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.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Demographic Divide Illustrated

The Population Reference Bureau has been doing excellent work in the field of population studies for a very long time, and their website offers a wealth of good stuff. One of their latest items is a very nice illustration of the demographic divide in the world. On the one hand is the Netherlands, which is doing quite well, thank you. Well, there is a bit of anti-immigrant sentiment, as I've noted before, but we find that everywhere we go in the world, it seems. At the other extreme is Niger which, as I've noted before, probably does win the prize for the world's worst demographics. 
The long-term effects of the demographic divide are apparent when we look at population projections for these two countries. Today, both countries have roughly the same population size. But by 2050, Niger is projected to have 49 million more people, increasing their current population nearly four times to 65 million. The Netherlands increases by just 1 million to 18 million, with much of that growth due to immigration.
To be sure, if you live in a country like Niger, your only hope for a better life may be to migrate someplace else, which is why Netherlands' growth, like in so many rich countries, will come from immigration. The world may be demographically divided, but we are actually all in this together.

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