with a whimper

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 03, 2006

Mark Steyn summarizes his take on First World demography in an article in The New Criterion:

Scroll way down to the bottom of the Hot One Hundred top breeders and you'll eventually find the United States, hovering just at replacement rate with 2.07 births per woman. Ireland is 1.87, New Zealand 1.79, Australia 1.76. But Canada's fertility rate is down to 1.5, well below replacement rate; Germany and Austria are at 1.3, the brink of the death spiral; Russia and Italy are at 1.2; Spain 1.1, about half replacement rate. That's to say, Spain's population is halving every generation. By 2050, Italy's population will have fallen by 22 percent, Bulgaria's by 36 percent, Estonia's by 52 percent. ...

As fertility shrivels, societies get older -- and Japan and much of Europe are set to get older than any functioning societies have ever been. And we know what comes after old age. These countries are going out of business -- unless they can find the will to change their ways. Is that likely? I don't think so. If you look at European election results -- most recently in Germany -- it's hard not to conclude that, while voters are unhappy with their political establishments, they're unhappy mainly because they resent being asked to reconsider their government benefits and, no matter how unaffordable they may be a generation down the road, they have no intention of seriously reconsidering them.

Don't see a large role for Catholic social doctrine in this picture? Not to worry: there are probably Muslims and Mormons in your neighborhood who take it very seriously indeed.

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 04, 2006 8:06 AM ET USA

    From the estimates I've read, Christianity is still growing at a faster rate than Islam, it just isn't growing in the Northern Hemisphere. If the northern hemisphere rejects Christianity, doesn't the southern hem. have the right to inherit the precious gift that Christ gave to his disciples? I'm not worried about Christianity, but I am worried about Europe and the U.S. in the coming century.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 03, 2006 9:18 AM ET USA

    Not to worry!! Remember how Theodoric led 150,000+ 5th century ostrogoths over the Julian alps to settle in Italy's fertile northern plains. Nature abhors a vacuum. Only one question remains: will St. Peters become a mosque with minarets? Or will a miracle save the heart of Christendom from destruction?

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Jan. 03, 2006 9:11 AM ET USA

    The writing is on the wall in Spain. While Franco won the civil war the Republic with its anti-catholic french revolution values won the postwar. Youth groups in the parishes don't exist. 1st communion classes and confirmation classes are in single digits. The clergy and religious are depressed, biding time, and making excuses. The only hope of preserving Spanish culture is that South Americans make the reverse European crossing and begin to repopulate abandoned towns. Pray to N. S. del Pilar.