This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, September 14, 2015

New Australian PM is Demographically Aware

Australia's Parliament elected a new Prime Minister today, with Malcolm Turnbull ousting Tony Abbot. Admittedly, I wouldn't have given this much thought were it not for Nick Parr's tweet highlighting Turnbull's first speech to Parliament after being elected back in 2004. After talking about his own background, Turnbull moves to the subject of demography, noting first that Europe and East Asia are aging rapidly, and offering the clear opinion that this is not a good thing. Then he says:
Demography is indeed destiny. America's global leadership is reinforced by its strong population. The Economist has estimated that by 2050 the US population will not only have overtaken that of Europe but that the median age of Europeans will be 53—17 years older than Americans and 10 years older than Americans and 10 years older than Australians. These changes to our population and their consequence of very substantially increased demands on government for health and aged care will preoccupy this parliament and its counterparts in other nations for the rest of this century. Australia is well prepared to deal with these challenges, as we have seen laid out in the Treasurer's groundbreaking Intergenerational Report of 2002. More than the leadership of any other developed country, the Howard government has not only recognised these demographic changes and their implications but moved to meet them. There is, however, no room for complacency. The demographic storm is coming. How hard it blows and how well our children weather it will depend in large measure on the decisions we take today and our maintaining the courageous and determined leadership of the last 8 1/2 years. A strong Australia in a changing world will be one committed to enterprise, self-reliance, economic growth and, above all, high productivity. It will be an Australia that recognises that we have a vital interest in strengthening, promoting and defending marriage and family life.
Australia has, in fact, been following in the path of the US and Canada with respect to accepting immigrants, including an increasing fraction of Asian immigrants. According to data from the Migration Policy Institute, Australia is now the 9th most "popular" destination for international migrants (well, those data predate the current onslaught in Europe).

In addition to his demographic awareness, there appear to be other things to like about Turnbull. He is a champion of women's rights, and his wife was the first female Lord Mayor of Sydney. He is in favor of gay rights, and supports actions to battle climate change. He also has a dog blog...


1 comment:

  1. PM Turnbull ... "There is, however, no room for complacency. The demographic storm is coming. How hard it blows and how well our children weather it will depend in large measure on the decisions we take today ".

    Indeed. Words that are well spoken.

    Pete, Redondo Beach

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