Demographic crisis

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

A demographic crisis is a situation where the population of a territory, or the world, is not sustainable. One kind of demographic crisis is overpopulation.

Demographic crunch[edit]

Many developed countries have birth rates too low to sustain their own population. Russia in the 1990s, Germany and Japan are notable examples.

Aging Population[edit]

Aging population is a phenomenon where the population ages due to low birthrates. The result is supply of workers (working age population) decreases and demand for elder care increases. Aging population can be observed in countries experiencing reduced growth rates due to economic development. Aging population is feared by countries due to perceived difficulty in affording elder care with lower tax revenue. As a result countries attempt to boost fertility with advertisements and incentives, and offset population loss by increasing immigration.

Criticism[edit]

Fear of aging population is based on the misguided theory that income comes from population, when in fact income comes from production - which depends on the amount of resources and ability to process resources. Improved production efficiencies cause increase in supply or reduced cost, causing deflation and enabling the issuance of more currency. In developing nations, there is less use of technology and machinery, ability to process resources depends on the quantity of workers. Wealthier developed nations are able to harness the latest technologies to increase production and reduce costs, and thus unlink productivity from population. While nations fear aging population, an opposite crisis of technological unemployment is brewing due to the vast productivity gains of artificial intelligence - the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technology always reduces workers needed to produce each unit of goods. When efficiency gains are made, it can be applied towards increasing production or reducing cost. As modern markets are saturated and resources are strained, the only sustainable option is to reduce costs - and reduce workers needed. Unemployment is low due to low workforce participation and a high quantity of non-essential jobs. Pressures to automate and reduce cost includes pressures of economic recession and reducing human contact due to public health concerns - without an effort to artificially create jobs, technological employment will offset aging population.

Minority population bomb[edit]

In many countries, minorities have higher fertility rates than majorities. This is the case in the United States and Israel.

This phenomenon can be cited in a racist context, to express minority population growth as a threat. Especially population growth among Muslims in Europe has been cited as a threat against Western culture .

See also[edit]