Cultural Revolutions

The Future of Christendom

The future of Christendom, according to the Population Reference Bureau's 2001 annual report, is likely to be pretty bleak. The report's chief conclusion is that population growth in the West has ground to a halt, while the Third World is reproducing like gangbusters. Tire numbers: "Of the 83 million people added to the global population each year by the difference between births and deaths, only one million are in the industrialized countries." Within the next 50 years, Germany will likely no longer be ranked among the 15 most-populous countries (it's the only European country currently in the top 15), and the population of Russia is expected to drop from 144 million to 137 million. During the same time, Mexico is projected to grow from 100 million to 137 million; Nigeria, from 127 million to 204 million; and Pakistan, from 145 million to 252 million.

Europeans and Americans might be alarmed by the report, but they should not be surprised. Birth rates in the West have been tumbling for the past half-century. The Population Reference Bureau calls this a "natural decrease... due both to the low birth rate and to higher proportions of older people in the population."

The report finds that the "United States is now the only industrialized country in the world with a fertility rate at or above the 'replacement level' of 2.1 children per woman," but that's hardly a consolation,...

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