Population - Archive

Population – Archives

SOUTH KOREAN BIRTH RATE AT RECORD LOW – With a 1.17 fertility rate [below the replacement rate of 2.1 children/woman] South Korea has one of the world’s lowest fertility rates. Korean women had 490,000 babies (2002), down 62,000 from 2001. Gov’t officials may give support for married couples with children. [Korea’s Nat’l Statistical Office; LifeNews.com, #3060, 5Sept03]

 

INDIA STILL STRUGGLES WITH SEX-SELECTION ABORTIONS — Indian local authorities are enforcing 10-year-old laws to stop sex-selection abortions/infanticides.

India’s top court ruled that medical sites using ultrasounds to promote sex-selection will be held accountable. Latest figures show India’s sex ratio gap widening, with 933 females to 1,000 males. [LifeNews.com, 14Sept03]

RUSSIA –”About 5 million – or 13% – of Russian married couples are infertile…in nearly 3 of four cases, infertility is attributed to the woman, typically because of complications from one or more abortions, according to Serov and other health experts.” There are more abortions than live births in Russia: 1.7 abortions for every one live birth. A 1994 study found that by the end of her child-bearing years, the average Russian woman had undergone no less than 3 abortions. Most women bear only one child. Now the 6th most populous country in the world, Russia is expected to fall to #17 in 50 years, according to the UN. [Nat Rt to Life news, 3/03]

THE FERTILITY GAP – Between 1965-1975, the USA shifted from enthusiastically celebrating large families and natural population growth to embracing policies designed to diminish families and achieve population decline—both at home and abroad. Title X of the Public Health Services Act successfully depressed domestic fertility rates, while USAID and its allies at the United Nations waged war against human fertility abroad. Today, population control advocates can claim a kind of grim victory: Marital fertility in the U.S. fell 40 percent between 1965-95. However, even the UN now admits that fertility rates are tumbling worldwide. Europe and Japan are already depopulating, and a new article in Science warns of the imminent dangers of ‘negative momentum’ in such lands. Economists now warn that there are too few children. Despite these developments, U.S. laws affecting population remain locked in the gloomy and dangerous Malthusian mindset that sees the birth of a child as a problem. [“The Fertility Gap”, Allan C. Carlson, Pres, Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, Distinguished Fellow for Family Studies at Family Research Council. This lecture is fifth in a series devoted to re-examining family policy. Ctr for Human Life/Bioethics, Family Research Council, www.frc.org]

UN REDUCES GLOBAL POPULATION EST. & POINTS TO “UNDERPOPULATION” The UN has reduced its estimate of what the world’s population will be in 2050 by 400 million, primarily because of the impact of the AIDS epidemic and lower than expected birth rates. In 2000, the U.N. Population Division forecast that 9.3 billion people would inhabit the Earth at mid-century but this revision of the estimate projects a population of 8.9 billion. About half the 400 million drop is a result of the increase in the number of deaths, primarily from AIDS. The other half is due to a reduction in the projected number of births, mainly as a result of lower expected fertility rates. “For the first time, the United Nations Population Division projects that future fertility levels in most developing countries will likely fall below 2.1 children per woman, the level needed to ensure the long-term replacement of the population, at some point in the 21st century,” said the forecast. By 2050, it projects that 3 of 4 countries in less developed regions will have fertility levels below replace-ment levels. Based on the new estimates, the forecast predicts that the population of more developed regions, currently at 1.2 billion, will change little during the next 50 years. 33 countries are projected to be smaller at mid-century than todayJapan losing 14 percent of its population, Italy 22 percent of its population, and Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Russia and Ukraine between 30 and 50 percent of their populations. By contrast in less developed regions, the population is projected to rise steadily from 4.9 billion in 2000 to 7.7 billion in 2050. The populations of Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Somalia, Uganda and Yemen, are projected to quadruple because of expected annual growth rates of more than 2.5 percent between 2000 and 2050. Between 2000-2050, 8 countries are expected to account for half the world’s projected population increase – India, Pakistan, Nigeria, the USA, China, Bangladesh, Ethiopia & Congo. [“World Population Prospects: The 2002 Revision” confirms key conclusions from previous revisions about population growth. Pro-Life Infonet prolifeinfo.org; AP; 26Feb03]

United Nations demographers today scaled back their world population forecast for 2050 to 8.9 billion people, from a 9.3 billion estimate of two years ago, citing rising AIDS deaths and declining birth rates. The United Nations Population Division, in a new report, also projected that deaths would outstrip births in most of the globe’s poor nations before the end of the 21st century.

In a major shift, demographers had reported a year ago that fertility rates in much of Asia, Africa and Latin America had unexpectedly begun dropping, easing fears
of a future global population explosion.

The key to the change was a surprise drop in the fertility rates of a bloc of the world’s most populous developing nations. In their latest projection, United Nations demographers said that trend appeared to be accelerating. In trimming 400 million people off its earlier projection for 2050, Joseph Chamie, the Population Division director, attributed half of the change to a greater than expected number of AIDS deaths and the other half to a fall in the expected number of births due to declining fertility levels.

The main reason for the greater than expected declines in fertility rates is that “men and women want smaller families, and now they have the means to do so,” Mr.
Chamie said. As for the increasingly alarming toll of the AIDS epidemic, “we do not see a vaccine coming soon,” he said.

Despite these trends, the number of people in the developing world is most likely to rise steadily to 7.7 billion from 4.9 billion over the next 47 years, according to the
report.

In contrast, the current 1.2 billion population of the world’s wealthy nations is expected to be about the same in 2050, it said. Just eight countries — India, Pakistan, Nigeria, the United States, China, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Congo — are expected to account for half of the world’s projected population increase, the report said. Thirty-three countries are expected to be smaller at mid-century than today, including Japan, where the population is projected to shrink by 14 percent, and Italy, which is expected to shrink by 22 percent.

Declining fertility will exaggerate an existing trend toward a more rapid aging of the population in developing nations, according to the report. [UN, 26Feb03; NYT: February 27, 2003; Reuters

 

UN ADMITS “POPULATION EXPLOSION” MAY BE OVER — The UN meeting of demographers discussed whether the fertility of developing countries like India and Brazil will continue to fall, perhaps even reaching the extremely low fertility rates found in many developed nations. The Population Division (PD) of the Dept of Economic & Social Affairs concluded that it is altogether likely that the fertility of much of the world will sink well below replacement level, which is 2.1 children per woman. In fact, the PD reported at the meeting that, “before 2050, 80 percent of the [world] population will be projected to have below-replacement fertility.” In light of this new assessment, the PD is revising its projections of world population growth. For instance, the PD has reduced its 2100 projection for India by 600 million people. Overall, the UN now believes that 74 countries, countries such as India, Indonesia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Mexico, and the Philippines, will follow this pattern of drastic fertility reduction. Demographers have long held that certain levels of dev’t, education & health care are needed to achieve fertility decline. According to UN Population Division (PD), however, the decline has occurred in many seemingly contradictory situations, “when economic conditions have been imp-roving and when they have deteriorated; it has occurred in populations with high standards of living and in those where standards of living are low; it has taken hold in countries with strong links to the global consumer culture and in those where those links are weak; and it has happened under a wide array of political regimes and policy settings.” Although it is difficult to point to broad causes for the decline, the PD believes that it is possible that a “diffusion” of modern values, including “individualism, feminism, consumerism, secularization” may be contributing to it. According to the PD, “one clear implication of the theories of fertility decline is that the availability of effective contraceptive methods is an important condition facilitating the maintenance of very low fertility levels.” Some demographers fear that an anti-natal ethos, which is promoted by the contraceptive movement, may be impossible to reverse and that fertility rates will continue to fall well below 2.1 children per woman. The meeting did not address whether the trend of worldwide fertility decline should be encouraged or discouraged. However, the PD has been steadfast in its assertion that the fertility decline that has already occurred in countries such as Italy, Spain, and Japan, is beginning to have profoundly negative implications for those societies. The ever-increasing proportion of older people will overtax social security systems, pension funds, and health care facilities. In a recent report, the PD concluded that even massive migration may not save these countries from the problems associated with below-replacement level fertility. [Pro-Life Infonet; C Family & Human Rights Institute; 13Mar02]

Promise: lower fertility rates would increase economic prosperity in the developing world. Despite precipitous fertility decline all over the world, UNFPA’s just-issued “State of the World Population 2002” essentially admits they were wrong. Yet, all they want is more of the same. For years, population control advocates have promised that lower fertility rates would result in economic growth. However, in its latest report, UNFPA mentions only a small handful of countries in which it can claim that fertility decline is even partially responsible for economic growth, despite the fact that historically unprecedented fertility decline has now been achieved in most regions of the world. Moreover, the countries they mention are now mired in severe economic downturns.
In “State of the World Population 2002, People, Poverty and Possibilities,” UNFPA specifically cites Brazil and the East Asian “Tiger” economies as examples of countries that have benefited from fertility decline. For instance, UNFPA asserts that “Reducing fertility helps to reduce poverty over the longer term. Demographic changes in Brazil in last 50 years were equivalent to an additional 0.4 to 0.5 per cent in the annual growth of per capita income.” Nations that have reduced fertility rates since 1970, such as Brazil & Mexico, have had faster economic growth than other nations, adding that if all countries had reduced net fertility by five births per 1,000 women during the 1980s, only 12.6% of the world’s people would live in poverty, compared to 19% in 1980. UNFPA believes that such successes could be repeated elsewhere, and that the poorest countries have the most to gain from fertility reduction. UNFPA concludes that the world community should continue to fund programs to reduce fertility as a major component of international development budgets. Nations contributed ~$11 billion in 2000 for reproductive health programs in developing nations; rich nations contributed only one-quarter of that sum and “$6 billion more was needed”. This report arrives at a time of growing concern at the United Nations over the depth and rapidity of fertility decline throughout the world. The UN’s statistical department, the Population Division, has frequently argued that fertility decline will result in economic stagnation, political instability and the necessity of massive levels of migration. The UNFPA report seeks to allay these concerns, speaking frequently of a “demographic window,” a short period of time during this demographic transition to low fertility when nations will be able to reduce poverty and prepare for population decline. However, UNFPA says little about what will happen once this “window” shuts and fertility decline results in sustained and significant population decline. The Population Division doubts that strong causal links between fertility decline and economic development can be established. According to the Population Division, “There are many paths through which population factors could have either positive or negative effects on development. Empirically, it has been difficult to isolate the effects of demographic factors from the many other contributors to economic and environmental change.” One prominent demographer, Dennis Ahlburg, notes that the most effective means to address entrenched poverty in the developing world is to reduce death rates, not birth rates. His thesis suggests that the UN should redouble its efforts to fund traditional health care services, not family planning programs. [C-FAM FRIDAY FAX, 6Dec02, www.c-fam.org; State of World Population report, “People, Poverty and Possibilities: Making Development Work for the Poor”; UNFPA release, 12/3; Agence France-Presse, 12/3; AP/Boston Globe, 12/3; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Report (not pro-life). 12/3/02; NV]

KENYA’S POPULATION is 30.8 million with a land area of 580,000 sq kilometers, for a population density of 53 persons per sq km. Ironically, the United Kingdom, headquarters of International Planned Parenthood Fdn, has a total population of 59.7 million people (roughly twice the population of Kenya), with a land area less than half that of Kenya. Kenya has succumbed to the population controllers over the decades. Kenya fertility rate has plummeted from 8.8 children per woman in 1965 to 3.5 in 2001 – a 60% drop in fertility. In a comparable time period, the fertility rates have fallen by 64% in Brazil, 69% in Mexico, 71% in Spain, 73% in China, 69% in Iran, and 74% in Thailand. [HLI, Special Report # 215, Nov 02]

 

AIDS TO CRIPPLE RUSSIA, CHINA AND INDIA, DEMOGRAPHER SAYS – demographer Nicholas Eberstadt argues that within the next few decades Russia, China and India will have the world’s largest number of HIV/AIDS victims, an event that “threatens to derail the economic prospects of billions and alter the gl
obal
military balance.” Eberstadt is not optimistic about the prospects of averting this outcome, concluding that “although the devastating costs of HIV/AIDS are clear, it is unclear that much will be done to head off the looming disaster.” At the present time, 28 of the world’s estimated 40 million HIV carriers live in sub-Saharan Africa. According to Eberstadt, “Africa’s AIDS catastrophe is a humanitarian disaster of world historic proportions, yet the economic and political reverberations from this crisis have been remarkably muted outside the continent itself.” Eberstadt believes that the impact of Africa’s AIDS tragedy has not been deeply felt elsewhere because of the region’s “marginal status in global economics and politics.” However, the upcoming shift of the center of the HIV/AIDS epidemic to the largest nations of Eurasia, Russia, China and India, “will have major worldwide repercussions.” Eberstadt develops a statistical model to predict the potential size and effects of the upcoming epidemic. One “intermediate-range hypothetical death toll” for these countries envisions 105 million people dying from AIDS, more than four times the total worldwide number of fatalities experienced so far. Such a death toll will result in significant population decline, as well as a decline in life expectancy. For instance, it is possible that Russia’s average life expectancy may fall by as much as a decade within the next generation. Eberstadt: “First, by curtailing adult life spans, a widespread HIV epidemic seriously alters the calculus of investment in higher education and technical skills – thereby undermining the local process of investment in human capital.
Second, widespread HIV prevalence could affect international decisions
about direct investment, technology transfer, and personnel allocation in
places perceived to be of high health risk.” According to Eberstadt, it is not too late for these nations to act. “There are still things states can do to at least contain the risk of contagion within their populations. Governments can competently monitor the spread of the disease and warn their citizens accordingly. They can engage in public education campaigns to apprise their people of the deadly risks they face with HIV, urging them to alter specific behaviors. They can attend to the explosion of curable STDs. And they can intervene with groups at high risk of HIV to encourage lifestyles that will court fewer dangers.” But, Eberstadt concludes that “governments in Eurasia are not yet doing enough of these things…When they come to their senses, the tempest will be even nearer than it is now – and they may discover that their ability to navigate out of harm’s way is more limited than they would have supposed.” [Foreign Affairs magazine, 12/02; FRIDAY FAX, 20Dec02, www.c-fam.org]

 

THE DYING WEST — “…The nations of Europe are literally dying as well. In Germany and Italy, for example, more persons are buried each year than are born: populations are shrinking; and those left are — on average — getting older. Even under fairly optimistic assumptions, Italy’s population will fall from 57 million to 41 million by the year 2050, Germany’s by a similar proportion. Indeed, the United Nations itself — long a center of hysteria about overpopulation — issued a report last year [showing] that all of the European countries and Japan face ‘declining and aging populations’ over the next 50 years. It also recommended increased levels of immigration from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia to fill the jobs necessary to keep the European economy and welfare states afloat. This suggests that the future inhabitants of Europe will be very different peoples than those living there today.” [Allan Carlson, writing on “The Depopulation Bomb,” August issue of Family in America; Washington Times culture section. 10/4/01]

 

THE USA & JAPAN BOTH HAD A SLIGHT INCREASE IN BIRTHRATE IN 2000 The US birthrate rose above replacement level to 2.1335, the highest fertility rate since 1971 (total births rose 3%, to 4,064,948). Japan’s rate is still below replacement level, at 1.35, but it rose from 1.34 in 1999. The Japanese divorce and suicide rates continue to increase. [“US Fertility rate Rises, NGP Population News, 26Jul01; “Millennium Babies to Save Japan?” JOICFP News, 8/01; “Declining Fertility Theory”, JOICFP News, 8/01; PRI Review, Jul/Aug 01]

 

ENGLAND, WALES & SCOTLAND had 185,822 legal abortions in 2000, 500+/day in England, 2/3 paid for by the taxpayers. The morning-after pill is available to girls as young as 11. In Germany, about 1000 preborn are aborted per day and the birthrate decreased from 1.5 in 1997 to 1.2 in 2000. [Office of National Statistics; HGPI, 10/01]

 

A recent survey of hundreds of people in Ghana, Africa, found that the top 3 health-care needs are malaria treatment, Natural Family Planning education, and clean water programs. About 20 categories were given to the people; “reproductive health” came in dead last. Their comments: “Stop reproductive health; it’s no good”; “Stop reproductive health, eradicate malaria”; “We don’t need reproductive health programs.” The greatest needs of women in Ecuador: blankets/warm clothes; jobs; medicine/health care for their children; food, housing, and money. [PRI Weekly Briefing; HLI Reports, 10/01; PRI Review, Jul-Aug 01]

 

ABORTION PROPONENTS THREATEN AFGHAN WOMEN – Population Research Institute has confirmed that operatives working for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are in Afghanistan1 and have been distributing abortion devices/chemicals2 disguised in kits marked for safe delivery, in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran3. Early reports confirm that the refugees, approached by UNFPA workers with abortion materials, walk away & have also confiscated morning-after abortion pills provided by UNFPA. Infant and maternal mortality rates rank among the highest in the world in this refugee setting, yet basic life-saving aid from UNFPA remains in want. In conjunction with international abortion providers Marie Stopes & Int’l Planned Parenthood Fed (IPPF), UNFPA plans to spend $20 million for abortion services within Afghanistan over the next few years. PRI interviewed several Kosovar women who described the “genocidal” function of UNFPA’s abortion services as a “White Plague” (see The Kosovo File www.pop.org/kosovo/kosovofile.htm) Negotiations on the FY 2002 foreign aid bill ground to a halt because of controversies about the UNFPA. The bill, totaling more than $15 billion, contains millions for life saving aid for Afghanistan women and children. However, this bill also contains tens of millions for the UNFPA, an organization which promotes coercive abortion and sterilization in China (see www.pop.org/china/).[PRI Wkly Briefing 19 Nov01 Vol. 3/ No. 30]

 

WHY THE POPULATION BOMB IS A BUST — Thirty years ago in his
1968 best-selling book, The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich told us that governments would have to take an active role in forcing population growth down or “we will breed ourselves into oblivion.” Ehrlich warned that in the 1970s, “hundreds of millions of people (including Americans) are going to starve to death.” He said he “would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” A British scientist in the early 1960s calculated that in less than a thousand years, “people will be jammed together so tightly that the earth itself will glow orange-red from the heat.” An article in the July 23, 1962 issue of Newsweek warned that “By the year 6000, the solid mass of humanity would be expanding outward into space at the speed of light.”   

Howe
ver, a p
ublication from the UNITED NATIONS POPULATION DIVISION includes a credible projection that the world as a whole will reach zero population growth by 2040 and will shrink thereafter by roughly 25 percent with each successive generation.

Wars and famines are not factors at all in these surprising numbers. Tumbling fertility rates are. A revealing article by Wattenberg in the 23Nov97 New York Times Magazine puts it bluntly: “Never before have birth rates fallen so far, so fast, so low, for so long all around the world.” If humans were having children at the rate of 2.1 per woman, the population would simply replace itself, with no net increase or decrease. From an explosive fertility rate of five half a century ago, fertility worldwide has plummeted to 2.8 and continues to sink. Drawing largely from the same UN publication as Eberstadt, Wattenberg illustrates how dramatically this decline shows up in certain countries: The rate in Bangladesh has fallen from 6.2 to 3.4 in only the last ten years. India now has a fertility rate that is lower than America’s in the 1950s. In 30 years, the rate in Tunisia has dropped from 7.2 to 2.9.
    

Mexico’s rate is now only “80 percent of the way toward replacement level.” In Europe, the decline is precipitous too. Birthrates reached record-breaking lows in the 1980s and have fallen another 20 percent in the 90s, to well under the 2.1 replacement level, matching those of Japan and Russia at an astonishing 1.4. Even if European fertility rates rise back to 2.1, the continent will likely lose 24 percent of its population by the middle of the 21st century. Italy’s birth rate is the lowest at 1.2, the lowest in the world. In the United States as well, the population explosion is a bust. The U.S. birth rate has been below replacement for 25 straight years. Longer life expectancies & immigration have masked the decline, but current trends will, if they persist, produce an actual decline in the total number of Americans within two or three generations. The fact that free countries are producing declining birth rates is explained by what the experts call the “theory of demographic transition”: If there is a general improvement in economic conditions, a decline in mortality, and better education (all invariably the result of a free economy), then there will be a transition within the population toward a decline in the birth rate. As technology and freer markets the world over produce ever higher standards of living and a fall in infant mortality, couples neither need nor desire a large number of children. [Mackinac Center for Public Policy; August 21, 2001; “Billions for a Bum Steer”, L. Reed, 7/98, The Freeman (since renamed Ideas on Liberty), Fdn for Economic Education; Infonet]

 

New UN Report Challenges Overpopulation Myth — A new UN report on the effects of population growth on the environment provides information that challenges some of the most fundamental assumptions of population control, assumptions used to justify sterilization, abortion & contraception. “World Population Monitoring 2001,” prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, emphasizes that many of the most dire predictions about the consequences of population growth have proven unfounded, and remain unlikely to occur even if the world population rises to 8.9 billion by 2050. A. The most common argument against population growth is that the earth has a “carrying capacity,” a threshold number of humans beyond which civilization will descend into chronic famine, disease, poverty & civil strife. 1) According to the report, however, “Over the period 1961-1998, world per capita food available for direct human consumption increased by 24 per cent, and there is enough being produced for everyone on the planet to be adequately nourished.” 2) General advances in technology & industry have resulted in a dramatic growth in average material well-being:

“From 1900 to 2000, world population grew from 1.6 billion persons to 6.1 billion. However, while world population increased close to 4 times, world real gross domestic product increased 20 to 40 times, allowing the world to not only sustain a four-fold population increase, but also to do so at vastly higher standards of living.” [emphasis added] The report shows guarded optimism that these trends will continue, and that food production will continue to grow along with the population.
B. Population control advocates also argue that growth will strip the world of nonrenewable resources like oil and minerals, thereby throwing economies into disarray. But, the Population Division report says, “During recent decades new reserves have been discovered, producing the seeming paradox that even though consumption of many minerals has risen, so has the estimated amount of the resource as yet untapped.”

C. The latest argument concerns the environmental effects of population growth, including pollution, habitat destruction and the extinction of species. The report contends that population growth may contribute to some of these problems, especially fisheries depletion and water contamination, but “In general, population growth appears to be much less important as a driving force of such problems than is economic growth and technology.” Even global warming will be “mainly due to modes of production, not to the size, growth and distribution of population.” Consumption patterns among developed countries with declining populations also have a detrimental impact on the environment. 

D. The report advances no specific policy initiatives, but it emphasizes that population is only one of a number of complex, interrelated issues affecting the environment and human development. When famine occurs, e.g., it can be because “People have inadequate physical and/or economic access to food as a result of poverty, political instability, economic inefficiency and social inequity,” not simply because there are too many people. This report brings into question the ever-constant UN goal of decreasing birth rates worldwide. The Population Division, which makes all UN predictions about population growth, is seen as mostly non-ideological. [CFHR Institute; 7Sept01; Infonet]

Over 70 nations are now below Replacement Level. The UN predicts that by 2050: Russia’s population will drop by 25 million people (average 7-8 abortions per woman); Japan’s population will drop by 21 million — over 80% of Japanese women have had at least one abortion; Italy’s population will be down by 16 million; Germany and Spain will each lose 9 million people.  By 2100, the populations of Europe and Japan will be down by half. According to the UN’s low variate, the world’s population should peak at 7+ billion in 2040 or so, and then begin to decline. According to the UN, in 1998, only 10 countries had population growth at or above 3.0%; by 2050, people aged 65+ will be almost twice as numerous as children 15 and younger.  South Korea abortion rate is 500% higher than the USA.  In Bulgaria, there are 2 abortions for every one live birth.  In Cuba, 8 of 10 pregnancies end in abortion. One-third of the 15-19 year-olds have had at least 1 abortion.  In Israel, the abortion rate is 28% higher that the abortion rate in the USA. [HLI Special Report, No. 179, 11/99] The fertility rate in Indonesia in 1965 was 6.1; in 1997, the fertility rate was 2.7. [HLI Special Report No. 171, 3/99] Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean) have a population of about 1.2 million; the total fertility rate is the lowest in the Caribbean — 1.8 children per completed family, down from 3.8 in 1965. Also, more than 10,000 people have HIV/AIDS. [HLI Special Report No. 213, 9/02]

 

Singapore Couples to Receive Bonuses for Having Second, Third Babies — Singapore’s Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong recently announced th
at p
arents having more than one child will receive cash bonuses, an incentive to reverse falling birthrates in the country. Singapore’s fertility rate has declined over several years to the current 1.48, falling short of the 2.1 rate a given population must attain to replace itself. In an effort to avoid economic damage associated with a shrinking population, starting April 2001 the government will set up a “bank account” for families with multiple children, and will contribute to the account annually until the child reaches six years of age. Couples having a second child will receive the equivalent of 291 U.S. dollars a year and up to another $582 to match parent contributions. Couples having a third child will receive twice as much in bonuses. In addition, mothers with three children will now be offered a paid maternity leave, an option that previously was limited to women having a first or second child. Prime Minister Goh also spoke in favor of immigration into Singapore, and encouraged importing foreign talent to boost economic success [BBC News; August 21, 2000]

 

The Italian birthrate has fallen to less than 1.2 children per woman, about half the rate in the U. S. and the lowest in the industrialized world. Because the birthrate is now lower than the death rate, Italy’s current pace of baby production isn’t even replenishing the population. Indeed, at this rate, Italy’s population will fall by nearly a third in 50 years, from about 57 million to about 41 million. If low birth and immigration rates persist, Italy’s population would fall to 10 million by the end of the 21st century, according to government estimates. A recent study by Italian labor unions suggested that there won’t be enough workers to fill a quarter of the 800,000 jobs expected to be created over the next two years. For not well understood reasons, sperm counts of Italian men have dropped dramatically – to about a third of what they were in the 1960s. [Washington Times, 10 Nov 2000]

 

Russia’s Demographic Decline Continues- sickness, widespread poverty, disintegrating health care, environmental hazards and poor nutrition, combined with Russia’s still staggering abortion rate, are helping drive Russia’s demographic decline. Russia’s population, now around 145 million, is shriveling. At this rate, demographers predict the world’s largest country will have a population smaller than Japan’s – 125 million – within 20 years. The country’s birth rate has halved since 1988 to 1.3 children per woman. Russia has the world’s highest abortion rate (2 of 3 pregnancies end in abortion). Russia’s Health Ministry estimates that 10- 25% of Russian couples are infertile and some obstetricians say one-tenth of Russian newborns die of infections. [AP, Angela Charlton 29July00]

 

No-birth Nation — “Between 1980 and 1996, there was more than a 19 percent increase in the number of women over 18 years of age who had never married. . . .future [generations] are seriously threatened… Childlessness is the tidal wave of the future. According to the Census Bureau, 42.2 percent of all women were childless. If this trend continues, and all indications are that it will, childless women will very soon be the norm, not the exception.” [N. Valko; Washington Times Culture section, 4/4/01; Madelyn Cain, “The Childless Revolution”]

 

Global Warming “Doomsday” Report Debunked by its Chief Author–Dr. John Christy (a leading world climatology expert, head author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, & director of Earth System Science Ctr at UA) asserted that “the world is in much better shape than this doomsday scenario paints…this was the worst-case scenario…It’s the one that’s not going to happen…even with all our cars, factories, and cities, man’s impact on the powerful energy force we call the weather is too small to measure.” [New American 9Apr01; Reuters 9Apr01; EF Mar-Apr01]