https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nnbd1b_tKQ Which Countries Have The Fastest Growing Populations?, 3:50 • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn9DDsxfpCA Which Countries Have Shrinking Populations?, 4:19 Which places are growing or shrinking?
Why Populations Grow Too Fast • Slightly better healthcare, better hygiene = more children are surviving to adulthood AND adults are living longer • Lack of access to birth control • Low education level of women • Religious beliefs (that large families are better, that birth control is a sin, the preference for boy babies) • Immigration(if the country is a hotspot for refugees, for example)
Effects of Rapidly Growing Population • Depletion of natural resources • Degradation of environment • More conflicts and wars • Rise of unemployment • High cost of living
Why Populations Shrink • Low birth rates (below replacement level) • Little immigration • Lots of emigration • Disease outbreak • High mortality rate • War
Effects of Shrinking Population • Labour shortage • Economic stagnation • Brain drain • Schools and other public services close down • Fewer young people to care for all the older people (and to pay taxes to support them too) Cities with the largest population decline 2005-2015
Demographic Trap: the combination of high fertility and declining mortality in developing countries, resulting in a period of high population growth rate
If you were Prime Minister of a country with a very low birth rate, what could you do about it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrO3TfJc9Qw 1:59 • In 2015 Denmark had a series of commercials with the goal of encouraging couples to have more babies • This actually lead to a small increase in births the following year Denmark Wants More Babies
While Denmark wants an increase in the birth rate, however, they are also warning incoming refugees to stay away. • They just passed a law which lets Danish authorities to seize any assets exceeding $1,450 from asylum-seekers • They cut social benefits to refugees and immigrants by 45% and plan to demolish the “ghettoes” most new immigrants live in But only if they’re Danish babies…
The German birth rate is one of the lowest in the world – the population could shrink by 16% by 2060 • Unlike Denmark, Germany is offering asylum to more refugees than any other European nation • Germany can’t afford to discourage the immigration that could stave off crisis • Germany’s solution has downsides: the dramatic change in population dynamics has led to xenophobic violence and some civil unrest. • Also unlike Denmark, Germany has not experienced a dramatic rise in support for anti-immigration parties How Germany Deals With Low Birth Rate
Hungary • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban does not want more immigrants • He said in a speech: “we do not want our own colour…mixed with those of others.” • Their birth rate is very low so he encourages women to have more babies. • The goal is reach replacement level by 2030 • Birth rate has already gone from 1.3 in 2011 to 1.5 now • His government is offering an impressive package of incentives: • up to 5 free IVF cycles for couples having trouble conceiving • 3 years parental leave • Housing subsidies per child running up to tens of thousands of euros • Subsidized childcare
Singapore • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jxU89x78ac • In 2012, Singapore authorities partnered with Mentos to put together “National Night,” a campaign meant to encourage Singaporean couples to let their “patriotism explode” and help the nation increase its 0.78 children per woman rate
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gwHzej1reo Polish government encourages people to “breed like bunnies” Poland
Romania • In 1966, communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu took some drastic measures to increase the birth rate • He wanted to increase the population by 7 million • Childless men and women over the age of 25 were subject to a new tax that could be as much as 20% of their income. • Divorce was made incredibly difficult • The legal importation of birth control was halted • Police were installed in hospitals to make sure that no illegal abortions were performed • This resulted in the deaths of around 10,000 women in illegal abortions • In the 1980s they again faced a declining birth rate and tried new things: • Women were subjected to monthly gynecological exams to detect pregnancies in their earliest stage and to ensure that the pregnancies came to term.
In 2007, the government declared a National Day of Conception, in the hopes that giving couples the day off from work to do their civic duty would result in a baby spike 9 months later • Women who gave birth that day could win refrigerators, money, and even cars. • It seems to have worked—by 2013, Russia’s birth rate had surpassed America’s. Russia
South Korea • One of the biggest concerns that South Korean parents have is being able to pay for their children’s care and education • So the government is: • Building more cheap governmental childcare facilities • Actively trying to weaken the perception that a college degree is necessary for success • The government doles out 500,000-won bonuses (about $500) to expectant couples to help cover prenatal expenses • For the first year after the child is born, parents get monthly cash allowances of up to 200,000 won—an amount that increases with each subsequent child • Free childcare • Subsidized fertility treatments • Housing assistance • Free parking for families
In 2010, the South Korean government decided to turn off the lights in its offices at 7:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month—which the government dubbed “Family Day” • People were encouraged to go spend time with their families (or to go spend some time with their partner and making some new babies)
Japan’s Population Decline • Japan is projected to lose about 15% of its population by 2050 • Women are having fewer babies later in life = very low birth rate • People are getting married later or not at all • The # of kids is shrinking so much that Japan loses about 400 schools a year • Japan is one of the planet’s oldest societies, with a median age of 46.5 years • There is a growing shortage of labour. This will hurt the world’s third-largest economy • They get very few immigrants to fill the gap
Japan – so many old people • Today, over 25% of Japan's 127 million people are over 65. • By 2055, it's estimated to be 40%. • This will create a ton of healthcare costs.
Extreme Work Culture • Japan's extreme work culture, where employees are expected to work into the night, go out drinking with their colleagues, and potentially move across Japan or abroad to advance their careers • The lifestyle of the “salaryman” • No time or energy left to date
Working Women • 70% of Japanese women give up work as soon as they have their first child • Japanese men don’t help with the children as much • Not enough daycares • Moms that do go back to work are often vilified and looked down on • Married working women are sometimes demonized as oniyome, or "devil wives” • Married women are often passed over for promotions since it is assumed they will get pregnant and leave
Young People Not Dating • 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship, a rise of almost 10% from five years earlier. • 45% of women aged 16-24 "were not interested in or despised sexual contact". More than a quarter of men felt the same way • Some resort to virtual reality girlfriends
Pensions • Now older people can get pensions when they retire, so they don’t have to rely on children to care for them when they are elderly
A Train Stop For A Single Person • A train in Hokkaido, Japan stops twice a day for a single passenger – a high school student on her way to school • The station was slated to close in 2012 due to its remote location • The train schedule is based on the girl’s timetable, and so passes by the station on her holidays • That’s how much the population has shrunk in some areas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioqic5TYM8k 3:46 Japan's Population Decline: Incredible Facts About Japan's Aging Population • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5Pwn6JX4eY 2:25 How Japan’s Economy is Ruining Its Youth • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1kFik1BZRo 16:40 Japan's Baby Drain (just the first 3.5 minutes or so)
China’s 1 Child Policy • Introduced in 1979 (after a decade-long two-child policy), modified in the mid-80s to let rural parents a second child if the first was a daughter, and then lasted until eliminated at the end of 2015. • Now they have a 2-Child Policy • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRBT70_RIWM 1:32 • According to the Chinese government, 400 million births were prevented, though many scholars dispute this claim • Places with similar socioeconomic development like Thailand and Iran, along with the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, achieved similar declines of fertility without a one-child policy
China’s Gender Imbalance • 117 baby boys were being born to every 100 girls in the 2000s • There will be 30 million more men than women in 2020, potentially leading to social instability, and courtship-motivated emigration • Tens of millions of young men, especially poor, rural men cannot find or afford wives • Where are the missing girls? • Adopted out • Sex selective abortions • Unregistered births • Being excluded from the family register means they do not possess a Hukou (an identifying document, similar to a social security card.) They do not legally exist and cannot access most public services, such as education and health care, and do not receive protection under the law • Female infanticide
India’s Forced Sterilization • In India, "the Emergency" refers to a 21-month period from 1975-1977 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had a state of emergency declared across the country • For much of the Emergency, most of Gandhi's political opponents were imprisoned and the press was censored. • Several other human rights violations were reported from the time, including a forced mass-sterilization campaign • The campaign primarily involved getting males to undergo vasectomy. • Quotas were set up that enthusiastic supporters and government officials worked hard to achieve. • There were allegations of coercion of unwilling candidates • In 1976–1977, the programme led to 8.3 million sterilisations, most of them forced, up from 2.7 million the previous year.
Should the citizens of the fast growing countries have, as a basic human right, the opportunity to migrate to less densely settled countries? • Are the governments of ‘overpopulated’ countries justified in legally requiring small families? In requiring involuntary sterilization? Reflection on Demographics