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    Goodbye Constitution Freedom America by Don Jans

    The Population Crash

    By Edward Ring, American Greatness

    In 1968,  Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb, a book extrapolating global population growth data to predict a catastrophe as humanity’s demand for resources outstripped supply. The book became a bestseller and catapulted Ehrlich to worldwide fame. But today, just over a half-century later, humanity faces a different challenge. We are in the early stages of a population crash.

    Ehrlich’s basic math wasn’t necessarily flawed. In 1968, the world population was 3.5 billion, and today the total number of humans has more than doubled to just over 8 billion. Anyone with a basic understanding of exponential growth can appreciate that if human population doubles every 50 years, within only a few millennia, an unchecked ball of human flesh would be expanding in all directions into the universe at the speed of light. Which means, at some point, Malthusian checks will apply.

    But where extrapolation yielded panic, reality has delivered something completely different. Today population growth is leveling off almost everywhere on earth, and the cause of that decline started, ironically, back in the 1960s when Ehrlich wrote his book. The reasons for this are subtle, because the only ultimate determinant of population growth is the average number of children a generation of women are having, and the impact of that and other variables take decades to play out.

    In the late 1960s, the United States, along with most Western nations, had just moved out of its baby boom years, that period from 1946 through 1964, when women were still having lots of babies. Having grown up during the Great Depression, followed by a world war, the choice to have large families may have been a response to the adversity these women and men experienced as they came of age. That theory is borne out by subsequent history.

    Over the past 50 years, in a pattern that has been repeated around the world, as prosperity increased, the average number of children per woman of childbearing age has decreased. The chart below provides hard evidence of this correlation. Tracking data per nation, the vertical axis is the average number of children per woman. The horizontal axis is the median income. A clear pattern emerges. In extremely poor nations, birth rates remain at Ehrlichesque levels. But once a nation’s median income rises barely above poverty, at around $5,000 per year, the average number of children per woman drops below replacement level.

    One may view this chart and conclude that if an average of 2.1 children per woman is necessary to keep a population stable, this cluster of nations averaging around 1.5 children per woman can’t be that bad. But that reasoning ignores basic math. At a replacement rate of 1.5 per woman, for every 1 million people of childbearing age living in a nation today, there will only be 420,000 great-grandchildren. This means that nation’s population will drop to 42 percent of what it is today in less than a century. And the numbers get worse very fast.

    South Korea’s current fertility per woman, for example, is a dismal 0.81, and those are extinction-level numbers. At that rate of reproduction, for every 1 million Koreans of childbearing age today, there will only be 66,000 great-grandchildren. South Korea is on track to disappear in less than a century.

    This collapse is just now becoming apparent in overall population numbers because it is only when a numerically superior older generation, the product of fecundity, begins to die that absolute totals begin to drop. As baby boomers, known to demographers as the “pig in the python,” reach the end of their lifespans, the consequences of the decade decline in birth rates will finally be reflected in dramatic downward shifts in total population. That process is already underway.

    In China, a nation that enforced a “one child” policy from 1979 until 2015, absolute population decline has begun. With a current fertility rate of 1.3 (possibly lower, estimates vary), China’s population peaked in 2021 at 1.4 billion and is projected to decline to possibly as low as 488 million by the end of this century. This decline is exacerbated by the fact that among China’s youth, men outnumber women by about 120 to 100, thanks to “illegal gender selection” that was widespread during the one-child era.

    In the United States and most Western nations, the solution to collapsing birth rates has been to import people. To pursue this policy to its ultimate conclusion is to replace Americans of European descent—along with Asian Americans and Latino Americans—with African migrants, insofar as the Sub-Saharan nations of Africa remain in desperate poverty and hence retain skyrocketing, youthful populations. And to be clear, this is merely a statement of demographic fact based on current data.

    Data also indicates that once migrants arrive in America and other prosperous nations within a generation, they too experience crashing fertility rates. This means that importing people into prosperous nations does not solve a nation’s demographic challenges, it only postpones that reckoning. Meanwhile, a new problem arises as these developed countries can only maintain economic stability if they ensure the African countries they are using as human “farms” never escape desperate poverty (e.g. their average income never rises above $5,000 a year).

    These are the challenges posed by post-prosperity population collapse in any nation that successfully rises out of poverty. There are three choices: Either go extinct within the next century, buy some time by replacing your own citizens with foreigners from poverty-stricken nations, or figure out how to convince women in prosperous societies to have more children.

    Lifeboats to Survive a Post-Crash World

    While the severity of the looming population collapse in developed nations is plain to see and beyond serious debate among demographers, it remains virtually ignored by politicians and the media. This doesn’t mean there aren’t private citizens who have decided to do something about it. Earlier this month, I spoke with Malcolm Collins. He and his wife Simone are using a fortune they earned as technology entrepreneurs to help support people who want larger families. His observations help illuminate the underlying reasons why prosperity correlates with low fertility, and he begins to offer strategies to reverse the trend.

    Continue reading

    The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Citizens Journal


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    I know Better
    I know Better
    2 months ago

    It was Ehrlich the author that convinced me in my youth to not have children. Today I am without children. I am not sad about this but I do blame Ehrlich for his being so wrong about things. As to Korea, that culture today is brutally competitive. I note that when Korean’s immigrate they form new communities in their host nations, not really assimilating but deciding to be essentially less competitive Koreans in their new location. The point is getting wealthier and more competitive makes women feel less desiring to be mothers.

    Kris B Mauldin
    Kris B Mauldin
    2 months ago

    So what happened to South Koreans?

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