Global Demographics Forecast

From the Joint Forces Command report:
• Eight billion people in the world by 2025 (2 billion more than today).
• Nearly all growth (95%) in the developing world.
• Absolute population decline in Europe, Japan, Russia, and Korea.
• The U.S. will add 50 million people by 2025 (unique among the developed countries of the world).
The world’s troubles over the next 25 years will occur not only in the areas of abject poverty, but also to an even greater extent in developing countries, where the combination of demographics and economy permits populations to grow, but makes meeting rising expectations difficult. Here, the performance of the global economy will be key in either dampening down or inflaming ethnically or religiously-based violent movements.
Europe: European nations stopped replacing their losses to deaths in 2007, and despite considerable efforts to reverse those trends, there is little likelihood their populations will significantly increase by the 2030s. This raises serious concerns about the sustainability of economic growth in Europe. It also has serious implications for the willingness of European societies to bear the costs involved in lives and treasure that the use of military force inevitably carries with it.
Japan’s population will fall from 128 million to approximately 117 million in the 2030s due to the collapse of Japan’s birth rate. The Japanese are taking serious steps to address their demographic decline, a fact which explains their major research and development efforts in the field of robotics as well as their shift to a capital-intensive economy.
China’s population will grow by 170 million, but its population will age significantly because of strict enforcement of the government’s edict of one child per family. An additional demographic factor, which may impact on Chinese behavior, is the choice of many families to satisfy that limitation with a male child. How the resulting imbalance between young males and females will play out by the 2030s in China’s external and internal politics is impossible to predict, because there are few historical analogues. Nevertheless, there are some indications of an increasing predilection to violence among Chinese youth, while there have been exuberant displays of nationalistic feeling among the young in response to criticisms of China’s behavior in Tibet.
By the 2030s the U.S. population will climb by more than 50 million to a total of approximately 355 million. This growth will result not only from births in current American families, but also from continued immigration, especially from Mexico and the Caribbean, which will lead to major increases in America’s Hispanic population. By 2030 at least 15% of the population of every U.S. state will be Hispanic in origin, in some states reaching upwards of 50%. The historical ability of the United States to assimilate immigrants into its society and culture gives it a distinct advantage over most other nations, who display little willingness to incorporate immigrant populations into the mainstream of their societies.
India will grow by 320 million during the next quarter of a century. The tensions that arise from a growing divide between rich and poor in a nation already driven by a multiplicity of races and religions could seriously impact on its potential for further economic growth. Exacerbating tensions will be the divide between the sub-continent’s huge middle class and those in the villages mired in poverty, as well as the divide between Muslims and Hindus. Nevertheless, India’s democratic system gives some latitude for political changes to accommodate society’s poor.
The continued population growth across the Middle East and in Sub-Saharan Africa has only recently begun abating, but not fast enough to forestall a demographic crisis, where economic growth fails to keep pace with population growth. In areas of abject poverty, continued growth among the youth has significance for the employment of U.S. forces called upon to feed the starving and mitigate the suffering. Where economic growth fuels but does not satisfy expectations, the potential for revolution or war, including civil war, will be significant.
Even as the developing world copes with its youth bulge, the developed world will confront its acute aging problem. By the 2030s the number of elderly people in developed countries will double. In Japan there will be 63 elderly for every 100 workers, with Europe not far behind with 59 per 100. The United States will be slightly better off with 44 elderly per 100 workers. Even China will see its ratio of elderly to working population double (from 12 to 23 per 100 workers) as a result of better diet and improved medical care. Such demographic trends will make it less likely that nations in the developed world will sacrifice their youth in military adventures, unless extraordinary threats appear. Regions such as the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, where the youth bulge will reach over 50% of the population, will possess fewer inhibitions about engaging in conflict.
Around the world, humanity is on the move, with Muslims and Africans moving to Europe, ethnic Chinese moving into Siberia, Mexicans and other Latin Americans moving north to the United States and Canada, and citizens of the Philippines and India providing the labor and small commercial backbones of the economies of the Gulf States. Equally important are the migrations occurring in war torn areas in Africa in areas like the Sudan, Somalia, Darfur, Rwanda. Such migrations disrupt patterns of culture, politics and economics and in most cases carry with them the potential of further dislocations and troubles.
Everywhere, people are moving to cities. Skilled workers, doctors, and engineers are leaving the undeveloped world as fast as they can to make a living in the developed world. Increasingly, these global diasporas connect through the internet and telephone to their home countries. Often, the money they send back to their families forms major portions of the local economies back in their home communities.


About Caracas Gringo

Representing less than 0.00000000001515152% of the world population as of 31 December 2011.
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