The recent announcement that the New Zealand birth-rate is below the rate of population maintenance passed with surprising little comment. In our case it’s marginal compared with other nations but the fact remains that our population has been sustained in recent decades through large-scale migration.

The most publicised examples in of this phenomenon are Japan and South Korea. Given no change their respective populations will be halved within a generation.

Europe provides extreme examples. Britain and Germany for example, have only sustained their population through decades of migrants, in the latter cases mainly Turkish.

I remember in the early 1990s in Istanbul asking someone what the queue of people stretching for half a dozen blocks was about. They turned out to be waiting to access the German Embassy for visas.

But even the Catholic countries such as Poland, Spain and Italy face the same issue which is one reason much of Europe, over and above charity concerns, has accepted the millions of mainly Syrian refugees. Another reason, as anyone familiar with the Middle East will confirm, is that Syrians are generally viewed as very good people.

Hungary’s authoritarian government was a conspicuous exception, arguing as it was entitled to, that as a strongly Christian country they objected to the presence of mosques and an alien religion in their midst. A fortnight ago, conscious of their birth-rate decline they announced a package of financial incentives to increase the birth-rate. It won’t work as it doesn’t address the source of the problem.

That is singularity down to the education of women.

Thus, lagging badly on this front, India, with a population a few decades back half of China’s, is now projected to surpass it within a decade, thanks to China’s vastly superior education standards.

When I was young late teen girls aspired to marriage and childbearing. Today’s young women seek meaningful careers and marriage and childbearing are viewed as decidedly unappealing. Who can blame them?

The question is does it matter? Some short-sighted Greens, imbued in Malthusian doomsdayism, will see this development as wonderful, claiming as they do that the world is over-populated. In fact the opposite is true as it’s virtually empty and with the global flight to city living, not just for economic reasons but as much for a superior life-style, it will become emptier. Currently cities occupy 3% of the world‘s landmass, that despite for the first time in human history more that 50% of humanity are city dwellers. Projections are for this to rise to 75% within 30 years.

The major concern about this development is economic. Life expectancy, varying from country to country, is now twice that of a century ago.

A conspicuous exception is America where life expectancy has declined for the past four years due primarily to obesity, a factor mainly conspicuous with lower income unskilled workers and blacks. Nevertheless, the ratio of unemployed, expected though their taxes to support the unemployed and notably the retired, is falling sharply.

I don’t see this as a problem as technology constantly increases productivity, thus the growing clamour, probably at present a little ahead of its time, for shorter working weeks.

Another factor receiving an aining at present is declining sperm potency, attributable to chemical pollution. It’s certainly a novel concept for me having a life-long experience of virtually glancing at females across the street and a few months later they’re pregnant. Shaking hands means triplets. But it’s not an issue anyway.

Projections currently suggest world population growth peaking to about 10 billion before beginning a sharp decline.

My expectation is in the next few years, a volte-face in countries’ approached to refugees in which they compete to attract them.

Thereafter, to induce women to temporarily give up their professions and breed with require massive financial inducements and may still not work.

We certainly live in interesting times.



I too am surprised by how little comment the tectonic shift in demographics seems to get in the media. I recently read an excellent book called ‘Empty Planet’ where they discuss the population plateauing around 2050 and then plunging afterwards. The biggest looser will be China because of their one child policy and it’s now too late to reverse – their population could halve by the time we reach 2100. We will have to figure out how we continue to grow our economies without an ever increasing population.

    I think you are right. There is a huge shift in China from the rural areas to the urban areas for several reasons. Education, employment, better life etc. No one really wants to be a farmer anymore. They crave the good things in life and work like hell to achieve it. The work and education ethic is much more apparent in China than in the West. Whose going backwards?

    China actually ended the one-child policy in 2015. But some analysts believe the plant is already over 165% of its population capacity. It’s unreasonable to think we can keep growing our population. Running out of arable land, running out of freshwater, we are already facing water wars in many parts of the world.

The utterly failed “growth of economies” philosophy demonstrated by the sick planet earth will perhaps reverse with the lesser number of humans pillaging the resources of the planet.
It is stupid beyond my understanding to continue to believe in a growth philosophy when that growth is dependent on destroying the green planet.

The democratic connundrum is that well-run countries attract immigrants from badly-run countries whose bad beliefs and behaviours come with them to cause the same problems that they escaped from.

On the other hand surely the examples of the USA and NZ/Aus colonists show that such consequences can be overcome?

Our present immigration system seems very cruel to many people and I would welcome an end to scapegoating immigrants and its current hard line approach often to good people who have lived and worked here for years.

The answer to your last sentence is obvious. Stop employing so many people to stop other people doing things.

I find this topic fascinating. Having recently some research on such matters, the Economist has been running a series on the failing efforts of the Chinese to have more kids and the double impacts from the one child policy from having large numbers of unmarried men. Some provinces in China will halve in population in only a generation most others will take two. For NZ the brouhaha about housing demand is premised on an ever increasing population rather than a one off structural shortage driven by migrants. It is not a new issue. Large parts of France for example were unpopulated following the Napoleonic and World wars. Villages in Italy are trying to give free homes to young couples that will come and live there and have babies. Parts of provincial NZ will start to see this over the next 25 years.

What doesnt seem to be touched on is the elephant in the room of high living costs, which is delaying child birth of the educated.

Individualism and the banksters dominating position has manifested itself to leave population growth to the less educated; and maybe this is by design?

Banksters are fixated on endless growth, as their interest model doesnt survive without it. I’m not against growth either, but when it benefits everyone; rather than the mess it is creating.

All we know is the way (some) humans are treating the planet, a population decline may help the wider ecosystem; and give other species a chance.

While most others hated the Covid lockdown here, I loved it. We had less noise pollution, and saw nature we don’t normally see. It may not have been good for some businesses, but we are over retailed and have too many pen pushes anyway.

Greetings Sir Bob
Apologies for being off track here.
I enjoy reading your comments on (the) BFD and for several months now have tried to buy some signed copies of your book, but the link goes nowhere.
Please, can you give me a link to purchase.
Many thanks and best wishes.

Thanks for another substantive informative article on facts, trends and your assumptions thereof. Always quite interesting.

An interesting book on this is Empty Planet by Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson. They don’t think we will even reach 10 million as they see India and sub Saharan Africa birth dropping quicker than UN projections due to urbanisation and female education. For Land owners this will be a disaster but for the average person a declining population combined with inevitable technological progress will probably lead to better living standards similar to population busts in history that rose wages.

Greens co-leader Marama Davidson is obviously not one of those ‘short-sighted greens’ – she’s doing her bit with 6 kids (presumably they have no carbon footprint though)

The really really scarey part of all this is the dumbing down of said population.
All spurred on by very poor Governance, failed education systems and a welfare system blatantly encouraging those who don’t have the IQ, can’t afford to or shouldn’t be allowed to breed are the ones “financed into it” by the state. They and the state then cry poverty!!!!. Stupid right?
NZ is a case in point. One simply needs to look at the multiple child families in this country today. Most fit the above narrative.
Funny times indeed.

Is there any surprise that the western world is going to suffer a huge population decrease in the next 50 years or so?

Western and Modern thinking is along the lines of;
Female empowerment movement saying, career first, it’s OK to be single into your late 30’s.
Ideology of career fist family later.
Toxic feminism groups focused male hatred.
Female empowerment, affirmative action, now entrenched in educational institutions, political parties, news, social media, and bureaucracy.
LGBT where once thought of as unusual, now considered normal.
Social availability of sexual gratification provides easier options.

The highly educated and professional class strive for financial success and material wealth. As opposed to committing to a family raising relationship. Agree with other comments, dregs of society, are making a career (state funded financial) choice of having multiple children.
MGTOW movement gaining traction, as legal and financial disincentive for men to have children.

Thank God, (if you believe in God) for the Islamic states, that have for the greater part ignored if not outlawed the above, and are literally breeding like rabbits.

    Last paragraph is Gold.
    They also predicted they would take over the UK and as of recently make up the largest religious population. Meanwhile many UKians are scrambling to greener pastures. NZ could fill it’s boots with them. 😂😂

Yes Bob, we went all-out getting young women to love careers over babies. It’s a bit of a con though. They don’t and won’t realise how shit most “dream jobs” are until they’ve invested so much into their awful education, that they can’t bare to believe it wasn’t all worth it…

I’m still suspicious it was deliberate. A way of curbing the western worlds fertility, to ensure the rest of our forests aren’t reduced to barren farmland, etc. China takes pop’ control deathly seriously – maybe our “deep states” have done the same thing?

Watch out for the Islamic world though. Those guys put Allah first, and like us back in the 50’s they still think they gotta have those really big 4 – 8 kid families. Nothing would be more interesting than a biological Islamic takeover, lol.

One more thing. Those that are most likely to breed in the Western world, as also those most likely to have unplanned pregnancies. And the problem with that, is that those ones are much more likely to come from an abusive and deprived background, and have developmental deficiencies and heavy neurosis (and awful boyfriends to match). So the “eugenic” effect of modern policy is less than encouraging. We’re backing the weakest to breed and the strongest to keep their legs together. Not smart.

Dear Sane Minority, while I understand your sentiments re female empowerment, career first etc, what your comment fails to address is what alternatives women are presented with (and men for that matter)

I think ideology has less to do with a decline in people breeding than financial ability. It’s rare that one income can support a family these days. Wages might be a bigger issue than feminism here.

Hi DJH, ok, let me address the alternatives that women, and men are presented. Is to partner up, have kids, and forego some of the material wealth offered by more money. We have a govt prepared to pay you to have kids, so I don’t see where the financial ability is compromised. Yes, lifestyle may not be so glamorous, being a state funded parent, unless you’re a PM.
The bigger issue I see, is toxic feminist brain washing of younger women. Into believing it’s Ok to wait, and have kids older. Every day, there’s a news article about a 40 something new mum. These women are the rare minority.
The ideology that women can wait and have it all is simply false. Unlike men, who have a longer period to become a father. Women, have a relatively short window of opportunity to safely and successfully conceive.
So, when you have an ideology that encourages casual sex, partying, and career well into your 30’s. The idea of being a young mother simply is not portrayed as fashionable or desirable by current thinking. In fact being a young mother is considered a failure of some form.
I have yet to see any feminist organisation proclaim a goal of women having children, loving relationships with men. And simply be that, a female, a mother, a home maker.
The real losers are heartbroken middle aged professional women, who may have deprived some man a child raising income career, now too old to conceive who bought into this BS.

    Yes, I understand this, I just don’t think as many women buy into feminism as some think. Not all women are so easily duped. That’s all.

Glad somebody else sees the de-population crisis as a non-event. Modern manufacturing is becoming more automatic all the time. However there is the problem that in a lot of countries there is a strong preference for male children and we are running into an era of huge numbers of single young men looking for something to do. Traditionally the military was a solution, we might not be around in another generation…

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