Demographics lie behind the major trends in economy, politics, and in the world at large… and this new info from The Wilson Quarterly will certainly drive some big trends in the near future… (Emphasis added by me.)

This stuff fascinates me, so I’m pulling several quotes from the piece:

Something dramatic has happened to the world?s birthrates. Defying predictions of demographic decline, northern Europeans have started having more babies. Britain and France are now projecting steady population growth through the middle of the century. In North America, the trends are similar. In 2050, according to United Nations projections, it is possible that nearly as many babies will be born in the United States as in China. Indeed, the population of the world?s current demographic colossus will be shrinking. And China is but one particularly sharp example of a widespread fall in birthrates that is occurring across most of the developing world, including much of Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

…The decline of Muslim birthrates is a global phenomenon. …recent UN data suggest that Arab birthrates are falling fast, and that the number of births among women under the age of 20 is dropping even more sharply.

The falling fertility rates in large segments of the Islamic world have been matched by another significant shift: Across northern and western Europe, women have suddenly started having more babies.

…In 2007, France?s national statistical authority announced that the country had overtaken Ireland to boast the highest birthrate in Europe. In France, the fertility rate has risen from 1.7 in 1993 to 2.1 in 2007, its highest level since before 1980, despite a steady fall in birthrates among women not born in France. France?s National Institute of Demographic Studies reports that the immigrant population is responsible for only five percent of the rise in the ?birthrate.

…A similar upturn is under way in the United States, where the fertility rate has climbed to its highest level since 1971, reaching 2.1 in 2006, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. New projections by the Pew Research Center suggest that if current trends continue, the population of the United States will rise from today?s total of some 300 million to 438 million in 2050. ?Eighty-?two percent of that increase will be produced by new immigrants and their U.S.-born descendants.

…Russia… within little more than a decade the ?working-?age population will be shrinking by up to one million people annually. Russia is suffering a demographic decline on a scale that is normally associated with the effects of a major ?war.

Via Kedrosky.