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  • 29


     
    The Birth Dearth In The West
    Report; Posted on: 2007-08-28 09:01:48 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    by Baron Bodissey

    A lot is written these days about declining birthrates in Western countries and Japan. The most frequent statistic cited is the number of live births per woman in a population: in order for the population to replace itself and remain stable, that number must be about 2.1.

    Obviously there are many factors that could complicate the calculation of this “replacement number”. An increase in war and pestilence would tend to raise it, since more births would be necessary in order to make up for an increased death rate. In the opposite direction, improved medical care and decades of peace would tend to reduce the replacement number.

    But what governs the increase or decrease in a country’s population in any given year is the number of births compared with the number of deaths.

    This morning I stumbled upon a table at Infoplease which shows the birth and death rates per 1,000 population for various countries, most of them European. To determine the rate of increase or decrease, I used the following method to calculate a ratio between the population at the beginning of the year and that at the end:

    (Start population of 1,000 + number of births - number of deaths) ÷ 1000, then subtract 1.

    A positive ratio indicates that the population is increasing, and a negative one that it is decreasing.

    For example, for Australia in 1975 the birth rate was 16.9 per 1,000, and the death rate was 7.9 per 1,000, yielding the following calculations:
    1000 + 16.9 — 7.9 = 1009
    1009 ÷ 1000 = 1.009
    Subtract 1 and you have a ratio of .009, which is the rate of increase.

    In contrast, consider Japan in 2007, with 9.2 and 9.4 respectively:
    1000 + 9.2 — 9.4 = 999.8
    999.8/1000 = .9998
    Subtract 1 and you have a ratio of -.0002, which is a slight decrease in population.

    Using these methods I built a trend for each country. This is example is for Australia:

    Year Births Deaths Ratio
    1975 16.9 7.9 0.0090
    1980 15.3 7.4 0.0079
    1985 15.7 7.5 0.0082
    1990 15.4 7.0 0.0084
    2005 12.3 7.4 0.0049
    2006 12.1 7.5 0.0046
    2007 12.0 7.6 0.0044

    The table of ratios for fifteen countries is below (Denmark, Sweden, and other countries of interest were not in the Infoplease table, unfortunately):

    Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 2005 2006 2007
    Australia .0090 .0079 .0082 .0084 .0049 .0046 .004
    Austria -.0003 -.0002 -.0003 .0010 -.0009 -.0011 -.0011
    Belgium .0000 .0011 .0003 .0020 .0003 .0001 .0000
    France .0035 .0046 .0038 .0042 .0031 .0029 .0027
    Germany -.0024 -.0016 -.0019 .0002 -.0023 -.0023 -.0025
    Greece .0068 .0063 .0023 .0009 -.0005 -.0005 -.0007
    Ireland .0109 .0122 .0082 .0060 .0067 .0067 .0066
    Israel .0211 .0174 .0169 .0160 .0120 .0118 .0115
    Italy .0049 .0015 .0006 .0004 -.0014 -.0017 -.0020
    Japan .0108 .0075 .0057 .0032 .0005 .0002 -.0002
    Netherl. .0047 .0047 .0038 .0047 .0024 .0022 .0020
    Norway .0042 .0024 .0016 .0036 .0022 .0021 .0019
    Switzerl. .0036 .0021 .0024 .0030 .0013 .0012 .0012
    UK .0006 .0017 .0015 .0027 .0006 .0006 .0006
    USA .0051 .0073 .0070 .0081 .0059 .0058 .0059

    Full Article
    News Source: GlobalPolitician.com

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