The end result will be that
the United States will retain their position as the world’s hegemon if it so
wishes and if it makes the required investments to maintain that position. A
victory by default until it too witnesses a major demographic shift.
In the 59 countries in which 44% of the population
lives, the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) –
i.e. the number of children a woman will have during her lifetime – has
dropped, in the last 50 years, to below the replacement level. For the European
Union, this figure is of 1.5, with two countries, Italy and Spain at 1.3.
Europe’s population, excluding Russia and Turkey,
accounts now for 11% of the world’s population as against 25% only a century
ago. Should the Italian TFR become the norm, the population would shrink by 75%
by the year 2100. A positive immigration flow of one million persons a year would
ensure that by 2050 the EU’s population would be of 690 million thu shaving
shrunk by ‘only’ 40 million in 50 years.
Several culprits have been identified. Women marry
at an older age thus reducing the period during which they are fertile. Divorce
rates have doubled over the last 40 years and mono-parental families represent
21% of all families in the EU. A variety of contraception methods are available
including safe abortions. The high unemployment figures are also taking their
If an active young population is an indicator of a
dynamic society, Europe stands little hope of being amongst the world’s biggest