Monday, August 27, 2012

South American Fertility Rates

For those of you who still are hesitant to believe my piece about the very real danger of depopulation just take a look at the graph below. 

Even relatively poor nations such as Peru has seen a massive decline in their fertility rate since 1960 going from almost 7 children per couple to somewhere around 2.7 today.  A few nations such as Uraguay Brazil, and Chile.  Now Chile, according to the HDI, could be considered a developed nation.  Brazil and Uraguay would be an nearly developed nation.  However, considering that Cuba, Venezuela, and Kazakhstan count as high developed nations that tells you there is still a gulf between them and other nations developed nations.

But what this shows us, as explained by Stratfor, is that before the end of the next century the population levels of South America will begin to decline.  A declining population puts a tremendous strain on developed nations, economically, and socially, as Japan is finding out. Since an undeveloped nation has not faced this dilemma yet it is unclear what will happen to that nation when the time comes. Much of South of America may be developed by 2060, however, the current crisis, and coming event, could put a damper in develop, one only need to look at the poor choices of Argentina over the last century; which took it from one of the most prosperous nations in the world in the early 20th century to the mess it is in today. Considering the historic leftwing tilt the South American nations take whenever economic troubles hit I am somewhat skeptical that they will be fully developed in time.

What is interesting is that this phenomena is that outside of Africa and Central America, South America is the fastest growing continent population wise. North America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia all have birth rates an average that are at or just below replacement rate. Just play around with this chart.  

A lot of individuals focus on statistics of past growth rates to try and postulate the danger we face from overpopulation.  However, those are merely lagging indicators.  Just because the worlds population tippled from the early 20th century to now doesn't mean that this rate of growth will continue.  Looking at fertility rate trends tells us a whole lot more on where we are going.  And the trend shows that the human population will have peaked before the end of this century. Many population alarmist will say that this is a good thing, and to be fair a fertility rate of 2.5 is probably a whole lot healthier than one of 4 or 5, but there have been plenty of documented instances of population declines. As I have detailed before they are invariably catastrophic.

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Seattle resident whose real name is Kevin Daniels. This blog covers the following topics, libertarian philosophy, realpolitik, western culture, history and the pursuit of truth from the perspective of a libertarian traditionalist.