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Those of us alive in the 1960s and old enough to be aware of public issues at that time will recall that we were inundated with scare stories about the coming Population Explosion that was certain to destroy life as we know it within a few short years.
One of the leading experts on the subject was Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, author of the best-seller The Population Bomb. Published in 1968, Ehrlich begins in his Prologue by saying, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines—hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now . . . The birth rate must be brought into balance with the death rate or mankind will breed itself into oblivion. We can no longer afford merely to treat the symptoms of the cancer of population growth; the cancer itself must be cut out. Population control is the only answer.”
Yet, here we are, 50 years later, and realize the bomb was a dud. In fact, rather than over-population, our world in 2021 is struggling with UNDER-population! Just today, the Wall Street Journal head a major article entitled: “China Considers Lifting All Childbirth Restrictions by 2025.” The article’s subtitle reads, “Concerned about falling birthrates, policy makers plan further shift toward policies that explicitly encourage childbirth.”
In the article you read how China’s aging population and lack of children to replace the aged is hurting their economy. In fact, due to encouraging “one child per couple” in the past, they now face what the article describes as “a historic downturn in its population.”
So that is China. What about America? Believe it or not, we parallel China’s bleak demographic issues. But we are not even talking about it here. We should be. Let me show you how China and the U.S. are similar in our demographics.
Let’s start by comparing the median age of our respective populations. At the median age, half of the population is older and the other half is younger. Notice the current similarity.
Now for the real clincher. Here is a comparison of China’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) with that of the US. TFR is the number of children the average female with give birth to in her lifetime. It takes a TFR of 2.1 on average just to break even, to have Zero Population Growth—1 to replace the woman, 1 to replace the man and .1 for those who cannot or will not reproduce.
Note that China went below 2.1 in 1990, while the US went below replacement level in 1970 (probably to correspond with abortion being legalized in 1973.) So America has been below replacement level since that time, which explains the aging of our population.
Bottom line, while China is rightly concerned about the demographic winter coming their way, the United States with exactly the same problems, isn’t even talking about it. We should be!
He is the executive director of The Grand Awakening.