A Population Implosion Is Imminent

Source: FSSPX News

Despite the apocalyptic prophecies about overpopulation since the 1970s, the actual data shows that exactly the opposite is beginning to happen: an ever rapid decline in the birth rate, which, in most of the regions of the world, is falling or has fallen below the replacement rate.

For the first time in world history, the number of people who are over 65 years of age is greater than the number of children below the age of 5. There are more senior citizens than little children in the world. This statistic led Phil Lawler, journalist and director of the information site Catholic Culture, to talk about an imminent “demographic implosion.”

The disproportion is particularly dramatic in the more developed countries, whose birth rates have been reduced to a minimum, while the medical advances have led to an increase in life expectancy, which increases the proportion of the elderly.

Most European countries are thus below the birth rate of population renewal. Almost everywhere, attempts have been made to compensate for this imbalance with an influx of immigrants, in order to avoid an even faster ageing of the population.

Other parts of the world have gradually joined the camp of aging countries. Three years ago, the birth rate in Latin America fell below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman. Asia is between 2.1 and 2.2 children per woman, and Oceania is around 2.4 children per woman. Only Africa maintains a flourishing birth rate.

The director of Catholic Culture emphasizes that “the trend is not likely to reverse itself any time soon,” particularly because couples are marrying later and later, if at all, and tend to postpone pregnancies, for professional or quality of life reasons. In the United States, the average age of marriage for women has increased from 25 to 28 since 2000.

If the world population has sometimes decreased throughout history as a result of wars or plagues, the current trend is different, because it is due not so much to external factors as to factors internal to society and its mentality.

Hedonism, the decline of the family and of marriage, the trivialization of sexuality, the professionalization of women and the cost of living have been joined in recent years by ideological tendencies which lead to the view that human beings themselves are a threat to the planet.

Many young people, convinced by the propaganda of overpopulation and other modern obsessions, firmly believe that having children is somehow anti-ecological. All of this, put together, means that “there is no way to avoid a massive contraction” of the population, according to Mr. Lawler.

We can therefore conclude that “the doomsday prophets who warned against the dire consequences of overpopulation were wrong.” In particular, it became clear that “Paul Ehrlich, the celebrated author of The Population Bomb, who predicted worldwide famines in the 1970s ‘in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now,’ was wrong.”

His views and those of like-minded thinkers sparked a panic very similar to that seen today over climate change, saying that disasters were inevitable even if drastic measures were taken to reduce the population, but at the same time demanding that these measures be taken.

We were threatened with a demographic explosion and it is quite the opposite that is happening: a “demographic implosion,” that is, the rapid and generalized decline in births, which seems very difficult to avoid.