demography

NEWS via StarTribune: In Africa, hopes that surging population will drive growth are overblown

March 15, 2014 // 2 Comments

How unusual is Africa’s demography? U.N. estimates of slowing birth rates predicted an economic surge, but trends have fallen short, as have manufacturing and private investment. If you refer to Algeria and Tunisia in the north and Botswana and South Africa in the south, you may answer: not that unusual. In the early 1960s those nations had fertility rates of between 5.5 and 7.5, about the same as rates in Brazil, China, Indonesia and Mexico at the time. Now, all of those countries’ fertility rates are between 1.5 and 3.0. The main difference is that the Asian and Latin American nations saw their fertility decline at a fairly steady pace over the past 50 years, whereas the African ones saw a sharp decline beginning in the mid-1980s. In a recent study, demographers Jean-Pierre Guengant and John May say the north and south of the continent are exceptions. Most of Africa is catching up too little, too late. The result is that the continent’s overall population will rise sharply, [...]

Map via WashingtonPost: Where people are moving to and from

February 28, 2014 // 0 Comments

Where people are moving to and from The map above comes from Atlas Van Lines and shows where their customers were headed last year. Most states had a steady balance of people coming and going, but the blue ones below are where the movement was mostly inbound and the yellow ones show states that were losing people faster than they were gaining [...]

NEWS via the Guardian: Time running out for China’s one-child policy after three decades

February 18, 2014 // 0 Comments

Time running out for China’s one-child policy after three decades As list of exemptions grows, experts predict scrapping of rule said to have prevented 400m births Even if the one-child policy is scrapped, many Chinese couples say they are unlikely to have bigger families because of the expense. Photograph: Afp/AFP/Getty Images Chen Xi once saw the one-child policy as a brick wall, unyielding and inevitable. Now she considers it a nuisance. The turning point came in November when, just as she began the fifth month of her pregnancy, Beijing announced a big change to the contentious policy, allowing couples to have two children if one parent is an only child. Chen, a 28-year-old employee at a state-owned enterprise, should qualify – her husband does have siblings, but she does not. Yet her hopes may be dashed: although she is pregnant with her first child, she lives with her husband’s 16-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, and family planning officials may [...]

NEWS via Pew Research Center: As the population grays, Americans stay upbeat

February 15, 2014 // 1 Comment

As the population grays, Americans stay upbeat BY RAKESH KOCHHARLEAVE A COMMENT One-in-five Americans are expected to be 65 and older by mid-century, and this could be a problem for the country. There is worry that government and household finances may be pushed to the brink by rising pension and health care expenditures. Economic growth, we are warned, might suffer with fewer workers and more retirees. But what does the public think? It may come as a surprise that the American public is pretty optimistic. In a Pew Research Center survey, only about one-in-four Americans say the growing number of older people is a major problem for the country, nearly two-thirds are confident they will have an adequate standard of living in their old age, and almost one-half say that individuals are primarily responsible for their own economic well-being as they get older. These opinions differ sharply from public opinion in most of the 20 other countries that we surveyed. Americans are among the [...]
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