Mumbai's Dharavi slum, where the population density exceeds 200,000 people per square kilometer. Photo: Flickr
Mumbai's Dharavi slum, where the population density exceeds 200,000 people per square kilometer. Photo: Flickr

Western civilization is in decline. And it begins with Western nations no longer having children to keep up with the 2.1-per-woman replacement rate, which means immigration to the West will explode from poorer  nations that continue having children above the replacement rate.

Parts of the United States plus Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Russia, China and all of Europe are suffering from substandard replacement rates. Some European, Asian and Russian leaders are now going to extreme measures to encourage their populations to have children.

Russia has offered women who have more than one child “cars, refrigerators and other prizes”. Singapore established a “government-run dating service”, since it has one of the lowest fertility rates in the Asian developed world. But none of these measures by any country in the developed world has worked. Childlessness is actually on the rise.

Every country will feel the squeeze of declining populations straining social-safety nets.

George Weigel of First Things magazine has chronicled the fact that many European leaders – in Germany, Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Luxembourg – are childless. This alone shows why Europe has opened its doors to immigrants. They need the bodies, and the risks associated with this policy justify continued economic rewards.

Historian Niall Ferguson says Europe’s low birth rates “have put it on track for the greatest sustained reduction in European population since the Black Death in the 14th century”.

European leaders don’t seem concerned that Pope John Paul II foresaw the looming crisis when he challenged European culture “to reject demographic suicide and rediscover the joy of creating the future through having children”.

Without changes taking place in Western and increasingly Eastern cultures’ outlooks on marriage, children and how their societies are demographically put in place, what John Paul II called a “culture of death” will only permeate.

Anecdotally, travel to such far-flung cities that vary from the city-state of Singapore to cosmopolitan London and sprawling Los Angeles – even Beijing and Hong Kong – shows that all have one thing in common: They aren’t in any way welcoming to families or children.

For Europe, China, Japan and Singapore the beginning of the solution would present itself by different zoning and planning that encourage single-family homes in suburbs, instead of landscape-dominating skyscrapers that are great for singles or childless married couples, but do nothing to birth replacement future workers that will be needed to take care of aging workers or older people dependent on social safety nets.

Increasingly, the future will be decided by who has more children, marriage and families that will make these variables move correspondingly to economic growth and military might. Otherwise, the ignorance that most Western nations exhibit about their history will be the downfall of Western civilization.

Todd Royal

Todd Royal has a master's in public policy from Pepperdine University and has worked for Duke University. He is published by the U.S. Library of Congress on hydraulic fracturing and the geopolitical implications of expanded US oil and gas production. He is a consultant and writer on international geopolitical strategy, energy, and US state and local government.

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