Over the course of the last millennium, the populations of Europe (including Russia) and its Western offshoots (including the United States) grew explosively. Fueled by the agricultural and industrial revolutions that they pioneered and the raw materials of the New World that they settled, combined European-derived populations grew from less than one sixth to one third of the world’s people. And their combined economies grew even more explosively, from less than one sixth to two thirds of the world’s production of wealth as measured by Gross Domestic Product.
Since their peak before World War I, European populations have declined to one fifth of the world’s total. The redistribution of population growth has been nearly equally spread among Latin America, Asia, and Africa since World War I, although the rate of population growth in Asia has now slowed to below the world’s current average of 1.67 percent per year.
Over the course of the past quarter-century, the combined European nations grew at slightly below one percent per year, but this figure is deceiving. If we were to subtract increases in growth resulting from immigration from the Third World and an increase in life expectancy, Europe’s combined population actually would have declined during this period.
This is the result of a decline in fertility to well below that which is required...