I have been traveling quite a lot lately by both air and train. I usually try to catch up with my reading when I do so, particularly newsletters from various pro-life groups. A few weeks ago I took with me one of the best newsletters I know, “Population Research Institute Review.” It always carries very well informed and interesting articles on various aspects of world population. When I opened it on the plane I found that there was an article by a very good friend of mine, Jim Miller. Jim is PRI’s Director of Research and he has just returned from a month in New Zealand and Australia, lecturing on “The Myths of Overpopulation.” The title of this particular article is the above, “Europe is Dying Out.” The writer sums up his research in these words, “Over the past decade one European country after another has fallen into a state of natural population decline, i.e., more deaths than births.”
Decline in 12 European Countries
Mr Miller quotes his sources for every statement he makes and the chief source is, “Population and Vital Statistics Reports,” Series A, Vol. XLVII, No. 3, United Nations, July 1995, pp 12-15.” It would be difficult to be more specific than that.
The article says that because of its “birth dearth” the European Continent will soon have more older than younger people—a complete reversal of the traditional age pyramid. A study undertaken in Madrid a few years ago revealed that the city has more people over 65 than under 15, a situation unknown anywhere aside from American retirement communities. In Italy in 1965 more than one million were born. In 1995 little more than half a million were born. In August 1993 the Italian Government announced that the nation’s school system would drop 56,000 classes that fall, due to the decrease in the number of pupils. This was quoted in the New York Times under the title, “Low birthrate is becoming a headache for Italy.” And Italy is one of the most traditional “Catholic” countries in Europe.
I think it is worth giving the figures for the various counties as they really frightened me.
Four other European countries, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, and Slovenia are quoted as being “on the brink.”
The writer notes that in 1993/4 those countries experiencing the greatest imbalance of deaths over births were: The Russian Federation (750,000), Ukraine (180,000), and Germany (115,000). In the case of Germany and Italy, only recent net immigration has kept the total population from falling. Current Russian birth rates are the lowest in the nation’s history. In Hungary, which has been losing population for the past decade, the murder rate has soared in recent years. But even more unsettling is the fact that for every murder in the country, there are nine suicides.
Country Year Births Deaths
Belarus 1994 110,834 129,735
Bulgaria 1993 84,400 109,540
Croatia 1993 48,535 50,647
Czech Republic 1994 106,615 117,243
Estonia 1994 14,180 22,017
Germany 1994 765,852 879,228
Hungary 1994 116,000 148,000
Italy 1994 533,615 543,978
Latvia 1994 24,192 41,624
Lithuania 1994 42,832 46,846
Romania 1994 249,000 263,000
Russia 1993 1,378,983 2,129,339
Ukraine 1993 557,467 741,662
In a different article in the same newsletter from which I have been quoting, the following pertinent question is asked, “Where have all the little girls gone?” it goes on to say that it is a well established fact that the boy-girl ratio at birth is 106 boys to 100 girls. But official statistics reveal that in China 119 boys are born for every 100 girls. In India 112 boys are born for every 100 girls. In South Korea 114 boys to 100 girls and in Taiwan, 110 boys to 100 girls. According to the Christian Science Monitor (August 1995) “The overwhelming majority of abortions preformed in Asia are involve female fetuses.” The article is entitles “A rush to rob the cradle—of girls.” One wonders how the American women who attended the conferences at Cairo and Beijing, and will be present at Istanbul, can reconcile these facts with their radical feminist philosophy.
Jim Miller concludes his article with a quotation from Antonella Pinneli a Rome-based sociologist-demographer who called the continent’s flight from fertility “very worrisome, because when a society loses the will to produce, it also loses its vitality.”