|Welcome to Demography Is Destiny. We launched this to counter two media memes: that humans are a cancer which is destroying our planet and that world population is spiralling to unsustainable levels. The real story is that intelligent and inventive human will rise to the challenge of climate change and that our real problem is the coming demographic winter. The editors of Demography is Destiny are Marcus and Shannon Roberts, who live in Auckland, New Zealand. Send them your comments and suggestions.|
MONDAY, 11 JANUARY 2016
In the continuing aftermath of the sex attacks in German (and other European cities) on New Year’s Eve, the writings of Valerie Hudson, a professor at Texas A & M University are receiving quite a lot of attention. Hudson studies the effects of sex ratios on the stability of nations and she has written an essay in Politico on the demographics of the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have entered Europe in the past few months. As the Australian reports:
“According to official statistics, two thirds of all migrants registering in Greece and Italy last year were male. A fifth of all those who reached the EU last year were under the age of 18; half had travelled alone. Of those, more than 90 per cent were boys.
While debate in Europe has frequently focused on the faith and culture of the new arrivals, Dr Hudson argues that demographics should be driving the decisions of governments. ‘Nobody is talking about this,’ she said. ‘We should be thinking strategically about how to protect the normal sex ratios.’”As Dr Hudson argues, crimes such as rape and sexual harassment become more common in “highly masculinised societies”. Women are less able to move about freely without fear and demand for prostitution increases. There are also higher violent and property crime rates. This is not a Muslim, or Arab, phenomenon: China has suffered a rise in crime due to its sex imbalance in favour of men, India has as well.
“‘I don’t care if they are Muslim or Greek Orthodox,’ [Hudson] added. ‘If you are altering sex ratios to the level of 123 men to every 100 women, you are going to have problems.’
Other demographers have argued that a large young population can be a recipe for revolution. The “youth bulge theory” was frequently cited during the Arab Spring.
A larger number of men than women has also been identified as a cause of instability. ‘High numbers of males per females tends to be correlated with more violent cultures or societies,’ said Barbara Miller, a professor of anthropology and international affairs at George Washington University.”Indeed my first ever post on DID was on that very point (see here).
The problem of sex ratio imbalance due to refugees and migration is particularly noticeable in Sweden, which has taken more migrants as a proportion of its population than any other European country. Hudson has calculated that among the population in Sweden aged 16-17 years old there are now 123 boys for every 100 girls. But the migrants as a whole are predominantly male:
“Of migrants registering in Greece and Italy, 66.2 per cent were male, according to the International Organisation for Migration. This imbalance may be reduced if men succeed in bringing their wives and children to join them. However, the gender disparity among unaccompanied teenage and child migrants is far greater and unlikely to be corrected.”One of those who commented on Hudson’s article was Ross Douthat in the New York Times. He argued that the current migrant flows to Europe are “uncharted territory”. When migration occurs at a modest, steady rate assimilation is given time to “do its work”. He continues:
“But if you add a million (or millions) of people, most of them young men, in one short period, you get a very different kind of shift.
In the German case the important number here isn’t the country’s total population, currently 82 million. It’s the twentysomething population, which was less than 10 million in 2013 (and of course already included many immigrants). In that cohort and every cohort afterward, the current influx could have a transformative effect.”Not only are migrants to Europe overwhelmingly male, but they are also much younger than the societies that they are entering. Although migrants are often touted as the answer to Germany’s demographic decline (and attendant economic issues) the problems that introducing such a large, young and male group are many, and following the Cologne attacks, readily apparent. In Douthat’s words:
“If you believe that an aging, secularized, heretofore-mostly-homogeneous society is likely to peacefully absorb a migration of that size and scale of cultural difference, then you have a bright future as a spokesman for the current German government.
You’re also a fool."
Attacks on women on New Year's Eve in Cologne appear to have been far more numerous and serious than German authorities first admitted. The first police statement was: "relaxed atmosphere. Celebrations largely peaceful". Far from it. Now more than 500 complaints have been filed, about 200 over sexual assault. Initially police barely mentioned asylum seekers; later on it emerged that most of the attackers were migrants.
The biggest casualty of this terrible incident is trust in Germany's politicians. Last year Angela Merkel was Person of the Year for Time magazine. Now her position looks a bit shaky. Voters gambled that her government would handle the influx in an orderly fashion. If they believe that they lost, there could be a huge backlash, even a violent one. We have applauded Germany's generous migration policy -- but its authorities have to tell the truth about the speed bumps.
|Can Britain win its battle of ideas?|
Michael Cook | FEATURES | 11 January 2016
The Prime Minister is determined to prove the superiority of British values to young Muslims.
|The demographics of German migration|
Marcus Roberts | DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY | 11 January 2016
The new entrants are overwhelmingly young and male: is that a problem?
|2016: The year ahead|
Sheila Liaugminas | SHEILA REPORTS | 11 January 2016
The known, the feared, and the unforeseen.
|Beating the winter blues in Norway|
Kari Leibowitz | FEATURES | 11 January 2016
One small city might hold the answer to seasonal affective disorder.
|Is Uber just a step toward self-driving cars?|
Denyse O'Leary | CONNECTING | 11 January 2016
Maybe. But for most of its existence, the automobile has stood for personal independence.
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