The Coming Global Age of the Old and Decrepit
The U.N. now projects that over the next 40 years, more than half (58 percent) of the world's population growth will come from increases in the number of people over 60, while only 6 percent will come from people under 30. Indeed, the U.N. projects that by 2025, the population of children under 5, already in steep decline in most developed countries, will be falling globally -- and that's even after assuming a substantial rebound in birth rates in the developing world. A gray tsunami will be sweeping the planet. _FP
In many countries, such as Germany, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, the one-child family is now becoming the norm. This trend creates a society in which not only do most people have no siblings, but also no aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, or nephews. Many will lack children of their own as well. Today about one in five people in advanced Western countries, including the United States, remains childless. Huge portions of the world's population will thus have no biological relatives except their parents.In fact, virtually all of Europe, Russia, Canada, and much of East Asia are being swept up by the tsunami of global aging. We are living in the eye of the storm, when the repercussions of this demographic storm are not as turbulent as they will be quite soon.
And even where children continue to be born, they are being raised under radically different circumstances, as country after country has seen divorce and out-of-wedlock births surge and the percentage of children living with both of their married parents drop sharply. So not only is the quantity of children in the world poised to shrink rapidly, but on current trends, a near majority of them will be raised in ways that are today strongly associated with negative life outcomes. _FP
When the "experts" discuss issues such as economic crises, climate change, resource scarcity, and trends in culture, they always leave out some critical pieces of the puzzle. Without these pieces, it is impossible for ordinary people to get a grasp on what is happening. Demographic changes -- due to differential birthrates and migrations -- are key to predicting future trends. Differences between populations in cognitive aptitude, executive function, cultural norms, aesthetics, ethics, impulse control, and many other genetically influenced civilisational fulcrums, must be acknowledged and understood, before future trends can be unraveled and delineated.
Many of the troubling trends in modern societies such as an increase in cheating and dishonesty at all levels of society, media, government -- even in science -- are in large part due to the demographic transitions that are taking place. If you don't understand what is happening on the level of population changes and displacements, you will be at a loss as the massive shocks and aftershocks precede and follow the coming tsunami.
Labels: demographic change