We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The world has come a long way from the "population bomb" that we have been warned about for 50 years. We have already begun to see the effects of population declines in Europe, but the entire world is facing dramatic demographic changes, for better or worse. The subject deserves more attention. Krikorian at Claremont Inst:
Although the birthrate decline has begun to have significant effects in the U.S., it is in Europe and East Asia that the consequences will be most dramatic. In demographic terms, a "total fertility rate" (TFR) of 2.1 is necessary to keep a population from declining—the average woman needs to have two children (plus the 0.1 for girls who die before reaching reproductive age) to replace herself and the father. The TFR in the U.S. is just a hair below that benchmark, having bounced back from its nadir in the 1970s. But in every other developed nation it is lower, and falling: Ireland, 1.9; Australia, 1.7; Canada, 1.5; Germany, 1.35; Japan, 1.32; Italy, 1.23; Spain, 1.15. Birthrates this low are unprecedented in peacetime societies. As Wattenberg writes, "never have birth and fertility rates fallen so far, so fast, so low, for so long, in so many places, so surprisingly."
Not only is this causing an increase in the median age of these populations, as in the U.S., but many of these countries will soon see declines in total population. By the middle of this century, we could find a Europe home to 100 million fewer people than today, and a Japan shrinking by one-fourth.
Despite their huge and growing populations, the most rapid birthrate declines (and thus the most rapid rates of population aging) are taking place in the Third World. The total fertility rate in less-developed countries as a whole, as defined by the U.N., has fallen by half since the 1960s, to 2.9 children per woman, a much faster drop than anything experienced in the developed world. This is happening almost everywhere: China and India, Mexico and South Africa, Iran and Egypt. Population "momentum" will cause continued increases in these countries for a time, as large numbers of girls have babies, albeit fewer than their mothers, and the Third World will potentially add another 2.5 billion people before population growth stops. This is still a very large increase, but it will come to an end in the foreseeable future (in some countries surprisingly soon). After that, their populations will also start to fall.