Response: Europe is not heading for a population collapse

Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 19:28 in Earth & Climate

There may be a slow decline in the number of people, but it should be welcomedFred Pearce vividly portrays population collapse in the town of Hoyers­werda in eastern Germany and links it with a likely future for Europe: "Europe's population is, right now, peaking, after more than six centuries of continuous growth. With each generation reproducing only half its number, this looks like the start of a ­continent-wide collapse in numbers. Some predict wipeout by 2100" (Lonely planet, G2, 1 February).As a demographer specialising in fertility and population trends in Europe I find it unsettling that so much attention is paid to overblown claims of the continent's population demise. Yes, Europe as a whole is projected to experience a gradual decline of its population, from 732 million now to 691 million in 2050 according to the United Nations. But, although further decline after 2050 will most probably follow, this gets...

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