Autor: Steven Mosher Fuente: Population Research Institute

Anyone who doubts the seriousness of the demographic crisis that will soon be upon us can look at the projections just published by the United Nations Population Division (UNPD). The low-variant projection—historically the most accurate—calls for population to peak in 2040 at 7.5 billion people, up only slightly from today’s 6.3 billion.

This year’s revision to the UNPD’s World Population Prospects includes special long range projections. By 2300, population will spiral downward to only 2.3 billion by 2300. The world of tomorrow will resemble “old Europe” of today -- graying, aged, and dying.

Not that the UNPD got it all right. The UNPD’s “medium variant” projection, the focus of most of the press coverage, rosily called for population to peak at 9.1 billion in 2100 and then remain almost stable for the next two centuries. But these numbers are premised on the wildly optimistic assumption that global fertility rates will bottom out at 1.85 children per woman.

In the regal language of the report, “1.85 children per woman represents a floor value below which the total fertility of high and medium-fertility countries is not allowed to drop before 2050.” Again, 1.85 is a floor below which total fertility “is not allowed to drop.” No rationale is given for this limitation.

The “medium-fertility assumption” also shows Europe’s fertility rebounding from its current 1.35 children, mysteriously climbing to the required 1.85 by 2050. Again, no rationale is given. Fertility rates in nature, of course, do not rise or fall simply because a demographic model so dictates. In the real world, as opposed to the reified world of modeling, Europe’s fertility rates continue to crash.

Why these strange assumptions? Why is the fantasy of zero population growth promoted, and the reality of population decline downplayed?

Perhaps it is because the truth would illuminate the obvious: Our long-term problem is not too many children, but too few children. And population control organizations are only making this problem worse, much worse.

PRI will continue to be a voice for truth in 2004.
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