The decline of Europe’s Jewish community

comment   | print |

In a piece I wrote a couple of months ago in the wake of the Parisian Charlie Hebdo attacks I mentioned that Jews were emigrating from France to Israel in greater numbers after increasing anti-Semitic attacks. What is interesting to see is the decline in Jewish numbers throughout Europe since the start of the Second World War and the Holocaust. I had never really thought how many Jews lived in Europe and also how many European Jews there used to be.

As Pew Research notes, it is hard to determine Jewish numbers in a given country accurately:

“Measuring Jewish populations, especially in places like Europe and the United States where Jews are a small minority, is fraught with difficulty. This is due to the complexity both of measuring small populations and of Jewish identity, which can be defined by ethnicity or religion. As a result, estimates vary, but Pew Research’s recent figures… click here to read whole article and make comments



Countries are fighting for working age population

comment   | print |

There are outcries about immigration in a number of countries around the world.  Yet the economic reality remains – most of those countries need more working age people.  Will we soon see more competition amongst countries to entice the most attractive immigrant’s from around the world?

Hong Kong is certainly trying to do so, and has just enacted new reforms to try to attract more reverse migration.  The reforms target the children of Hong Kongers who have moved overseas, making it easier for them to come back and gain residency in Hong Kong.  Applicants for the visas must be aged 18 to 40, have a university degree, understand English or Chinese and prove they can afford to live in the city.  The measures are aimed at overcoming the ageing demographic and shortage of skilled labour. The government hopes they will attract more young people to return to their parents' home to contribute to… click here to read whole article and make comments



Shengnu women and boyfriends for rent

comment   | print |

We've talked before on this blog about the fact that China has a gender imbalance problem in favour of boys. This is due to a cultural preference for boys allied to modern ultrasound technology which allows one to abort a baby of the “wrong” gender (exacerbated by the pressures of the one-child policy). While that means that there will be a surplus of marriage-aged men in the not too distant future in China as a whole, the paradoxical reality is that many Chinese women, especially in urban areas, are finding it hard to avoid being labelled as “shengnu” or “leftover women”. This is something we've also brought up before (see here and here). 

On a similar topic, there is another aspect of this shengnu phenomenon at the Foreign Affairs magazine. Clarissa Sebag Montefiore reports that the largest Chinese online marketplace, Taobao, now advertises “boyfriends for hire”.

“Men offer their… click here to read whole article and make comments



Global population decline in 100 years

comment   | print |

pop declineAleksandra Alekseeva |

George Friedman is the Chairman of Stratfor and his (free) Geopolitical Weekly articles often appear in Mercatornet. I always enjoy reading them. He has recently written on demography and the long term implications of a declining world population. “Global Decline and the Great Economic Reversal” is an interesting read and I strongly recommend that you have a look at it. The key points that Friedman makes are the following:

1. Population decline is happening and it is happening around the globe:

In fact, the entire global population explosion is ending. In virtually all societies, from the poorest to the wealthiest, the birthrate among women has been declining.

By the end of this century, Friedman predicts, all countries will be at 2.1 births per woman or below (that is, at or below the rate of replacement).

click here to read whole article and make comments



More money in the bank means fewer babies

comment   | print |

Statistics have recently confirmed that the New Zealand total fertility rate fell last year from 2.01 babies per woman in 2013 to just 1.92.  What is interesting is that fertility rates are lowest among women who are educated and receive higher incomes in many countries around the world.  New Zealand demographer, Ian Pool, notes that fertility rates are now lowest where women are better educated, have higher incomes and are more likely to be in paid work.    

One would think that those who have more money would feel that they are able to afford to have more children.  These statistics indicate that the recession is definitely not all that is at play with people putting off having children.  They also suggest once again that women feel undervalued when spending time bringing up children, and valued more by society in their jobs.  So they tend to limit their families and, in some cases, put off having children until it is… click here to read whole article and make comments



Mo Yan, Frogs, and the one child policy

comment   | print |

Back in 2012, Michael wrote a piece about Guan Moye, the Chinese author who writes under the pen name of Mo Yan, who was the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature that year. He wrote a novel entitled Wa, or “Frogs” which has just been translated into English and has been reviewed in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. What is interesting about this book from our point of view is that Guan Moye/Mo Yan is critical of the Chinese one child policy and the book portrays aspects of the horrific policy and its effects on both abortionists and mothers.

Although Guan Moye has received criticism for becoming a Communist Party lacky (for becoming Vice-Chairman of the state writers'… click here to read whole article and make comments



Italy: a “dying country”

comment   | print |

The Italian health minister has recently said some alarming words about her country's demographic outlook:

We are very close to the threshold of non-renewal where the people dying are not replaced by new-borns. That means we are a dying country,” Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said.

This situation has enormous implications for every sector: the economy, society, health, pensions, just to give a few examples,” Lorenzin said.

We need a wake-up call and a real change of culture to turn the trend around in the coming years, added the minister. 

What has caused this pessimistic outburst from Lorenzin has been the news that 2014 saw fewer Italian babies born than in any other year since 1861 when the modern Italian state was formed. The Italian national statistics office ISTAT released figures last week showing that the number of live births last… click here to read whole article and make comments



Super Women

comment   | print |

An article published in The Daily Mail today laments that women increasingly base their self-worth on the success of their working lives, labelling this a "toxic legacy of the feminist Superwoman".  It asks the question: "Career women insist feminism means ALL women having jobs, but could that belief blight the lives of mothers – and their children?".  

It is a question worth asking.  How much must women do to realise their true worth and live great lives?  Even government policy is so often now pointed towards encouraging women back into work, increasing economic 'productivity' (forgetting, perhaps, that a working age, tax paying population is a direct result of mothers bringing up children and stable family life), and making regular counts of the numbers of women in top corporate and government positions to show how far we have come.

All this makes it easy for women to feel that… click here to read whole article and make comments



An ageing Britain: Is the NHS creaking under the strain?

comment   | print |

With an ageing population in many nations, the ability of our health systems to cope with the added demands that large numbers of elderly patients bring with them is in the spotlight.  The NHS is seen as one of the wonders of British post-war society (even making an appearance in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics).  So when the medical director of the NHS warns that it will be unable to cope unless large-scale changes are made, then it is not surprising that Britons are sitting up and listening.  The Guardian reports:

“Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS in England, said that without massive changes to the way the NHS treats patients, including far less reliance on hospitals, the service risked becoming unaffordable and could see its entirely taxpayer-funded status challenged.”

In Keogh’s view, what is needed is for resources… click here to read whole article and make comments



Breaking the “two” barrier in Germany

comment   | print |

One of the last places in the world you would expect to have many large families is Germany. German women have, on average, only 1.4 children each, and one in five women will remain childless. Chancellor Angela Merkel is one of those. By contrast, one of her chief ministers, Ursula von der Leyen, has seven children.

Probably there are not many families of that size in the country, but there are a substantial number with three or more -- about 1.4 million, making up 12 percent of all families with children, according to this infographic on the website of the German Association of Large Families (KRFD). And remember, three kids qualifies as a “large family” these days.

With the country’s population declining in recent years – in spite of immigration, which the native Germans are getting somewhat restless about anyway – you would think the nation would be grateful to those… click here to read whole article and make comments


Page 1 of 64 :  1 2 3 >  Last ›

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 human 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. 

rss Demography RSS feed

Follow MercatorNet
subscribe to newsletter
Sections and Blogs
Family Edge
Sheila Reports
Reading Matters
Demography Is Destiny
Conniptions (the editorial)
our ideals
our People
Mercator who?
partner sites
audited accounts
advice for writers
New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2
5 George Street
North Strathfield NSW 2137
+61 2 8005 8605
skype: mercatornet
© New Media Foundation 2015 | powered by Encyclomedia | designed by Elleston