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Population Research Presents A Sobering Prognosis

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/world/30population.html?_r=1&hp

With 267 people being born every minute and 108 dying, the world’s population will top seven billion next year, a research group projects, while the ratio of working-age adults to support the elderly in developed countries declines precipitously because of lower birthrates and longer life spans.

In a sobering assessment of those two trends, William P. Butz, president of the Population Reference Bureau, said that “chronically low birthrates in developed countries are beginning to challenge the health and financial security of the elderly” at the same time that “developing countries are adding over 80 million to the population each year and the poorest of those countries are adding 20 million, exacerbating poverty and threatening the environment.”

Projections, especially over decades, are vulnerable to changes in immigration, retirement ages, birthrates, health care and other variables, but in releasing the bureau’s 2010 population data sheet, Carl Haub, its senior demographer, estimated this week that by 2050 the planet will be home to more than nine billion people.

Even with a decline in birthrates in less developed countries from 6 children per woman in 1950 to 2.5 today (and to 2 children or less in Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Iran, Thailand and Turkey), the population of Africa is projected to at least double by midcentury to 2.1 billion. Asia will add an additional 1.3 billion.

While the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand will continue to grow because of higher birthrates and immigration, Europe, Japan and South Korea will shrink (although the recession reduced birthrates in the United States and Spain and slowed rising birthrates in Russia and Norway).

In Japan, the population of working-age people, typically defined as those 15 to 64, compared with the population 65 and older that is dependent on this younger group, is projected to decline to a ratio of one to one, from the current three to one. Worldwide, the ratio of working age people for every person in the older age group is expected to decline to four to one, from nine to one now.

Earlier this week, Eurostat, the statistical arm of the 27-nation European Union, reported that while the union’s population topped a half billion this year, 900,000 of the 1.4 million growth from the year before resulted from immigration. Eurostat has predicted that deaths will outpace births in five years, a trend that has already occurred in Bulgaria, Latvia and Hungary.

While the bulge in younger people, if they are educated, presents a potential “demographic dividend” for countries like Bangladesh and Brazil, the shrinking proportion of working-age people elsewhere may place a strain on governments and lead them to raise retirement ages and to encourage alternative job opportunities for older workers.

Even in the United States, the proportion of the gross domestic product spent on Social Security and Medicare is projected to rise to 14.5 percent in 2050, from 8.4 percent this year.

The coming decades will be fun.

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Guest sillybear2

In Europe the dependency ratio is already around 4 to 1, and is expected to drop to 2 to 1 by 2050 or so.

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yeah, the future's gonna get puckered up.

As we have seen before projecting mortality improvements is not scientific. It is highly subjective - and boasts a long history of widely inaccurate doom sayers.

If the number of years in retirement stays the same (people retire later) an aging population will have a greater proportion of workers to non workers, with the requirement for saving unchanged.

A properly organised society could start to reduce the number of working days a week

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Guest Steve Cook

The projections given rest on the assumption of economic growth carrying on at the same rate as it has done for the last century or two. It won't, though, because it can't. In fact there is going to be massive economic contraction. That being the case, we are probably looking at the peak of the human population right now or there abouts. From this point in human history going forwards, the population is set to decline. Steadily if we are lucky. However, it's perfectly possible that there will be a precipitous die-off in the coming 5 decades such that by the end of them we could be looking at a population less than half what it is now.

Edited by Steve Cook

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The projections given rest on the assumption of economic growth carrying on at the same rate as it has done for the last century or two. It won't, though, because it can't. In fact there is going to be massive economic contraction. That being the case, we are probably looking at the peak of the human population right now or there abouts. From this point in human history going forwards, the population is set to decline. Steadily if we are lucky. However, it's perfectly possible that there will be a precipitous die-off in the coming 5 decades such that by the end of them we could be looking at a population less than half what it is now.

Great we have the full range - population explosion to population collapse.

Whilst it is worth understanding the likely consequences of any of these scenarios - it is speculation to suggest anyone as more likely.

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As we have seen before projecting mortality improvements is not scientific. It is highly subjective - and boasts a long history of widely inaccurate doom sayers.

nothing about economics is scientific. Both economics and demographics are branches of sociology.

That does not alter the fact the trend is downwards and has been for a long time now.

If the number of years in retirement stays the same (people retire later) an aging population will have a greater proportion of workers to non workers, with the requirement for saving unchanged.

a 65 year old worked is subject to more medical shocks to his earning capability than a 30 year old worker. Consequently the 65 year old worker will save more and spend less.

A properly organised society could start to reduce the number of working days a week

how does that help? doing this will reduce output and that would create either negative return on capital and/or a depression.

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Guest Noodle

The projections given rest on the assumption of economic growth carrying on at the same rate as it has done for the last century or two. It won't, though, because it can't. In fact there is going to be massive economic contraction. That being the case, we are probably looking at the peak of the human population right now or there abouts. From this point in human history going forwards, the population is set to decline. Steadily if we are lucky. However, it's perfectly possible that there will be a precipitous die-off in the coming 5 decades such that by the end of them we could be looking at a population less than half what it is now.

Demographic transition

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nothing about economics is scientific. Both economics and demographics are branches of sociology.

Oh that ain't true.

Economics is a hard science.

It's just that people don't like what it tells them and want to dodge the results.

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nothing about economics is scientific. Both economics and demographics are branches of sociology.

That does not alter the fact the trend is downwards and has been for a long time now.

a 65 year old worked is subject to more medical shocks to his earning capability than a 30 year old worker. Consequently the 65 year old worker will save more and spend less.

how does that help? doing this will reduce output and that would create either negative return on capital and/or a depression.

Mortality improvements have gone upwards (google the cohort effect) in the developed world.

You are right older working people will have greater health risks, but inspite of this will be net producers. The saving comparison you are making is what young adults need to do for their children vs what older people do for their health care.

As savings will fall for child care as a proportion of the population, this might be partially offset by saving for health care of older workers.

With a significantly higher proportion of the population working in future output can be maintained for the same labour spread over more people and less days a week.

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nothing about economics is scientific. Both economics and demographics are branches of sociology.

Or at least economics and demographics are equally scientific. The thread title is misleading. This is not population research, its population forecasting.

Forecasting - the thing many 'economists' are derided for doing during the boom. Assume the current trend would go on forever and there were no other influences that might balance their predictions.

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Oh that ain't true.

Economics is a hard science.

It's just that people don't like what it tells them and want to dodge the results.

Not according the austria school - they claim it is not a science.

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Oh that ain't true.

Economics is a hard science.

It's just that people don't like what it tells them and want to dodge the results.

It's not a hard science.

Far too many variables to have any accuracy I'm afraid.

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It's not a hard science.

Far too many variables to have any accuracy I'm afraid.

That just changes how far you can take the theories.

The basics are known and fixed. They rapidly become complicated once they arr running, but DNA is simple and complex in the same way and no one says that's unstudiable.

Of course the study of DNA doesn't require many of us to give up our most cherished beliefs but those who are asked to give up beliefs that DNA wipes away also struggle.

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Not according the austria school - they claim it is not a science.

Well of course, they want a government still.

And hard money and all sorts of other impositions, they aren't consistent enough.

Like I said, everyone has problems with what economics has to say about their own lives and beliefs.

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The projections given rest on the assumption of economic growth carrying on at the same rate as it has done for the last century or two. It won't, though, because it can't. In fact there is going to be massive economic contraction. That being the case, we are probably looking at the peak of the human population right now or there abouts. From this point in human history going forwards, the population is set to decline. Steadily if we are lucky. However, it's perfectly possible that there will be a precipitous die-off in the coming 5 decades such that by the end of them we could be looking at a population less than half what it is now.

Apocalyptic nonsense, we'll hit 10bn before we're down to 5bn. We are in a wonderful era of surplus.

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Guest Steve Cook

Those demographic transitions look ever so neat and tidy don't they Mr Noodle. What gets me is that at the same time as describing a neat series of steps in population development, this article bases that analysis on the last 200 years. 200 years that have, as a result of the industrial use of hydrocarbon energy, seen an absolute explosion in the human population. They even provide a graph to show the rate of increase in that period!

pop.jpg

Given the above particular circumstances of the recent rise in the human population, the decline, post peak production of hydrocarbons, is just as likely to be as steep and as rapid as the ascendency.

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Those demographic transitions look ever so neat and tidy don't they Mr Noodle. What gets me is that at the same time as describing a neat series of steps in population development, this article bases that analysis on the last 200 years. 200 years that have, as a result of the industrial use of hydrocarbon energy, seen an absolute explosion in the human population. They even provide a graph to show the rate of increase in that period!

Given the above particular circumstances of the recent rise in the human population, the decline, post peak production of hydrocarbons, is just as likely to be as steep and as rapid as the ascendency.

We are in an era of surplus, we can economise if necessary and this will be achieved by market incentives. People will go back to living closer to work for example.

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Guest Steve Cook

Apocalyptic nonsense, we'll hit 10bn before we're down to 5bn. We are in a wonderful era of surplus.

Yes, of course we will...

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Guest Steve Cook

We are in an era of surplus, we can economise if necessary and this will be achieved by market incentives. People will go back to living closer to work for example.

Yes, of course we can....

All is well

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Guest Steve Cook

On the other hand given the rapid technological advancements, entrepreneurial element and inertia of the human race it could continue to grow.

Technology and innovation increase as a result of increases in available energy.

We "invent" farming....we get pyramids

We invent a means by which we can industrially exploit hydrocarbons...we get planes, trains and automobiles

cart...horse...

If we are to carry on with business as usual for 6.5 billion and rising, we had better come up with an energetically viable alterrnative to hydrocarbons. A uniquely dense and portable form of energy.

And we had better do it yesterday.

Any ideas Bardon?....

Edited by Steve Cook

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Guest Noodle

Those demographic transitions look ever so neat and tidy don't they Mr Noodle. What gets me is that at the same time as describing a neat series of steps in population development, this article bases that analysis on the last 200 years. 200 years that have, as a result of the industrial use of hydrocarbon energy, seen an absolute explosion in the human population. They even provide a graph to show the rate of increase in that period!

pop.jpg

Given the above particular circumstances of the recent rise in the human population, the decline, post peak production of hydrocarbons, is just as likely to be as steep and as rapid as the ascendency.

Yup.

Birth rates here in the sticks have collapsed. My mother-in-law had 12 children, 6 lived. She has 3 grandchildren. This is repeated across the region. Affluence is the greatest contraceptive.

Attitude used to be have as many children as possible. Now it's 'I don't want kids, my career comes first'. Those that do have kids now have aspirations for them above becoming a poorly paid labourer or prostitute. Focus is on fewer children, better educated.

Bangkok Post was fretting about it the other year 'who will be the labourers, tuk-tuk drivers and prostitutes?'

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Guest Steve Cook

Yes I have so many good ideas in my head if someone was to invent a machine that you stick your head in and it convert the brain waves to text I could easily explain it.

But in simple terms and for starters there is a shit load of hydrocarbons and synthetic hydrocarbons that there is no end in sight of supply of. So there goes the lack of energy concern.

What hydrocarbons and in what plentiful supply please Bardon, if you don't mind?

Please bear in mind that when citing such wondrous alternative supplies of hydrocarbon energy, you must take into account the three crucial variables involved when deciding that such supplies areindeed viable alternatives to the current light sweet crude we are so dependant on. They are:

The size of absolute reserves

EROEI

Speed of flow

All three of the above must be significantly pointing in the right direction before you can seriously make claim to an alternative

Edited by Steve Cook

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Technology and innovation increase as a result of increases in available energy.

We "invent" farming....we get pyramids

We invent a means by which we can industrially exploit hydrocarbons...we get planes, trains and automobiles

cart...horse...

If we are to carry on with business as usual for 6.5 billion and rising, we had better come up with an energetically viable alterrnative to hydrocarbons. A uniquely dense and portable form of energy.

And we had better do it yesterday.

Any ideas Bardon?....

The idea is reduce hydrocarbons per person average use. This will be done by the market making energy more expensive.

Next.

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Guest Noodle

The idea is reduce hydrocarbons per person average use. This will be done by the market making energy more expensive.

Next.

. . . and by technology and lifestyle changes (not necessarily for the worse).

New Fords and Vauxhalls are pulling upto 88 mpg extra-urban now. I like this. :)

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  • 146 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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