Friday, April 20, 2012

2050? Ponder 2100

Instapundit notes a demographic warning for China compared to America:

According to the UN’s population division, [China's] nationwide fertility rate will continue to decline, reaching 1.51 in 2015-20. In contrast, America’s fertility rate is 2.08 and rising.

The difference between 1.56 and 2.08 does not sound large. But over the long term it has a huge impact on society. Between now and 2050 China’s population will fall slightly, from 1.34 billion in 2010 to just under 1.3 billion in 2050. This assumes that fertility starts to recover. If it stays low, the population will dip below 1 billion by 2060. In contrast, America’s population is set to rise by 30% in the next 40 years. China will hit its peak population in 2026. No one knows when America will hit its population peak.

I wrote about population projections to the year 2100 (with all due caution about projecting that far ahead):

With all the caveats about projecting that far into the future, we could have from 60% of China's population to more people than China! Will China have twice the GDP per-capita as America then? With a population older than our population? Because if not, China's lead in gross GDP will not last and we will regain that title well before 2100 rolls around (unless India is the one to surpass us in gross GDP).

Don't write us off. Of course, if power transitions are dangerous periods, let's prepare for a couple as we might lose the number one slot before regaining it.

NOTE: Blogger still hasn't responded to my scheduled posting plight.