons?

So, it’s interesting that there are countries in Africa where the average IQ is 59. The thing is they are functional countries. Pictures of those places aren’t full of drooling knuckle draggers. People work and earn livings. (Americans with an IQ of less than 59 are unemployable because it takes so long to train them to do anything and if the job changes even slightly they have to be retrained.)

It’s pretty obvious that there are societies where IQ tests are not a valid measure of mental ability.

Reply to  commieBob
May 25, 2021 10:27 am

Not sure how you define success but the link between income and iq is not that strong’, e. g., ( Just look at Bill Gates. And just to head off snarky remarks, I am neither low iq and rich nor high iq and poor.

Reply to  BCBill
May 25, 2021 12:26 pm

I think “work ETHIC” is more important than pure intelligence. But if you combine both, you get more success when measured in $ per hour of effort.

Reply to  Drake
May 26, 2021 7:59 am

You Yanks measure everything in terms of money.
IQ is a facility for understanding and solving abstract problems. Making money is only one such abstract problem. As a child I was told I had a massively high IQ but it was only when I applied myself to the boring problem of making money, that I did. Make money.

And it was extremely boring and hard work I can assure you

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 28, 2021 11:44 am

What do you mean, not a success? For most of your life you have been able to do pretty much what you want, sounds like a rip-roaring success to me!

Reply to  Ron Long
May 25, 2021 9:16 am

If you consider just the effects of iron deficiency aenemia in childhood on later IQ, you can explain a great deal of the relationship between health and IQ. Add to this various paracites and inadequate nutrition, the lower IQ’s in Africa are at least partly explained.

Ron Long
Reply to  Fran
May 25, 2021 11:19 am

Modern IQ tests are either EEG in-phase Alpha Waves, based on watching a spotlight on a wall, or functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which shows how coordinated brain activity and communication is, and they correlate perfectly with historic test methods. I was in Basic Training in the Army in January, 1968, with McNamara’s Ten Thousand (see McNamara’s Morons, above), and I am certain that the low IQ (measured by standard military GT tests, which results are accepted by MENSA) conscripts are not able to deal with modern technology-based cultures.

Reply to  Ron Long
May 25, 2021 1:11 pm

Interesting. I had not heard anything about these Modern IQ tests. I looked them up and could find nothing about them. Where did you hear about these and could you post a link? Thanks

Ron Long
Reply to  StevenF
May 25, 2021 5:53 pm

StevenF, I found 2,210,000 results in 0.59 seconds. Here are a few:

  1. Asymmetry Pattern of Resting EEG for Different IQ Levels, A.H. Jahidin, 2013,
  2. 2. Hybrid EEG-fNIRS method – A new way to test IQ, Brian Latam, 2020, and
  3. 3. An empirical study on the relations between EEG alpha-beta entropy & EQ – IQ test scores, Sarah Vakili, et al, 2012.
  4. These results are for EEG IQ measures, the functional MRI is the same general theme and easy to find. Cheers, Ron
May 25, 2021 6:37 am

Societies instituting anti-family policies are mis-guided in so many ways and will reap the eventual consequences. 

Every trendy philosophy of the day includes a directive to undue family and relationships, and to break down society to individuals. Gramsci, when trying to figure out why Marxism was dead in its tracks, proposed among other things that the family essentially needed to be redefined. And of course recent aberrations of Marxian/Gramscian social philosophy– namely BLM, Antifa, the “anti-racist” cadre, and the multitude Far Leftists– have taken it further by declaring that the family unit itself needs to be taken apart (because it’s racist). Consider that in early 2020 and prior, the BLM website stated that the family unit needed to be deconstructed.

We live in a world where unless parents basically raise their children cut off from the world, young girls grow up and into a society where families are viewed as undesirable. And young boys grow up and into a society where they are told they are the enemy for having held back women forever and that they can only by lazy, drunk, abusive human beings.

Reply to  leowaj
May 25, 2021 7:42 am

“Gramsci, when trying to figure out why Marxism was dead in its tracks…”

You’re on the right track, but are following a red herring.

Gramsci was a nobody, with no influence or effect on anything, anywhere. He was a regional (Italy) communist Comintern flunky. He attended one Comintern conference in the USSR, returned to Italy, was promptly arrested and imprisoned. In prison, he jotted down what he’d learned from the actual master operator and planner of Comintern covert influence, Willi Muenzenberg, and others. Gramsci died in prison. Someone discovered his jottings, and published them. The secret plans to subvert the cultures of the opponents of the Comintern were not Gramsci’s. The fact that he wrote down what he’d learned at the feet of the masters does not make the plans/strategies/tactics “Gramscian.”

If you’re interested in making connections between the anti-Normal belief systems in the USA today and Comintern covert operations against the USA, you would want to explore Muenzenberg, not Gramsci.

Full details:

Reply to  Kent Clizbe
May 25, 2021 12:30 pm

Excellent, thank you. There’s a load of agonizing history I’m slowly making my way through. Gramsci is in the list but well down the road. I’ll make a course correction.

Reply to  leowaj
May 25, 2021 8:11 am

I had friends who supported BLM without bothering to read their mission statement. Once made aware, they quietly removed their yard signs.

Reply to  KevinM
May 25, 2021 11:47 am

KevinM at least you have friends with some sense of integrity. Most people I’ve encountered simply ignore it or excuse it.

Reply to  leowaj
May 25, 2021 8:28 am

Modern Family with “benefits “.

May 25, 2021 6:38 am

Isn’t it interesting as societies reach a certain level of affluence, that forces fundamental to who we are as creatures work to our benefit as individuals and as societies, without the need for government limitation on our freedom as individuals?

It’s a shame we not only suffer, but continually promote, people who believe “doing something good for the world” means forcing people through government action to behave the way THEY think is best when such people are demonstrably proven wrong again and again.

As the Founders of the US understood, government — and very specifically limited government — is needed for healthy societies. Their ideas on what government should be limited to doing and why those limitations are needed still have the force of a deep understanding of human nature. Sad it seems all-too-easy to lose that understanding even while the data demonstrating it continually stares us in the face.

Reply to  Meisha
May 25, 2021 8:15 am

Ehrlich in population bomb proposed a Bureau of Population and Environment (BPE) to develop anti-child tax policy plus federal economic incentives for abortion and sterilization. This was in the 1970s.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  KevinM
May 25, 2021 11:35 am

I see from a quick web search that he still had a child. Hypocrite.

May 25, 2021 6:40 am

I believe global peak child, under 15yo, was reached around 2005.

Hans Rosling made some entertaining videos on population and he was around to see peak child.

Female education is the best contraceptive. I guess they learn how to avoid pregnancy or, more importantly, are no longer dependent on males.

Richard Page
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 1:53 pm

And there has been a growing backlash against immigration from one to the other. The global free market view was that employers and jobs would attract immigrants with the right skills and the whole system would balance out. This failed to account for the employers who preferred to move to where the workers were (cheap labour) or for societal concerns about immigration.

May 25, 2021 6:51 am

The big problem isn’t the number of people, or even the aging population per se.

It’s the aging population who are living off of social programs and not working any more.

All of the finances for things like Social Security are based off of people dying at fairly predictable ages, overall. The problem is that a lot more people are living past their financial expiration dates.

The actual “population bomb” would be if someone comes up with a good anti-aging treatment, causing a much larger number of people to live healthy lives past 90 or even 100 instead of dying. If the over-90 population goes from the 2% or so it is now to 10% or even 20%, Social Security can’t work as currently structured.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 8:58 am

From what I have read, SS was never intended to be someone’s sole income on retirement. It was intended a supplement to personal savings and pensions.
My personal plans do not include anything from SS as I’m pretty sure that when the trust fund goes bust in another decade or two, the first thing the socialists will do is exclude from SS anyone who has any form of private retirement income.

Reply to  MarkW
May 25, 2021 12:40 pm

The phrase I read years ago was “To help make your golden years golden”.

As I hope many of you know, the “retirement” age of 65 was based on life expectancy analysis that 1/2 of all who paid into the system would be DEAD by 65. If they adjusted the retirement age continuously from the inception of the system, there would be no problem with the “fund” now. But that continuous moving of the goal posts would have cost Democrats way too many votes.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
May 26, 2021 8:39 am

Indeed, not only was it not intended to be someone’s sole income, it was not intended for today’s life expectancies, let alone tomorrows.

Reply to  cirby
May 25, 2021 8:24 am

Wealth is concentrated in the hands of an elderly minority. It is invested in stocks and bonds. If you believe in capitalist market economy, the minority of them more than makes up for the majority.
The children of upper-middle boomers eagerly awaits the asset transfer… most will reach retirement age first.

May 25, 2021 7:00 am

Revving up for the next scare to keep humanity in line when the climate scare collapses around their ears.

It’s worth arming our kids with this information though. However, judging by the German example, investing in houses as a long term investment still shouldn’t be a bad decision as excess, old housing stock will just be bulldozed.

However, what we are being warned of in the UK is that if we don’t upgrade our homes with insulation, HeatPumps instead of Gas Boilers, and (what they don’t tell you) whole house ventilation which will cost the owners of modest homes up to £100,000, it will be made illegal to sell your home!

Imagine that. A government telling people who have spent their hard earned cash on buying a house they are subject to government interference as to what they do with their property!!!!!

Reply to  HotScot
May 25, 2021 8:31 am

I show my kids doom news from respected publications whenever I can. I tell them remember what they see, watch the definition of words evolve and watch goalposts move. They were smart enough to laugh at the Times Square countdown clock.
I was upset when An Inconvenient Truth found its way into High School classrooms. Now I wish it were required watching. Greenland was expected to be bare by now. That man was a few thousand votes from being the president of the United States.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  KevinM
May 25, 2021 11:38 am

Real question is, would that idiot have been any worse than the one we’ve currently got?!

May 25, 2021 7:13 am

The first chart looks scary, but it’s almost entirely due to people living longer. As the second chart shows, the decrease in fertility started over half a century ago.
The increase in longevity is slowing down as modern medicine has started to reach even the most remote places on the planet.

I’ve been saying that peak people will occur during the 2030’s for years now, and I’ll stick with that prediction.

May 25, 2021 7:17 am

For the most part, those places that have high birth rates, are also areas with low population density.

Reply to  MarkW
May 28, 2021 11:57 am

I’m not sure that’s entirely correct. There should be a way to normalize this… places with higher birthrates are also the less developed areas, consequently their healthcare can’t be as good so this reduces their average life expectancy, ergo they would have to have a higher birthrate just to stay even with the rest of the world. So count a birthrate, times the life expectancy of that infant? and call it a production of person-years? I mean, the flat number given as “replacement rate” is not exactly the same the world over, is it?

May 25, 2021 7:20 am

Biden’s new health advisor has already thought about this issue …

Kit P
Reply to  John Shewchuk
May 25, 2021 6:25 pm

So John just how stupid are you? You sound like an eight year old.

I share Biden’s medical advisors view on personal health decisions. In fact my wife and I both provided our wishes in a legal document. We did this based on ill advised medical treatment for her mother. It nearly killed my wife.
at a
There is a problem of old people taking care of even older people.

I am 71. My quality of life took a decided down turn when I started CPR on my wife.

I am blessed with children and grandchildren who care about me. I just bought a new sail for my boat and drive a convertible. I get regular exercise and routine checkups. I do my best to enjoy the time I have left.

However, I am not doing cancer treatment to get a few more months if that is my fate. Not a bad one either because I can say goodbye.

My view of Covid-19 sweeping through nursing homes is that it was a blessing. Keeping family out and allowing the old to die alone was cruel and unusual punishment.

I did bedtime stories and hugs. If I am really lucky, the grandkids will get back to school and bring home the flu many years from now.

May 25, 2021 7:24 am

I just love the way some people associate any concern regarding illegal immigration with racism.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 12:59 pm

No one has a right to take from you what is rightfully yours and give it to anyone else — especially those who “are not like you,” do not like you, and are brought in to replace you.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 28, 2021 12:01 pm

And in reality, their definition of “not like us” is not really all that restrictive! What they’re hoping for is someone who is willing to work, thus contributing to this society they have moved into, and not someone who expects this society they have moved into to take care of them. An offshoot of that would be, people are looking for immigrants who would vote-like-us also! Other than that, the rest is negotiable, even if their cooking smells funny.

Peta of Newark
May 25, 2021 7:24 am

Quote:””It is odd to hear misanthropic progressive voices now begin to complain about low birth-rates after decades of denigrating the nuclear family and pushing contraception and abortion to fight “runaway population growth”“”

What’s described there is ‘The Modern Way’
What are effectively people who have ‘switched off brains’
Folks who are so chock full of Good Intentions.
Folks who ‘worry’ for the sake of ‘worrying’
Folks who find comfort in ‘worrying’
Folks who cannot think for themselves any more and don’t want to think
(Yes, I’ve just described the entire readership and editorial boards of both the Grauniad and the BBC)
Folks who panic and frighten easily

But also, they find some bizarre happiness from denigrating everyone else.

Do we see now how the Make America Great Again came unstuck.
This grotesque Puritanical monster reared up and flattened it before America could get very.

In the village near me and since moving here 5 years ago, I’ve become vaguely acquainted with 6 children at ages less than 11 years.
(My house is over half-a-mile from the village, I keep myself to myself as I always have done)
I only know these kids as those of my farmer-neighbour (we have sooooo much Agriculture in common) and folks who use the lane past my garden as a dog/kiddy/pram/exercise walking track

Of those 6 kids, 5 (five) are mentally disabled. Four with Autism to varying degrees and one, the farmer’s eldest son, is a perfect classic case of Down’s Syndrome
I really do seem to have landed in a Cuckoo’s nest.

I’d suggest that young girls, the intelligent ones who were breast-fed babies and fed saturated fat up to age 12, are also seeing that.
They are scared shitless of delivering babies like that.
They are scared of the stigma and grief they’d get by breast-feeding and thereafter making meals using butter, lard and offal for their growing children.
Because, and what was The Very Basis of Romance, the girls know that for them to be healthy and for them to thus deliver healthy babies, they need to eat Saturated fat and Animal Protein. NOT especially ‘meat’ either.

Yet those things are perfectly and completely demonised by the Puritans
The turkeys vote for Christmas

That, I would assert is where The Babies have gone

So, why don’t the girls eat fat?

  1. Because when it would make any difference (age 0 to 12) they have no choice and are denied it, because Political Correctness and Pretension deems it to be ‘unhealthy’
  2. There isn’t enough to go round

The Cause?
‘We’ were just talking about that recently – all it takes is one belligerent self important ‘creature’ (a-la Lysenko and usually male) to dominate the science.
As Ancel Keys did in the 50’s

Jeffery P
May 25, 2021 7:40 am

It’s interesting how the depopulation bomb is used as an excuse for allowing more illegal immigration. Politicians on both sides of the aisle often claim we need more workers coming in to fund the Social Security benefits of our ever increasing number of retired and soon-to-be-retired boomers.

I think the better answer is reform. Reform our social safety nets. Reform immigration so it benefits ordinary Americans. Reform the “Schiffhole” countries illegal immigrants are fleeing.

May 25, 2021 7:45 am

Ehrlich deserves a citation in the Guinness book for holding the record in getting most things wrong in one life time.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 9:02 am

In all fairness, Ehrlich achieved this goal pretty much by himself. (He did have some unacknowledged help from his wife) CliSci on the other hand is a group effort.

Reply to  dmanfred
May 25, 2021 11:51 am

I don’t know – how does he rank against Krugman?

Jeff Alberts
May 25, 2021 8:00 am

“Children per woman”

Oh, Kip, no no no. Didn’t you get the memo? It’s now “Birthing Person”.

Jeffery P
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 8:49 am

Banned for life!

John Endicott
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 26, 2021 8:50 am

careful, that kind of talk will get you labeled a transphobe and then cancelled.

John Endicott
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 26, 2021 9:02 am

I very much agree. My comment was a potshot at the labelling left and their cancel culture, not a shot at you. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 25, 2021 9:03 am

I believe the correct term du jour is “birthing parent”.

May 25, 2021 8:12 am

Feminists cried. Masculinists cheered. Democrats brayed. Planned Parent/hood will relieve our “burden “. Social progress… one step forward, two steps backward.

jeff corbin
May 25, 2021 8:48 am

Solution for depopulation…. rev-up to massive propaganda machine that we are currently so familiar with, to sell the narrative: ‘marriage is great and babies are so nice and envy worthy’. ‘look how lonely and behind the times you are over there playing with your phone,(how good does a phone feel BTW?).. when you could be happy with this guy or girl and a delightful bundle full of bambinos?’. Frankly, this narrative would be a true narrative because, marriage is great and so are babies. My wife is cute and so are my teenage children. LOL. Just plaster us with Images of lot’s of beautiful young and not so young couples having beautiful babies in a utopian world. This would rocket our our deplorable birth rate to the moon. What could bring more joy than a monster post pandemic babyboom. It is just what America needs, (hey we still are the USA,… America….wow!). Hey Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and all you Billionaire Tech Oligarchs… cash is far more compelling than climate dystopia….. a giant big baby boom would just makes you bigger! If the dystopia propaganda worked so well, a utopian approach will work even better. It’s all about images and music. But instead they will sell us the opposite, dystopian over populated world and open boarders and the end of the world anthropomorphic climate apocalypses Hey bring on the pandemics, we are going to have babies!! Geez do some fun brainwashing for a change! LOL I talk to people who are convinced the world is over populated. These are the same people who heralded Roe vs Wade, and warned of a American population of over 300,000,000 by 2020. well we are at 320,000,000 not because of indigenous procreation but due to immigration anarchy. Immigration is a good solution to depopulation but even the immigrants when they arrive, stop having babies at a replacement level. Smartphones are part of the reason…they just feel soooo good because the action is the distraction and no one really acts like they want brain power. But in reality the virtual life is far more boring than life in the 1950’s and 1960, 1980’s and pre-cell/internet 1990’s.. Virtual life is boring life but babies are never boring. LOL

Reply to  jeff corbin
May 28, 2021 12:13 pm

My eldest was approaching 8 years old when it gradually began to dawn on me, when it comes to leaving my mark on the world, I probably couldn’t have done anything more impactful than fathering children, my DNA will live on in them and their progeny long after I have gone! Anything else, even if I wrote a best-selling novel… can you name anyone who wrote a massively successful book 200 years ago? In the arts, the oldest know sculptures may be thousands of years old, but can anyone tell you the name of the actual artist that carved that statue from the block of granite? And paintings last only a few hundred years at most (unless they’re cave drawings) and I always heard that an artist is neither famous nor commands high prices until after he dies. In the sciences, even Isaac Newton is frequently questioned, and frequently found wanting. But my DNA will live on through my children, for all eternity!

May 25, 2021 9:36 am

Why are they reporting this as a bad thing? Isn’t this exactly what they’ve wanted?

Or they either never knew what they wanted, or (more likely) they just want a way to create more panic.

Reply to  TonyG
May 25, 2021 1:08 pm

No. It’s about pushing “immigration” to replace the current undesirable population.

Pat from kerbob
May 25, 2021 10:11 am

So the NYT is fully on board with climate alarmism/advocacy, crazy train left the station long ago.

Reducing the human population is the OnLY way there is going to be a real drop in CO2 emissions.
So why are they complaining?

Why not instead advocate cheap reliable energy for Africa so they too can get rich and switch from red to yellow to blue in the population growth charts?

Maybe the right hand should be aware of what the left is doing?

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
May 25, 2021 1:15 pm

Their “problem” is the building anti-immigration sentiment. Since WWII, the push has been to bring in “immigrants” to replace the declining native population, and to “take care of” the elderly dying off.

And that produces “numbers” for the rulers, but destruction for the original, rightful population.

Just ask a Swede living near Malmo, or anyone in Europe having unrestrained experiences with the unrestrained “immigrants” destroying their countries.

Just ask why Poland and Hungary, for example, have chosen not to continue on with that policy of “immigrants” to replace and “care for” their aging population. And Hungary is rewarding her people for having children to re-populate their country, and make it stronger and better.

The lie of “diversity is our strength” is obvious if you choose to actually see it.

Richard Page
Reply to  GrayCat
May 26, 2021 4:44 am

Aspirational society young adults will not clean toilets, sweep the floor or empty bins. Your narrative is somewhat one sided and incomplete – it does not account for the immigrants doing the work that the young adults think is beneath them.

When you use an incomplete narrative and cherry-pick the information you want to convey you can understand how this could be misconstrued as racist or anti-immigrant, can’t you? And yes there is a clear difference between being anti-immigration and anti-immigrants.

Reply to  Richard Page
May 26, 2021 1:26 pm

And who taught those “aspirational society” young adults that cleaning toilets, sweeping floors, or emptying the trash is “beneath” them? Who among those “aspirational society” young adults thinks ANY job other than a top managerial job, complete with yacht, isn’t “beneath” them?

Who in a Starbucks cleans the toilets and empties the trash? The baristas. Who in a MacDonald’s cleans the toilets and empties the trash? The everyday and everynight staff. Often even the general managers.

Because even “immigrants” won’t do those jobs, but find other ways to finance their lives via the very-generous U.S. government, MacDonald’s and others are investing in automated order-takers and hamburger flippers and bag-stuffers.

And have you happened to see any of the surveillance videos of “the knock-out game,” or those compassionate care-takers in nursing homes? Are you looking forward to getting so old your maybe-willing family members won’t be able to personally take care of you, and their only option is to put you in a care facility?

What happens if you lose your income, dominoing into losing your home, your other property, except maybe some clothes and a blanket, and if you have the presence of mind, grabbing that old camping tent, so you can set up housekeeping on a sidewalk or in a public park, or under the proverbial freeway overpass?

None of those “immigrants” is going to rush to your salvation. They’re not going to clean up your toilet on the sidewalk. They’re not going to fix you hot meals, bring you a cup of water or coffee. They’re not going to try to get you off drugs that they may even be supplying.

But they will and do compete for every government hand-out. And are far more likely to get it than you, a white westerner born and raised in the U.S.

Whatever race an immigrant might be, chances are they’re not of White European extraction. They aren’t going to identify with White European beliefs and culture; they bring their own, which they put above the host culture’s.

Few non-White European “immigrants” assimilate; they gravitate to their own enclaves, where the host culture’s laws, mores, and customs and practices are rejected.

“Cherry-picking” just the most recent examples from Europe and places in the U.S., it is plain to anyone honest that this program of “diversity immigration” is meant for anything BUT cleaning toilets and emptying trash in the host culture.

Yes, I am against “immigration” of any sort now. And if and when “immigration” again becomes something with probable benefits over risks to the host culture, then reason and facts indicate that immigration should only be of people like the host culture.

Oh, wah if that is not “nice” or “inclusive.” It’s truth, and it’s reality. No cherries to pick.

If non-White European peoples are so wonderful and equal to White Europeans, then they can best serve their own people by actually being as good, and make their own cultures and countries as good as White Western civilization — or BETTER!

BE the country and culture others want to go to, instead of trying to invade and destroy the ones better than theirs. And let every country with its own peoples and culture(s) respect every one else’s.

And more power to them.

No one, especially under color of “government,” has a right to take from you what is not theirs and give it to someone else, no matter how “deserving.” Every immigrant should be allowed into the host country only by personal invitation of a personal sponsor who will provide for them and help them get successfully and productively integrated into their host culture, and who will take responsibility for their invitee in cases of failure to integrate successfully, and/or commission of a crime.

If such personal responsibility and expectations on both sides were the criteria, things would be a lot better for all concerned.

May 25, 2021 10:22 am

This is not directly related to your excellent article but I found the list intriguing. It shows the number of people from 1-6 per household by country. About 40% of the households in Finland and Norway have a single individual. Afghanistan leads the way (76%) for greatest % of households with 6+ individuals. There are all sorts of correlations and fascinating aspects about demographics and income and culture that can be explored with your data and similar data to that in this list.

Clyde Spencer
May 25, 2021 10:41 am

One take-away from the concern about declining birth rates is that if it comes to pass, then there is another argument for the RCP 8.5 scenario being improbable.

May 25, 2021 10:55 am

SARS-CoV-2, almost certainly developed in Wuhan, China, removes primarily the elderly from the population. Conveniently, COVID19 takes the burden off socialist governments that won’t be able to fulfill their promises given a shrinking population. It was always a Ponzi scheme.

Walter Sobchak
May 25, 2021 11:10 am

“Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline” by Darrell Bricker & John Ibbitson | February 2019

From the webpage:

An award-winning journalist and leading international social researcher make the provocative argument that the global population will soon begin to decline, dramatically reshaping the social, political, and economic landscape

For half a century, statisticians, pundits, and politicians have warned that a burgeoning population will soon overwhelm the earth’s resources. But a growing number of experts are sounding a different alarm. Rather than continuing to increase exponentially, they argue, the global population is headed for a steep decline—and in many countries, that decline has already begun.

In Empty Planet, John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker find that a smaller global population will bring with it many benefits: fewer workers will command higher wages; the environment will improve; the risk of famine will wane; and falling birthrates in the developing world will bring greater affluence and autonomy for women.

But enormous disruption lies ahead, too. We can already see the effects in Europe and parts of Asia, as aging populations and worker shortages weaken the economy and impose crippling demands on healthcare and social security. The United States and Canada are well-positioned to successfully navigate these coming demographic shifts–that is, unless growing isolationism leads us to close ourselves off just as openness becomes more critical to our survival than ever.

Rigorously researched and deeply compelling, Empty Planet offers a vision of a future that we can no longer prevent–but one that we can shape, if we choose.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 28, 2021 12:21 pm

Funny, that sounds just like an advertisement for uncontrolled immigration, open up the borders and let everyone in! There have been others in this thread who have much better made the point, but let me try it again this way: If we don’t maintain our national identity, we won’t have a nation either!

May 25, 2021 11:16 am

The Progressive’s dilemma:

The population “explosion” is the primary fuel for their panic about global warming, carbon “pollution”, actual pollution, deforestation, water scarcity, resource scarcity, economic “inequality”, species extinction (“the sixth mass extinction!”), world hunger, and so on.

To fund all their Big Government “solutions” for their mythical problems, they need more taxpayers, but with the predicted decline in taxpayers, how are they going to fix those problems?

Will it occur to them that as the population declines their “world problems” solve themselves…without the benefit of their erudition and enlightened policies?

Last edited 1 year ago by stinkerp
May 25, 2021 11:19 am

Well, well, well……..The Spanish Flu of 1918 actually started in China…

Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
May 25, 2021 4:04 pm

Some studies suggest that the H1N1 virus of North American origin likely occurred in or around 1915
Full text –

Seems COVID-19 may have been circulating in northern Italy unnoticed in July-Aug 2019

Italian researchers did retrospective tests on blood samples from a lung cancer screening study.
From July 2019 to March 2020, a total of 1114 volunteers were enrolled at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan.

All the patients were asymptomatic at the time of blood sample collection.

The first positive sample (IgM-positive) was recorded on September 3 in the Veneto region.
Also, Antibodies were found in sewage samples from Aug 2019 in Lombardy.

So, Covid 19 may have started in Italy & been transported to Wuhan by Chinese workers. (time will tell)

If so, that’ll upset a lot of people who jumped to conclusions of blame & developed lots of conspiracy theory’s, without any real evidence (just like we’ve seen in the climate fiasco), aint research a wonderful thing !
Full text –
Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the pre-pandemic period in Italy

Last edited 1 year ago by 1saveenergy
Reply to  saveenergy
May 28, 2021 12:28 pm

So, Covid 19 may have started in Italy & been transported to Wuhan by Chinese workers.

And it could be just as likely, maybe even more likely, that the Wuhan Flu originated from a lab leak in China, in the province of Wuhan, and worker exchange between China and Italy transported the virus there first! But, without seeing some data/information from CCP, we’ll never know, will we? In the lack of other information, I will have to continue with the information we have now, which seems to indicate the virus most likely (if we were able to accurately assign probabilities, we might find even this comes in at a <50% chance, but it still leads any other explanation. The wet-market idea I am virtually certain was wrong because it was offered as an excuse so early, before even any data could be collected, let alone analyzed!) came from China.

May 25, 2021 11:33 am

Good review. I scanned the NYT piece online, and it seems mostly focused on being depressing, with little information content, mostly just bad vibe. Club of Rome stuff from the 60’s.
I’ve only scanned the book briefly, too, but Bjorn Lomborg’s last book False Alarm seems to rely on the leveling out of population being a real indicator that real sustainability and growth of wealth is within our grasp. Pollyannish of me, I know, but I’ll choose the more optimistic view.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 5:29 pm

Hmm, agreed, although I can only usually stomach NYT second hand for short intervals any more. But with three current and past “bureau chiefs” combining on an editorial piece, is this signaling a direction for the next media campaign? Not taking bets yet, but I’ll pop some Pepto and wait to see.

Reply to  dk_
May 28, 2021 12:31 pm

I can’t remember who because it was so long ago, but someone explained to me that a “stable population”, meaning births exactly equal deaths year after year so there is neither a population increase nor decrease over time, is a stagnant society and therefore, by definition, a failed society. I still think that’s true.

Alan Welch
May 25, 2021 12:29 pm

An interesting variation on the exponential growth appeared in a paper “Population explosion and interstellar expansion” which appeared in JBIS (Journal of the Interplanetary Society) in Nov 1975 (Vol 28 No 11). In this the exponent increases by 2% per year. This predicted (tongue in cheek) that the population would reach infinity on Fri 13th Nov 2026. I remember thinking that was a long time in the future but not now long to wait!!

Alan Welch
Reply to  Alan Welch
May 25, 2021 12:35 pm

Should have said Journal of the British Interplanetary Society.

Richard Page
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 25, 2021 3:48 pm

Oh I don’t know – I remember (I think) someone trying to calculate if it was actually possible to count the human race by hand, individually. I think they determined, with a reasonable birth rate, that it would impossible – even for you and your descendants!

High Treason
May 25, 2021 2:12 pm

Will the untested, experimental vaccine for which there is no legal redress in the event of injury be a catalyst for mass population culling? For myself, the way they are using any tactic- carrots(pithy bribes of a burger and fries) and sticks (big stick-lose your freedom if you don’t take it) sounds the alarm bells. The sound is deafening.

As the vaccine is experimental, it may void your life insurance and perhaps your health insurance. Either way, the effects through the economy and society will be severe. If governments indemnify the damages, it comes out of the taxes from the people, who are the victims. Effectively, you pay your own compensation and people who chose wisely (not submit) will be made to pay for people who chose unwisely as well as paying trillions to the perpetrators of the vaccine induced pandemic.

As for population crash from widespread vaccine deaths, real estate investments will become total duds, EXCEPT farmland. How coincidental that Bill Gates is buying up farmland, with the staged divorce allowing liquidation of other assets to snap up more farmland.

There is a term bandied around-“Sustainable Development” which really means a stable population of humans of 500 million. This would require 14 out of 15 humans being deemed surplus to requirements. Who will be that lucky one in 15 that will so graciously be permitted to live? Certainly will not be me. Just look at the Georgia Guide stones – they clearly state the 500 million population.

Ironically, after such a mass depopulation comes a revival, but alas, most of us will not be part of it. The biggest question in the era of access to the entire planet very quickly is which group will take over the ashes of civilisation? If it is the alarmists, they will continue the destruction of human technology. We will return to the caves-an era that supported around 7 million humans, not 7 billion. Could the softer than marshmallow alarmists survive in the jungle?

May 25, 2021 2:50 pm

To add to the pressure on population – the latest gender fashion is no gender. Rather than change one way or the other, the coolest new thing is to be “nullo” – basically with one’s tackle surgically removed:

Surgeons quick to cash in on the trend offer customers the gift of “smoothness”:

Gender nullification surgery can enable non-conforming patients to enjoy a relatively smooth genital area.

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
May 25, 2021 3:20 pm

When they did that to Theron Greyjoy in GoT that was presented as a bad thing…

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
May 26, 2021 3:27 am

Sterile practice and anaesthesia would have been nice but other than that Theon should have been a satisfied customer. (Not to mention Lord Varys.)

Richard Page
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
May 26, 2021 4:46 am

I thought Eunuch’s had gone out of fashion long ago.

Mark Lee
May 25, 2021 3:32 pm

It most certainly is a concern for those countries with less than sustainment birthrates. The more socialistic the nation’s economy and politics, the more they need an abundance of people entering the workforce at the bottom. You need working adults to pay taxes, and you need them for a long time. And the more elderly who no longer produce, the more difficult it becomes to keep up with the promised benefits. It takes generations of birthrates that exceed the replacement level to reverse the trend, but that takes money the society doesn’t have. It costs a lot to raise children for 18 years when all they do is consume, not produce. The population decline creates a vacuum. You can breed, or you can bring in adult immigrants who want to work. Then you don’t have to pay for their unproductive childhood.

Globally, and as a species, it doesn’t matter much. Skin colors will change. Languages will change. Diet will change. Culture will change. And life will go on.

Robert A. Taylor
May 25, 2021 3:34 pm

Sorry as with most things I can’t give references for this.
Back in the early to mid 1970’s I read a paper by a female PhD. in a major referred journal analyzing birth rates. What she found was that the two overriding factors were:
First, the number of fertile women. Number of men made almost no difference no matter the stated cultural norms. Only the most extreme shortage of males showed up in babies per woman and population growth / decline rate.
Second, the morale of the society. The more the society as a whole believed in itself and its future, the more babies per fertile female and population growth rate. The obvious examples are France and Germany after WWI where the governments subsidized births, even illegitimate ones. This was particularly true for the middle economic classes where such definitely existed.
In the U. S. and much of Europe we have had at least sixty years of denigrating motherhood and the family, and been discouraged from believing in our culture and our future. I have watched the honorable and respected “homemaker” (Consider all that terms means. The woman is the center and makes the home and family function.) replaced with “housewife,” and the belief that a married woman is only an unpaid “breeder” baby factory, cook, baby sitter, and prostitute. And that population growth is a horror to be avoided at any cost.

Jeff in Mesa
May 25, 2021 3:55 pm

If you use population density of Phoenix, you can comfortably fit all humans in 1/3 of the US 48 states with plenty of room to spare.

Reply to  Jeff in Mesa
May 25, 2021 9:10 pm

Jeff, If you use the population density of Tokyo, you might be able to fit everyone in Arizona. But let’s not, please?:-)

jeffrey wilmer
Reply to  dk_
June 2, 2021 11:46 am

My response was using the population density of Phoenix, not Tokyo. If you use Hong Kong, you can fill Alabama.
But I will still stay in AZ with my citrus and irrigation…

May 25, 2021 5:38 pm

Our social security and welfare nets are dependent on the generations behind us paying in to the program. But statist swear its not a ponzi scheme. If the generations that come after us continue to shrink, who will be left holding the bag? Will the implosion be a bang or a whimper?

Reply to  Optimus
May 25, 2021 9:43 pm

The fixed outlays of social security are manageable. Although, controlling inflation would aid to balance its accounts. The problem is progressive prices, not typically costs, in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Adopting function orientations, health lifestyles, and practicing self-moderation would greatly improve their viability.

May 25, 2021 8:49 pm

Don’t forget that people are putting off having kids in favour of career and education, and after years of contraception hormones and just plain years, one finds it harder to get pregnant when you’re ‘ready’ to create the future. I wish I started at 30 instead of 40, and I’m a guy (is it still legal to say that?). Much worse for women – it would be the healthiest if a woman could have a decent size family in her early twenties and then get back to education/career mode – but of course that depends on finding a lifemate they can trust but society these days encourages men to be selfish overgrown man-childs with no focus on important matters.

Reply to  PCman999
May 25, 2021 9:39 pm

Ironically, perhaps, the feminist and masculinist ambitions are complementary.

Paul Redfern
May 25, 2021 8:51 pm

Because of their disastrous one child policy, China will fall off of the demographic cliff.

Reply to  Paul Redfern
May 25, 2021 9:10 pm

Not only that, but they have a surplus of males relative to females, which was an extension of their one child policy when boys were preferred over girls. That will be a triple whammy for China, not to mention the constant threat of ~37 million young men that won’t get a wife, let alone have any kids.

Reply to  Earthling2
May 25, 2021 9:36 pm

They’re exporting a.k.a. immigration refrom a.k.a. colonization their excess male population, and adopting nominally “secular” Western religious standards of selective-child (i.e. the Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, relativistic “ethical” religion) in lieu of the unpopular one-child, Great Leap, and other single/central/minority planned population schemes.

Last edited 1 year ago by n.n
May 25, 2021 9:53 pm

60 million abortions since 1973 in America is taking it’s toll on the population growth.

Matthew Sykes
May 25, 2021 11:26 pm

Dont mistake ‘kids per woman’ as population growth. Africa has a very high population maintenance birth rate because so many people die in childhood from disease etc, and in adulthood from violence. Africans are capable of wiping out entire populations, look at Ruanda.

The fact is the global birth rate is very near the global replacement rate, and as Japan showed us the future with QE, stagnant growth, and low interest rates in the 90s, it has done the same with population decline.

The great Ponzi scheme of births is over. Old people will not retire anymore. Pensions wont be adequate and the lack of skills in the work force will drive this.

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 27, 2021 12:00 am

3 kids per woman in Africa is not population growth, whereas in Europe it is. Thats my point, which I am sure you understand.

As for resources you have to be kidding! Africa is the most resource rich, fecund place on the planet!

What they dont have is good government and the ability to organise.

Vincent Causey
May 25, 2021 11:43 pm

The lesson I have learned from this (and the climate scare) is that anything that doesn’t exhibit steady state properties – a horizontal line on a graph that goes neither up nor down – will always elicit panic.

Reply to  Vincent Causey
May 28, 2021 12:43 pm

will always elicit panic

will [can] always elicit [be used to create] panic…


May 26, 2021 2:58 am

The extraordinary rise of the ArtStudent™ style of binary thinking (right or wrong, no other values allowed) and where only linear extrapolation is understood, (what is happening today will continue to happen forever), is the greatest danger to a technologically based civilisation beyond any natural effects.

The difference between having unprotected sex in a crowded lift surrounded by screaming babies , and somewhere out in an empty expanse of say woodland…

Once populations drop, so that people feel like having heterosexual sex again, birth rates will recover.

Probably a planet with about 10% of existing levels would be pleasant to inhabit…

Last edited 1 year ago by Leo Smith
May 26, 2021 3:37 am

So people are finally waking up to what Hans Rosling has been saying for years?

May 26, 2021 5:30 am

It’s not that they were not having babies but that they were disposing of them. At the last count, 1.6 billion abortions since 1980 and that doesn’t count any killed by various pills.(or before 1980) It’s your choice, keep babies or kill em……

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 26, 2021 11:00 am

True but I am using the verb, to dispose, that’s a pro-life term but it is still, for many people (but not all) a choice and there are many consequences for that choice. The great news is that choice can be mended but I’m not sure this is the right place to mention Catholic Spirtuality… lol

jeff corbin
May 26, 2021 7:24 am

Look immigration is good and babies are good but anarchy is bad. The solution for sub-replacement level birth rate since the 1980’s has been immigration anarchy and planned parenthood eugenics….. both libertarians and liberals speaking out of both sides of their mouths. Address the social problem of sub-replacement birth rate by selling marriage and babies. If our media can sell terror, it can sell joy. Let’s not pit immigration against having babies. The problem is neither immigration per se nor babies….the problem is the idiot lies which been perpetrated against the American people from the fringe. Let the fringe be the fringe and let the mainstream have babies… lot’s of them. We cannot be a country driven by fringe ethics and half baked narratives, smartphone self gratification and dogs…. it is a recipe for disaster. No one is more righteous or good having more or less children. We have to take righteousness out of the equation and just pursue joy…. the joy of babies, husband and wives and families The fringe is anti-joy… pro-dystopia– pro-anarchy and are the pawns of globalizing forces.

jeff corbin
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 26, 2021 8:50 am

Hi Kip,
Thanks for your article….so helpful. it is time to cast off the mirage of the American dystopia aside and live, love and have babies. I love ‘corny’….’cool’ has never got me anywhere but sad, bitter and lonely. LOL. I love my wife and kids. I married late at 45 due to a early and long battle with cancer and the complications. So I had kids in my 50’s after 5 years of injections 3x a week…. they are off to college soon. Our goal was 4 but settled with two. Nothing could be more true and happy than: Joy of Babies, Wives and Husbands.

America has become the land of the jaded fringe. A people harmed by lies and self delusion. Yet our entire human civilization is built on the universal ideas of self sacrifice, commitment, loyalty, seeking the good of others and the power of love to bring joy! Yet we live in an entirely self righteous age….it blame shifts, it rationalizes, it lies out right, it self gratifies, it hides and it reduces everything to money.. Where the fringe is foisted as mainstream, even the appearance of people living joyful lives is an evil affront. But who cares, it still is a free county!! We have the cast off the weight and darkness that has been descending since 9/11. We can yap and vote a little but the rest of the time should be devoted to joy face to face in warm embraces!

Steve Z
May 26, 2021 9:24 am

Interesting that after yesterday’s neo-Population-Bomb article, we get an article about future decreases in population.

Over the past century or so, life expectancies have more than doubled all over the world, although this increase occurred later in previously under-developed countries such as India and Ethiopia than in Europe and the USA. This initially caused a rapid increase in population, as societies accustomed to having many children per family (in order to ensure that at least two would survive to adulthood to replace their parents) ended up with all children surviving to adulthood and increasing the population. Much of this increase in life expectancy is due to the development of vaccines to prevent diseases that used to kill many children.

In developed countries, where people have become accustomed to having all their children survive to adulthood, their concern has shifted to limiting the number of births to those they can afford to support for the 18 to 22 years before the children become independent, so birth rates have declined. But there is always a “lag” on long-term effects, since with so many people living to 80 years and beyond, it takes decades for the death rate to catch up to a declining birth rate.

It is not clear whether life expectancy will continue to increase beyond 80 years, or whether the major diseases of the elderly (cancer, heart disease, strokes, etc.) will continue to take their toll, resulting in a stabilization of life expectancy at near today’s levels.

But if future societies in 2050 or 2080 will have a higher fraction of elderly people and a lower fraction of young people than today, there could be some adaptations made. For example, the average person in their 60’s today is healthier than the average person of the same age back in 1980 or 1990, and are usually near their peak in productivity (long experience without declining health), so people in their 60’s may delay their retirement to earn more money, particularly if there are not enough young people to replace them. Even if they are retired and collecting Social Security (or its equivalent in another country), they may choose to work part-time to avoid boredom and supplement their income, and their employers will benefit from their experience and knowledge that a younger person would not have.

Also, if there is a smaller fraction of young people in future societies, this could create a labor shortage, so that educated young people would probably have several job offers to choose from, and even unskilled young people could find jobs that need to be done by someone.

If the future population does begin to decline, there could also be a reversal in attitudes of young adults of childbearing age, to want to have children, to experience what their parents experienced during their childhood.

A future society with declining population will definitely cause economic dislocation, but people can adapt to it, if left to their own devices, and not forced into some grandiose plan by a tyrannical government (such as that of China).

jeff corbin
Reply to  Steve Z
May 26, 2021 10:41 am

Depopulation looks like a ghost town with no hope and desperate poverty. I don’t have statistics to back me up but it is very difficult to reverse depopulation. Ireland was 6 million lives in 1800, in 1990 2.2 million and poor….. immigration of Americans in the 1990’s and the and their cash during the tech bubble is what turned Ireland around. Even now there are many Irish that are afraid of their current sub-replacement birth rate. Life expectancy is declining in America due to obesity, suicide and opioid crisis. We are beyond the point were health care will extend lifespan…the enabling feed back is just too powerful regardless of their constant yap about health and prevention.

If we don’t address the social problems of delayed marriage and children, immigration will be the only way to prevent the USA from turning into desperate ghost town for the folks out there under 30. So at this point, historically high levels of immigration is the only solution to maintain our population. Reverting our current population of 320,000,000 Americans to 180,000,000 (-65.5 mil Gen x and -76.9 Boomers) 2 generations would be a disaster. There wouldn’t be enough people to clean up the rotting infrastructure left behind…. another dystopic vision. The other solution is to ignore popular media, go fall in love, get married and raise a family for which it is in your nature to do. So do what comes naturally… it’s simple.

Oh no! there is so much to worry about: the inevitable pandemics, depopulation, transhumanism, crispr-cas 9 designer babies, over-population, climate change ( and it will keep changing), Marxist and Libertarian anarchy, culture decay, the Fringe becoming maintain stream and vice versa….

Cheer up, we truly are far worse than we think… or it could be 1968 or 1941 or 1916 or 1861. We had a baby boom in this country at the beginning of a Cold War. People, had unprotected sex, smoked and drank life chimney’s & fish and died in their 50’s 60’s ( some lived a bit longer ..those who quit smoking but Alzheimer’s hit them hard afterward)….. and the Korean war… and the specter of nuclear holocaust.. all this crapola and the baby boom just kept booming. What were those people thinking and drinking (cheap liquor and crème de menthe LOL). For one thing, they didn’t give a rat’s ass about ‘could’ and ‘could be’ and ‘may’ and ‘maybe’ and soundly boo’d and shamed idiots and MontBlancs They had their own lives, which they we willing to protect tooth and nail.

so what is WUWT there here for, celebrate the wonders of meteorological science, fight over statistical models and boo the Mont Blancs.

May 26, 2021 4:49 pm

Test tubes is the answer

Brian R Catt
May 27, 2021 7:40 am

Much easier, clearer and entertaining to watch Hans Rosling explain far better?

Don’t Panic made this all clear years ago.

Too many people aren’t interested in hearing the truth if it doesn’t support their agendas or belief systems.

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