European Demographics and Migration
Posted on: 09/03/2019 07:21 PM

European people have all but stopped having children in favor of material wealth. Moreover, trusting their governments and getting conquered by aliens are one and the same.

by Christopher Caldwell
Monday, February 4, 2019

In December, a group of the French protesters known as gilets jaunes were stopping motorists at a traffic circle where the N151 meets the D951A, next to a forested hill in Burgundy. The gilets, so called for their distinctive yellow traffic-emergency vests, had banded together a month before to rally against a tax on diesel. Over several weeks, though, their grievance had grown less political (about this or that policy) and more existential (about the impossibility of making ends meet in France’s boondocks).

Yellow-clad Jerome, an ambulance-driver by trade, asked a visitor whether he’d been to nearby Clamecy. It’s magnificent, came the reply. The half-timbered houses…The birthplace of the novelist Romain Rolland…The renowned 13th-century Gothic church, tucked between the meandering Yonne and a smaller river called the Beuvron.

Jerome knew. He grew up there. “Did you really look at it?” he asked. “It’s dying.”

And it is.

European Demographics and Migration

Clamecy had 5,900 people in the mid-1970s, and factories to employ them in, but it only has 3,900 people now, and most of them are old. Beautiful though its streets may be, attractive though it is to Parisians seeking country homes, most of its shops are deserted, and on weekdays so are most of its squares. You can buy a two-story house in the center of the nearby village of Dornecy for €14,000—about $16,000. Much of rural Europe is undergoing a similar transformation.1 The cyber-rental agent Airbnb is trying to rally its clients to restore the village of Grottole, which sits atop a mountain in Basilicata, near the instep of the Italian boot.2 Grottole had 13,000 people in it during the Middle Ages, but it has 300 now, along with 600 abandoned buildings. In early 2018 the mayor of Ollolai, in Sardinia, put 200 houses on sale for one euro each in hopes of stabilizing the village’s population (which had fallen from 2,250 to 1,300 since the 1960s) and attracting the investment necessary to keep its beautiful housing stock from deteriorating.3 The same thing is happening in the Sicilian town of Sambuca.4 In Spain there is a real estate company called Aldeas Abandonadas that sells not abandoned houses but whole abandoned villages, starting at around $35,000. There are 3,600 such abandoned settlements in the region of Galicia alone.5

The population decline now underway is not Europe’s most spectacular problem. It is, by its nature, something that happens not with a bang but a whimper. It may nonetheless be Europe’s most deep-rooted problem, and its most serious. It touches everything. A declining population is by definition an aging population, straining the 20th-century welfare state on which the European way of life rests. A decline in the number of workers and taxpayers makes government debt harder to service particularly in countries—such as Italy—that are heavily indebted to begin with. For a long time, the need for infusions of labor and tax revenue led Europe’s politicians to turn a blind eye to a consistently unpopular century-long wave of mass immigration. In Europe, immigration means Islam and racial difference, the accommodation of which brings its own costs.

This paper is about the causes and dimensions of Europe’s demographic crisis; the consequences of resorting to immigration to solve it; the special implications of Europe’s proximity to fast-growing Africa; the international dimension of demographic decline; and how differing ways of addressing it threaten to pull apart the European Union, which, at the turn of 2019, was 28 countries strong.

How Grave Is Europe’s Demographic Crisis?


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