If you only read one thing this week…

The new population bomb – old people by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
January 3, 2011, 12:01 pm
Filed under: Development theory, If you have 30 mins

The United Nations Population Statistics state that the world population will rise by roughly one-third over the next 40 years, from 6.9 to 9.1 billion. Most policy makers focus on this startling statistic, working to create policies that will mitigate the population increase. A recent article from Foreign Policy points out the other, somewhat neglected side of this issue that in many areas of the world the population is shrinking, especially the population under five years old. The problem persists in unlikely areas, such as Iran and Brazil, where birth rates are dropping. Concurrently, a gender gap is widening in many areas, where boy children are preferred. But maybe this isn’t so bad, older people can just work longer to make up for the lack of younger generations entering the workforce? Maybe a world of older people would be more peaceful?  Unlikely, the article points out. So is the world graying a bad thing in general? Read the article to see Foreign Policy’s analysis and then come to your own conclusions.


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