Monday, May 4, 2009

Encouraging News

Throw in some sustained productivity growth to this good news on demographic trends and we may just dodge some of the looming funding problems for entitlement programs in the United States:
Something dramatic has happened to the world’s birthrates. Defying predictions of demographic decline, northern Europeans have started having more babies. Britain and France are now projecting steady population growth through the middle of the century. In North America, the trends are similar. In 2050, according to United Nations projections, it is possible that nearly as many babies will be born in the United States as in China. Indeed, the population of the world’s current demographic colossus will be shrinking. And China is but one particularly sharp example of a widespread fall in birthrates that is occurring across most of the developing world, including much of Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
This is from Martin Walker in the Wilson Quarterly (HT Freakonomics).

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