Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Eurostat on European populations in 2060

I wanted to call attention to the recent results of Eurostat's metadata projection of the projected population changes of the European Union's twenty-seven member-states as well as Norway and Switzerland between now and 2060. (My thanks go to the The Financial Times's Tony Barber's post.) The Eurostat report Ageing characterises the demographic perspectives of the European societies" provides a detailed exploration of these changes. Table 1, describing some of the most notable of these changes, is below.



There have been all kinds of reactions to this news in individual nations. Let's start with the smaller member-states. Observers in the Czech Republic pointed out that the Eurostat data presuming a decline from 10 to 9 million underestimate immigration and births, with some arguing that the population could instead rise to 13 million by 2060. People in the Republic of Ireland are reacting to the news that, with an estimated 2060 population of 6.7 million, the island of Ireland would have regained its pre-Famine population of eight million. News that the population of Estonia might decline by one-sixth to 1.1 million have been greeted with concern, along with the news that Bulgaria's population is projected to fall by 29%, as have news that Romania will certainly see rapid and perhaps economically unsustainable population aging as the population falls by 4.5 million.

The changes among the largest European Union states are perhaps especially noteworthy for their influence on the balances of economic and perhaps political power, Britain's projected growth to 77 million people, giving it the largest national population in Europe, is fitting into national concern over "uncontrolled" immigration, while metropolitan France's expected growth to nearly 72 million--not, it should be noted, out of line with 2005 projections charting a French population of 75 million by 2050--coexists with a Gemran population projected to fall to less than 71 million and a Spain projected to grow to just short of 52 million people. Italy's population is projected to remain stable at 59 million, but quite frankly the numbers look cooked--is a natural decrease of 12.0 million really going to be almost entirely balanced out by an immigration of 11.8 million? Who knows, perhaps it is the recent rivalry with Spain at work. Poland, at present the sixth EU member-state by population at 38 million is projected to see a fall to 31 million. Barber is quite right to note that all these changes will of necessity influence the development of Europe.

It is hard to believe that such massive changes, which Eurostat says will take place in spite of immigration into the EU, would not have a big impact on the distribution of power in the EU. For example, the Lisbon treaty - which, of course, may never come into force - recognises Germany’s present pre-eminence by allocating Germany more European Parliament members than any other country. But that arrangement surely could not last if Eurostat’s forecast were to prove accurate.

As for Poland, its leaders cited its population size last year as an argument for more weight in the EU’s institutions. But if its population were to shrink as much as Eurostat predicts, it would be difficult to make the case that Poland deserves the same influence as, say, Spain.

Meanwhile, the UK would find itself in the remarkable position of being the largest country in an organisation that it has never seemed entirely sure it wants to be part of. Of course, the secession of Scotland (with just over 5m people now) from the UK would make a difference.

One glaring omission from the Eurostat report is Turkey, an official candidate for EU membership. Hostility to Turkey’s bid in countries such as Austria and France stems partly from the objection that Turkey is already so big (more than 70m people) that its admission would fundamentally change the EU’s nature. But I see that, according to a recent United Nations Population Fund forecast, Turkey will keep on growing and have over 100m people by 2050.


Everyone, everywhere, is concerned about population aging, much more rapid in some countries--Bulgaria and Romania stand out particularly--than in others.

It should be noted that as we've seen with Spain, these projections can change radically if you account for the possibility of large-scale migration described in the report's Table 12.



Maybe the populations of high-income places like the Czech Republic, Slovenia or Estonia will grow as Ukrainians, Vietnamese, and others move to pleasantly high-income societies. Maybe France will open its dors to la francophonie while Spain will shut its doors. Maybe the populations of Romania and Bulgaria will decline even more quickly than projected as their economies get caught in downward spirals. Who knows for certain how fine details will evolve over the next 52 years? All that I'm willing to say is that for now, thi projection provides a useful starting point for discussions about population trends in their national and European contexts.

21 comments:

Ape Man said...

I think that Randy's point about Italy could be made for Europe as a whole. It is taken for granted that there will always be this endless supply of immigrants looking to get into Europe. But the nations that are currently supplying Europe with immigrants simply can not keep up the current pace with out destroying their own nations.

As Randy himself notes, Eastern Europe is already being destroyed by the huge amounts of people leaving their country. Since Britain has been a huge beneficiary of Eastern Europe's loss, it is unlikely that Britain will continue to grow at the current rate. There is not many young people left in Poland as it is.

Moreover, North African and Turkey have sharply falling birth rates. That will cut down on the amount of young people willing to immigrate from those countries.

There will be large numbers of immigrants into Europe for the foreseeable future, but I do doubt it will happen at the rates the Eurostats predict.

Aslak said...

The immigration question really varies a lot from country to country. A country like Spain has an enormous reservoir of potential immigrants in Latin America with minimal cultural and linguistic issues in addition to more controversial African immigrants. On the other hand it seems like a country like Italy is more dependent on less "desirable" immigrants in terms of public perception, hence the recent crackdown. I think Italy could attract the number of immigrants required, but I'm not sure they want to. Britain will remain attractive simply because of their language -lots of potential immigrants know some English. However, I've heard reports (but no firm data) about more Poles returning home than leaving right now). That should help the situation somewhat, although it's obviously not sufficient.

Anyway, on the plus side, as a Scandinavian, it's reassuring to see that my region is doing fairly well

Randy said...

"I think that Randy's point about Italy could be made for Europe as a whole."

I'd disagree. The numbers for other nations that are cited seem to be more realistic, in the sense that they don't almost completely balance out natural decrease--Germany and Poland come particularly to mind.

"It is taken for granted that there will always be this endless supply of immigrants looking to get into Europe. But the nations that are currently supplying Europe with immigrants simply can not keep up the current pace with out destroying their own nations.

As Randy himself notes, Eastern Europe is already being destroyed by the huge amounts of people leaving their country."

Destroyed? I don't recall saying anything like that. The Romanian and Bulgarian states are going to continue to exist despite whatever their economic travails may be.

I also thoroughly believe that, so long as there are socioeconomic and other differences between rich and poor nations and the ability for people from poor nations to prosper in their rich counterparts, there will be migration. Why shouldn't it proceed to the point that the working-age population is depleted, if the missing potential workers are off wherever earning moneys that can be transferred back home? Family migration would be much the same.

Countries like the Czech Republic and Hungary, with high levels of immigration, don't seem to be fundamentally different from much of western Europe. Countries like Poland and the Baltic States are a different story, at least so far.

"Since Britain has been a huge beneficiary of Eastern Europe's loss, it is unlikely that Britain will continue to grow at the current rate. There is not many young people left in Poland as it is."

That's not the case. 67.1 in the United Kingdom versus 71.4% in Poland belongs to the 15-64 demographic and has relatively more children, too. More to the point, as Matyniak anod Nowok point out in their projection of Poland's population TFRs dropped below replacement levels only in the late 1980s at the very earliest. People born before then, in their 20s and their 30s, form part of a relatively large cohort of young adults. Poland might not be able to easily afford the long-term consequences of the disappearnace of young people through emigration, but for now it has quite a few.

"Moreover, North African and Turkey have sharply falling birth rates. That will cut down on the amount of young people willing to immigrate from those countries."

Apart from North Africa and Turkey being only one notable source of immigrants to the European Union--Latin America, non-EU Europe, East Asia, and South Asia all come to mind--I don't think that there's any reason for people to stop fleeing poverty just because TFRs in their country are below replacement levels whatever they might be. Look at the high volumes of emigration from Romania or Bulgaria, or still more dramatically Moldova.

"The immigration question really varies a lot from country to country. A country like Spain has an enormous reservoir of potential immigrants in Latin America with minimal cultural and linguistic issues in addition to more controversial African immigrants."

The preexistence of cultural ties between sending and receiving countries is important as you note, and in this respect countries of English, French, Spanish or Portuguese language have an advantage in regards to immigration over other countries lacking such reach into the non-First World.

"On the other hand it seems like a country like Italy is more dependent on less "desirable" immigrants in terms of public perception, hence the recent crackdown."

It's also important to note that just because migrants to a country are colinguals it does not mean that they will be welcome: Algerians in France, Ecuadoreans in Spain, Pakistanis in Britain, and perhaps also Lusophone Africans in Portugal testify to that.

Cultural links play roles in immigration only insofar as they foster the creation of migration networks, not in making people in the receiving countries like them.

Ape Man said...

Randy, I am all in favor of immigration. Rich countries don't have a choice if they want to sustain their way of life. And I would never get in the way of someone who would want to leave North Africa.

But you can't have it both ways. You can't say that it is important to pay attention to demographics and then turn around and pretend that demographics will not effect the number of available immigrants.

Reasonable people can disagree about what those demographics effects will be. But we should not pretend that demographics will have no effect at all.

That strikes me as what you are arguing. For instance you say....

That's not the case. 67.1 in the United Kingdom versus 71.4% in Poland belongs to the 15-64 demographic and has relatively more children, too. More to the point, as Matyniak anod Nowok point out in their projection of Poland's population TFRs dropped below replacement levels only in the late 1980s at the very earliest. People born before then, in their 20s and their 30s, form part of a relatively large cohort of young adults.

This is misleading. Yes, there are more people under 65 in Poland then their is in the UK. But that is besides the point. What matters is how many people in there twenties there are left in Poland because that is the age at which people tend to immigrate.

As you say, the 20 to 30 cohort in Poland was large. But what you don't say is that by 2007 roughly 5% of the polish population had left. That number by itself is simply staggering. But when you consider that the average age of those who left was 26, you realize why there is so few young people left in Poland not withstanding the large cohort of young people.

Simply put, it is mathematically impossible for the exodus of Poland's young people to continue at its current rate. The only way Poland can continue the current rate of outward migration is for people in their 30's and 40's to start leaving in large numbers.

This is unlikely to happen. The older people get the less likely they are to leave their country. The situation would have to get pretty bad in Poland to change that historical fact.

I want to stress that this does not meant that outward migration from Poland will cease. Rather, I think Polish outward migration has peaked and will trend gently down from its current levels.

Broadly speaking, the same point can be made about Eastern Europe as a whole. The amount of young people that have already left makes it extremely unlikely that the current rate of outflows can be sustained.

Again, people will continue to leave Eastern Europe. Just not in the same numbers as was the case over the last 10 years.

You say.....

I also thoroughly believe that, so long as there are socioeconomic and other differences between rich and poor nations and the ability for people from poor nations to prosper in their rich counterparts, there will be migration. Why shouldn't it proceed to the point that the working-age population is depleted, if the missing potential workers are off wherever earning moneys that can be transferred back home? Family migration would be much the same.

I whole heartedly agree with what you said. But again, it is besides the point. I think that Europe will continue to receive large numbers of immigrants. But not quite as large of numbers as they received in the past.

In the last 10 years or so Europe has received an unprecedented number of immigrants. A large part of this inflow stemmed from unprecedented geopolitical change. First, the fall of Communism and second the enlargement of the EU.

Why does everyone assume that that the last 10 years represent the rule instead of exception?

That is my problem with Euro Stats. They used past rates of immigration to project future rates without considering any of the factors that might reduce that rate.

For this reason, I don't understand why you cast a critical eye on the Italian stats and yet accept those for Germany. Any reason to believe in one over the other besides your gut feeling?

You say....

Apart from North Africa and Turkey being only one notable source of immigrants to the European Union--Latin America, non-EU Europe, East Asia, and South Asia all come to mind--I don't think that there's any reason for people to stop fleeing poverty just because TFRs in their country are below replacement levels whatever they might be. Look at the high volumes of emigration from Romania or Bulgaria, or still more dramatically Moldova.

What cannot mathematically go on forever will not. If Romania or Bulgaria have not peaked already (and I believe they have) then they will peak soon. A decreasing amount of young people in the world means a decreasing amount of likely immigrants.

As you point out, the places I mentioned are not the only sources of immigrants. As you did not point out, Europe is not the only area that needs immigrants.

Most of the Asian success stories are going to have a huge need for immigrants in the near future. Even the famously xenophobic Japaneses have started trying to get nurses from the Philippines. And I believe that this is just a start. Japan is going to need a lot more than just nurses in the near future.

This means that Europe will face increased competition for outside help.

Furthermore, there is a reason why the other places you mentioned are not a major source of immigrants to Europe at the present time. Distance is still a major factor in inhibiting migration. It is a lot easier for a poor person in North African to get to Spain then it is for a poor person in Latin America.

Last I checked, the US received more immigrants from Latin America then Europe for that very reason.

No one knows the future. But it seems to me their are a couple of broad trends in the world.

The first is that world fertility rates are rapidly dropping to first world levels. The second is that the third world is beginning to catch up to the first world in terms of living standards.

Admittedly, the second point is not as pronounced as the first. But India, China, Brazil, and many others are growing their economy's in manner that will eventually allow them to catch up if they continue at present rates of growth.

If those two trends continue, how can they avoid cutting down on the numbers of immigrants that first world countries can expect to receive?

That is why I am so skeptical of the projections of Euro Stats. I know nothing of the future, but the trends that I see today seem to be working against the future envisioned by Euro Stats.

aslak said...

Randy,
"Cultural links play roles in immigration only insofar as they foster the creation of migration networks, not in making people in the receiving countries like them."

I beg to differ. Polish immigrants are far more acceptable to the Brits than a similar large-scale immigration of, say, Kurds or Somalis would be. Ecuadoreans may not be perfectly welcome in Spain but try asking Spaniards if they would rather have them or Moroccans. Cultural proximity is obviously not the only important variable here, but it does have a real impact.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Aslak. We recently had a case here in Colorado where Somali immigrants displaced illegal Mexican ones at a meat-packing plant after the latter were sent home. The Somalis soon demanded breaks compatible with daily prayer. This lead to conflict with the remaining hispanic workers, who were forced to work more as a result.

The conflict came to a head when the Somali workers rioted during Ramadan (no doubt hunger piques the temper) and trashed the cafeteria. Some hispanic workers were injured in the melee.

Randy said...

But you can't have it both ways. You can't say that it is important to pay attention to demographics and then turn around and pretend that demographics will not effect the number of available immigrants.

They will in some cases, they won't in others. In most of the major European immigrant-receiving countries--Britain, France, Spain in particular--they won't, simply on account of the very large populations with which these three countries are associated with. To a certain extent, the same can be true about all of Europe.

That's not the case. 67.1 in the United Kingdom versus 71.4% in Poland belongs to the 15-64 demographic and has relatively more children, too. More to the point, as Matyniak anod Nowok point out in their projection of Poland's population TFRs dropped below replacement levels only in the late 1980s at the very earliest. People born before then, in their 20s and their 30s, form part of a relatively large cohort of young adults.

This is misleading. Yes, there are more people under 65 in Poland then their is in the UK. But that is besides the point. What matters is how many people in there twenties there are left in Poland because that is the age at which people tend to immigrate.

I took a look at the International Data Base and pulled the statistics for Poland and the United Kingdom.

As you say, the 20 to 30 cohort in Poland was large. But what you don't say

Because I hadn't.

is that by 2007 roughly 5% of the polish population had left. That number by itself is simply staggering.

Agreed.

But when you consider that the average age of those who left was 26, you realize why there is so few young people left in Poland not withstanding the large cohort of young people.

We may be coming to a bit of a misunderstanding.

The IDB statistics said that 8.5% of Poland's population, a bit under 3.3 million, fell into the 25-29 demographic, versus 6.6% and just under 4 million in the United Kingdom. The Polish population generally is younger than that of the United Kingdom, at least right now. If we assumed that a bit under two million Poles left permanently--an overestimate, since the general consensus seems to be that half are returning with the skills and money they earned abroad--that would be a dent, but the overall fertility of their cohort in Poland would be the central factor.

I want to stress that this does not meant that outward migration from Poland will cease. Rather, I think Polish outward migration has peaked and will trend gently down from its current levels.

Certainly.

In the last 10 years or so Europe has received an unprecedented number of immigrants. A large part of this inflow stemmed from unprecedented geopolitical change. First, the fall of Communism and second the enlargement of the EU.

That might explain a lot of it, but not all of it. Ties of language help Senegalese go to France and Haitians move to Québec; political ties of old help Vietnamese go to the United States and the Czech Republic, and Chinese to end up in Hugnary and Serbia; smaller movements, like those of Nicaraguans to Costa Rica and Paraguayans to Argentina, or of Laotians and Burmese to Thailand, or ... These ties have survived and have existed separately from the Cold War and its dissolution.

For this reason, I don't understand why you cast a critical eye on the Italian stats and yet accept those for Germany.

Any reason to believe in one over the other besides your gut feeling?


1. Italy's statistical bureau assumes that immigration will almost balance out natural decrease within 1%. That in itself is fishy--it's not the case with a Germany with a migrational shortfall, and it's far from the case elsewhere in Europe.

2. ISTAT also assumes, from the 2020s on, that 250 000 people will immigrate to Italy and 60 000 depart, for a net total of 150 000 immigrants. This kind of straight-line projection isn't quite plausible to me.

3. Finally, this represents a major divergence from the 2005 Eurostat projection that echoes in broad outline the figures produced this year. The main differences can be found in Spain (down 15% or so from its currently projected peak population), the United Kingdom (down 20%), and Italy (down 10% from its current and projected populations). Immigration to Italy is growing, but by that much?

I hope that I'm just paranoid.

What cannot mathematically go on forever will not. If Romania or Bulgaria have not peaked already (and I believe they have) then they will peak soon. A decreasing amount of young people in the world means a decreasing amount of likely immigrants.

It will. I believe that some parts of the European Union (Spain) are better prepared than others (Poland), and that some countries more conducive to immigration than others.

Furthermore, there is a reason why the other places you mentioned are not a major source of immigrants to Europe at the present time. Distance is still a major factor in inhibiting migration. It is a lot easier for a poor person in North African to get to Spain then it is for a poor person in Latin America.

Not necessarily. An Ecuadorian arriving on a plane ticket was more likely to find a job and assimilate socially and politically than her Moroccan counterpart. Ecuador isn't exactly a rich country, but it has still provided four hundred thousand immigrants to Spain versus Morocco's six hundred thousand.

South America generally is the most prominent place of origin for Spain's Latin American community, with South America that has been both more separate of the US-dominated Middle America and Caribbean basin and often closely attached to Europe by cultural, economic, and other ties. The 2007 statistics suggest that of the top 10 senders of migrants to Spain four of them are South American. Morocco stands out as the only major source of migrants for Spain in northwestern Africa generally, with the numbers of Algerian and Senegalese migrants recorded amounting to barely more than a tenth of the Moroccan total.

Geographic distance isn't the only kind of distance out there. Even unlikely combinations of sending and receiving country can exist given the right configuration: 1980s package tours and Milosevic's policies helped attract tens of thousands of Chinese to Hugnary and Serbia, while Cold War-era cooperation between Czechoslovakia and Poland has helped create the networks that have fostered substantial Vietnamese immigration to north-central Europe. South American immigration to southern Europe has been mentioned, while emigration from Francophone Africa to France and to Britain from its former colonies and other countries follows cultural lines that often have very little to do with geography.

Last I checked, the US received more immigrants from Latin America then Europe for that very reason.

Middle America as opposed to South America, yes.

If those two trends [of economic and fertility convergence] continue, how can they avoid cutting down on the numbers of immigrants that first world countries can expect to receive?

The Canadian province of Newfoundland absolutely and relative to the rest of Canada has a per capita income much higher than that of (say) Romania or Morocco absolutely or relative to Spain, and has been enjoying an oil-driven economic boom in the bargain. Newfoundland is still seeing an almost frightening population decline (by one-tenth since 1991, I believe), produced by low period fertility and outmigration to wealthier areas.

Relative deprivation is the motivation for migration. Further, in many cases, it's the well-off in a society, the ones with the most money and most useful connections, who emigrate. In a world filled with lower middle income countries with large population of people who see the wealth of the first world and want in, the numbers of potential immigrants could easily stay up.

That is why I am so skeptical of the projections of Euro Stats. I know nothing of the future, but the trends that I see today seem to be working against the future envisioned by Euro Stats.

Eurostat's figures on natural population change seem generally credible, the big difference between the 2005 and 2008 projections being in assumptions about the numbers of migrants. Those numbers are likely to be only approximately correct, but they do fall within the range of the possible.

Randy said...

aslak:

"Polish immigrants are far more acceptable to the Brits than a similar large-scale immigration of, say, Kurds or Somalis would be."

More acceptable than the Irish immigrants, colinguals all, of old? Or of the Anglophone immigrants from the Caribbean, Africa, and South Asia?

Language isn't a guarantee. Algeria might be the second Francophone country in the world by population but has that ensured the quick integration of that body of Francophone migrants (who were, incidentally, French subjects/citizens until 1962)? Will Spain, now in the middle of an economic slump driven by the construction sector's ramping down, avoid the development of deprived immigrant quarters? Et cetera.

Colin said...

Randy:

"The Canadian province of Newfoundland absolutely and relative to the rest of Canada has a per capita income much higher than that of (say) Romania or Morocco absolutely or relative to Spain, and has been enjoying an oil-driven economic boom in the bargain. Newfoundland is still seeing an almost frightening population decline (by one-tenth since 1991, I believe), produced by low period fertility and outmigration to wealthier areas."

I don't think you can compare internal migration with international migration so easily, because there are so many stupid obstacles which don't exist in the internal case. Even migration within the old EU, which ought to be about the easiest international migration in the world, is fraught with bureaucratic difficulties that have nothing to do with language or culture. For instance people moving from *Ireland* to the UK can have problems getting UK bank accounts and accommodation (very difficult to get one without the other), getting a UK National Insurance number, getting their Irish qualifications recognised for jobs, and so on. On top of this, there is still a certain subtle economic nationalism that acts a disadvantage, even among culturally similar Europeans, a sense that 'our people' should get first pick of the jobs. UK employers are apparently relatively unbiased (so my foreign friends have told me), but in many other countries this preference for locals has quite a large impact.

The overall result of migration barriers seems to be that skilled immigrants often spend months or years doing very low-skilled jobs, while they wait for all the bureaucracy to go through and for an employer to see their potential. This is true even for what should be incredibly easy migrations like Ireland <-> UK or Francophone Belgium <-> France. So there is quite a large upfront cost to the skilled migrant, partly setup costs in the new country but also a period of reduced income due to employers' disdain at unfamiliar surnames and qualifications. For this to be all worthwhile, there has to be quite a large incentive to move.

Speaking personally, I would quite happily move to somewhere else in Western Europe. In several cases I already know some of the language, and in the rest I could quite easily pick it up. But the way the job market works, I really don't see myself doing so for economic reasons unless I have been specifically offered a good job before I even book the train/flight.

georgesdelatour said...

Randy

As far as I can tell, the the only question which makes a particular immigrant group "acceptable" or not is, "are they Muslim?"

The British government has recently tried to act tough on immigrants by deporting Zimbabwean refugees. But, as far as I can tell from reactions, most Brits think this is mean-spirited and wrong, and are happy for all the Zimbabweans to stay. As long as they are are not, even potentially, "up for Jihad", immigrants from anywhere on the planet are all completely acceptable.

Anonymous said...

georges: you're absolutely correct. The idea of culturally compatible has everything to do with one factor: are the Muslim. So, African Christians are perfectly acceptable, as are Hindus from Indian, or Catholics from Ecuador. There's only one group guaranteed to cause trouble, and we ALL know who that is.

Why do they cause trouble: it has to do with the religion, particularly the version propagated and now widely accepted among Muslim communities everywhere: the Wahhabist or Salafist version. There is no live and let live there. It's Islamic supremacism and domination, which means that the goal is not peaceful coexistance, but Islamicization and eventual conquest. Don't believe me: go to 80% of the mosques, Islamic centers, or Islamic schools anywhere in the West.

I don't know why European elites, in particular, cannot understand the threat associated with Islamic immigration.

Charly said...

You must be joking, any group which consist of the kids of uneductated gastarbeiters is trouble. See for example the Brixton riots.

The only reason why the Ecuadorians haven't caused problem is because their kids aren't old enough and the only thing i will say about the Polish is that France was right

kimrennin said...

There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of supporting evidence for all this. The population changes have little to do with birth/death rates which will remain broadly neutral and a lot to do with patterns of migration. I can’t help thinking that what they have done is simply to have taken current trends and projected them forward far into the future.
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kimrennin
Internet marketing

Nicolas said...

Economically, the new population coming to france are more likely to impoverish it.

So it is hardly a solution as you will have more people to take care of (and with new unexpected kind of problems) with fewer people contributing to the economy.

ramki830 said...

The Eurostat projections on European Populations in 2060 are based on assumption that current trends continue till 2060.

But The reality is that in next 50 years, energy and natural resources and farmland will be less available (per capita) than now and all this will influence the immigration and population trends of European states.

UK is a small country with few natural resources. The North Sea Oil was a one time lottery which will get mostly exhausted in another 3-4 decades. Britain is one of the few countries which imports most of its foodstuffs. The economy of UK is critically dependent on Financial Services and like - the kind which is now being hit by the global turmoil. As Asia becomes the nerve center of global economy, London's relative importance will decline...

Given all this, it is fallacious to think of a UK having 75 million population in 2060. Far from it, UK could become the Ukraine or Moldovia of the 21st century - unless the leaders find a way to make UK selfsufficient in energy and food.

Culture, Language and cosmopolitanism are not enough to win immigrants. In coming decades, as population growth drops in third world , immigrants will be hotly sought by all countries. Resource poor UK with a diminishing service sector economy may witness net emigration rather than immigration.

Anonymous said...

Financial Times reports UBS economist George Magnus has a new book that relates closely to demography: "The Age of Aging: How demographics are changing the global economy and our world.”

Link to article:
http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2008/11/10/18028/the-great-pensions-disaster

I will be interested to read it. Does Magnus consider a pre-Bismarckian "pension" of human capital through having children exceeding the replacement TFR? This is the time-tested pension; not perfect, as anyone with deadbeat kids will tell you, but perhaps more stable and trustworthy than governments that steals pensions (I'm looking at you, Argentina) or fails to fund them (looking at you, US public sector) or malinvests them (looking at you, corporate and union pensions).

SESALMONY@aol.com said...

If the next generation does not do better than my "Not So GREAT GREED GRAB Generation" of elders has done to protect Earth from reckless environmental degradation and resource dissipation, then I cannot even imagine what the future will look like for those billions of people who are alive 50years from now. The "pale blue dot" may not be so beautiful a place to inhabit in 2060, I fear.

Our children will do better; but first they will need to understand that the patently unsustainable overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities which their elders so adamantly and relentlessly advocate will have to be forsaken....soon. Accepting human limits and Earth's limitations, and behaving accordingly, could be a goal worth achieving.

Anonymous said...

Government control of population is immoral. SESALMONY@aol.com, I have never read a post filled with as much drivel as yours.

Outland said...

Did the writers of this formidable blog stop their efforts?

If so, too bad. I've learned a lot here. Thnx anyway, it's greatly appreciated.

Edward Hugh said...

Hi Outland.

"Did the writers of this formidable blog stop their efforts?"

No. At least I hope not. I have just been so busy with the general economic crisis, Claus with intensive study for exams and Randy with other matters.

Don't worry. We will be back.

Edward

SESALMONY@aol.com said...

Dear Anonymous,

Drivel?

Let us see how you view evidence of human population dynamics and the human overpopulation of Earth. If you please, comment on the presentation provided in the following link.

www.panearth.org

Please note that the research indicates that human population dynamics are essentially similar to, not different from, the population dynamics of other species.

Perhaps you find what I am reporting so offensive because you choose to overvalue ideological factoids and undervalue evidence derived from science.

For repeated references to the work of Russell Hopfenberg, Ph.D., and David Pimentel, Ph.D., please click on the following links.

http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

Sincerely,

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population, established 2001