In Praise of Population Decline

Article author: 
Nathanial Gronewold
Article publisher: 
Negative Population Growth, Inc.
Article date: 
16 June 2024
Article category: 
Our American Future
Medium
Article Body: 

Abstract

To most Americans, a falling birth rate is not viewed as a bad thing. Public opinion polling shows that most people on Earth want to live alongside fewer people, not more. Americans are no exception. But our country's leaders, the pundit class, its most myopic economists, and the press corps continue to insist that fewer births and eventual depopulation will deliver nothing but despair. They're wrong. They are blind to a central fact: life in an overcrowded world is the very thing sending birth rates plummeting in the first place.

High population growth and overcrowding have delivered pain to the populace. Population decline will alleviate and eventually eliminate this pain. China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Greece, Spain, and other depopulating countries will soon become some of the luckiest places on Earth, though it will take time and the correct policies for them to achieve this state. Meanwhile, the economic pain Americans are feeling today is only about to get worse unless population growth in the United States ceases - which we unfortunately won't see for decades to come as recent developments make clear.

A Vision Of A More Hopeful World

I'm stunned by how many people fear the trend of falling birth rates taking hold nearly everywhere. Search for news on "birth rates" or "population decline" and the results are a long list of overwhelmingly negative articles. We're told that Italians may be going extinct, and the South Koreans could soon follow them. The last time I checked, there were more than 50 million South Koreans and nearly 60 million Italians, so it's perhaps a bit premature to put them on any endangered species lists. Nevertheless, the falling births trend is unequivocally deemed a crisis wherever it's occurring. I'm honestly taken aback by how thoroughly a media consensus has emerged on this topic. Clearly, the press corps has made up its mind: falling birth rates and falling population numbers are bad things that must be stopped. Perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised. In this world, one that has only known relentless population growth for centuries, many can't fathom what population decline might look like. I believe it will usher in hope for a better future, and I'm not the only one...

Once upon a time, a single-income earner could raise a family under a solid roof, afford to feed and clothe a household, send the kids to college, and then have that single-income earner and spouse retire comfortably. Population growth has put an end to all this. Because the human population will always expand faster than the housing stock, the cost of shelter has risen so dramatically that it now takes a minimum of two income earners to keep a roof over a household...

Workers struggle to keep up until they eventually can't anymore and decide that a family is not in their future.Thus, the falling birth rates we're witnessing everywhere...

Now, imagine putting all of that into reverse. A tighter labor market results in rising wages and more bargaining power for workers. Youth unemployment and underemployment fall, and new graduates find it rather not too difficult to launch their careers...

While economic growth might be smaller with a declining population, it is considered to be more stable and sustainable compared to economic growth caused by rapid population growth
- Roos VanKeulen, a Dutch diplomat working in Tokyo, in a recent article she penned for Earth.org.

Her piece is a rare example of a thoughtful, evidence-based argument showing how and why pro-natalist policies are failing and why population decline should be embraced and managed constructively, especially considering how it is inevitable...

Sadly, the United States won't experience the wonders of population decline for decades to come, I fear. The current population influx into the United States that we're witnessing today shows that America's leaders are determined to see it this way. They demand that the US population must grow and grow relentlessly until it hits at least 400 million and beyond...

After all, nothing grows forever. But as the ongoing migrant crisis shows, North America's leaders, commentators, intellectuals, and policymakers are determined to continue piling on the misery being felt by the people already living here for some time to come. And there is no convincing them to stop and change course. It's really too bad.

Related

Population Driven to Double by Mass Immigration

Growth, smart growth, and sustainability

Limits to physical and economic growth

Replacement Migration: Almost All Population Growth In United States Will Result From Immigrants

What Is Mass Migration for and Why Will Nobody Stop It?

 

The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.

Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally, or globally?

Unlimited population growth cannot be sustained; you cannot sustain growth in the rates of consumption of resources. No species can overrun the carrying capacity of a finite land mass. This Law cannot be repealed and is not negotiable.

 

Sir David Attenborough on overpopulation
World population by country, 1800 to 2100
Human population through time
Population size matters
>Migration animated map over time
World Poverty, Immigration, and Gumballs, by Roy Beck