MONDAY, 27 MAY 2013

German Cardinal Thinks Women Should be Mothers: Cue Hissing

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Poor Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Germany. He has made headlines (even in English language newspapers) by suggesting that Germany had a demographic problem that should not be solved by immigration. Instead, he suggested that women should stay home and have children. As The Local reports:

“Cardinal of Cologne Joachim Meisner told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper this week that he wanted to see German women having more babies rather than leaving the home to develop careers and earn money.

He said all-day schools and child care were not a problem for him, but suggested, "It would be better for society to create a climate where women had more children. That means promoting the high value of the family with mother and father for the children. Of course the material security of the wife, for her later pension too, must be secured."

He said he had experienced… click here to read whole article and make comments



Japan - Where did the children go?

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Here’s a little something from a devoted fan of this blog (thank you Thomas!). And it doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but according to in the year to 1 April, there were fewer births in Japan than the year before. That may not be surprising because for some years now (since 2007) Japan’s natural change in population has been in the negative.  Therefore it makes sense that it might be having fewer children than the year before. What may be somewhat surprising is that this is not a new phenomenon. In fact, according to the headline it has happened for the last 32 years!  Now I’m not sure where the headline comes from, for according to Wiki, the number of births in Japan rose between 2006 and 2007. But what I can see from Wiki is that in 1980, there were 1 576 889 births and… click here to read whole article and make comments



Migrants set to become majority in UK

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A new academic study commissioned by Oxford University has found that minority groups will make up 40% of the United Kingdom by 2050, making it one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world.  Currently, minority groups make up 10% of the population.  Moreover, it is not just the UK that is set to change, but all European countries.  Press TV reports the Observatory's Professor David Coleman as saying:


"Migration has become the primary driver of demographic change in most high-income countries and may remain so. On current trends European populations will become more ethnically diverse, with the possibility that today's majority ethnic groups will no longer comprise a numerical majority in some countries".


We have discussed before on this blog British concerns about migration – including cancelled plans for a… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 20 MAY 2013

A shortage of women workers in China pushes up wages

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Believe it or not, China is facing labour shortages. There is a shortage of women (I wonder why) and wages are rising. The Economist reports in this video. 

click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 17 MAY 2013

Chinese Author Ma Jian and the One-Child Policy

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The Guardian recently published a fascinating article by Ma Jian, the author of A Dark Road, about CHina’s one-child policy. In this article, Ma describes his travels to Guangxi Province in 2008, where he had decided that his novel would begin. His interest in the province had been sparked in 2007:

“In 2007, I read of riots breaking out in Bobai County in China's south-western Guangxi province. Under pressure from higher authorities to meet birth targets, local officials had launched a vicious crackdown on family-planning violators. Squads had rounded up 17,000 women and subjected them to sterilisations and abortions and had extracted 7.8m yuan (£800,000) in fines for "illegal births", ransacking the homes of families who refused to pay. Tens of thousands of peasants occupied Bobai County town and set fire to government buildings to protest against the crackdown. This was the largest outbreak of popular unrest since the… click here to read whole article and make comments



Bugs for Breakfast anyone?

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I’m sure you have read somewhere in the news by now that the United Nations is suggesting that insects could be the next big foodsource.  Containing a nutritious mix of protein, minerals and good fats, it is a wonder more people don’t eat insects really.  Apparently, they can be eaten whole, ground into a powder or paste or incorporated into other foods, yet they are something that we in the West don't quite have the stomach for, for the moment at least - one person interviewed by our local New Zealand news commented that he ‘would rather starve’. 

It is certainly 'food for thought' on the various food sources that we don't even tap into that are all around us - especially given that the media often postulates on overpopulation and a lack of food (although I would argue that food circulation and… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 13 MAY 2013

Ageing Population = Lower Productivity Growth?

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The challenge for Western countries in the short to medium term is that the number of workers that they have to support their economies (and social support networks) is declining or set to decline. We’ve banged on about this challenge here at Demography is Destiny for a while now.  According to a report in the Economist, not only will an ageing population eventually result in fewer workers, but as those workers age they will also be less productive.   

First, for those that argue economic growth isn’t everything, you’re right. But it is pretty important:

“Growth is vitally needed to bring down unemployment and to reduce the burden of debts incurred in both the private and public sectors over the past 20-30 years. But rich-world economic growth in the 21st century has so far been sluggish compared with previous decades.”

If we don’t grow economically, then new jobs aren’t… click here to read whole article and make comments



Happy Mother’s Day!

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Happy Mother’s Day everyone in advance! In commemoration of this day, Save the Children has released its 14th annual State of the World’s Mothers report. This report is entitled “Surviving the First Day” and focuses on the plight of new born children and mothers throughout the world. At the launch of this report at the UN yesterday, the President and CEO of Save the Children, Carolyn Miles, said that:

"It was here at the U.N. that all countries agreed to the Millennium Development Goal to reduce child mortality by two thirds…We've come a long way, but we won't get there without new focus on saving the youngest lives. This report presents the growing evidence that the world today has the low-cost tools to prevent millions of newborn deaths once considered inevitable."

Here in New Zealand the report is creating a little bit of angst as… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 6 MAY 2013

Volunteering in New Zealand

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I volunteer some of my time to a local charity. The amount of time it takes up isn’t huge, but I am finding that it is increasingly hard to make this small commitment, especially as the amount of work expected of us in the charity is greatly increasing.  With a full time job, new house (in the middle of renovations) a young baby and other commitments (this blog for example) I started sounding out other members of my charity about leaving. I was shocked to discover that at least half of the members of the charity were also trying to leave as the workload was getting too much. They all had families, jobs etc and not enough time to devote to the charity.  

I then got to thinking about charities in New Zealand. I thought about how much good work they do and how much they rely on volunteers. I then thought about those… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 3 MAY 2013

The Orthodox Will Inherit the Earth (Or at least their Children Will)

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In a recent issue of Time magazine (at least the online version) Mary Eberstadt made the claim that “In the War Over Christianity, Orthodoxy is Winning”.  Not because Eberstadt is a theologian with any ability to make claims over doctrinal disputes. No, instead Eberstadt’s claim rests on the fact that orthodox, traditionalist Christian communities are the ones that are having babies. In a statement that will provide solace to many traditionalists, she says:

“…though religious traditionalism may be losing today’s political and legal battles, it remains poised to win the wider war over what Christianity will look like tomorrow.”

Why is this the case? Because, while more liberal denominations are retracting, traditional forms of Christianity are expanding:

“…this numerical division between traditionalists and reformers is also seen around the world. It’s the stricter Christian churches that typically have stronger and more vibrant congregations — as has been… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Welcome to Demography Is Destiny. We launched this to counter two media memes: that humans are a cancer which is destroying our planet and that world population is spiralling to unsustainable levels. The real story is that intelligent and inventive humans will rise to the challenge of climate change and that our real problem is the coming demographic winter. The editors of Demography is Destiny are Marcus and Shannon Roberts, who live in Auckland, New Zealand. Send them your comments and suggestions. 

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