Coffee House

Don’t panic! There’s no population bomb

6 November 2013

5:32 PM

6 November 2013

5:32 PM

Our planet is now home to seven billion people, with ravenous appetites for fuel and food — and the number keeps growing. Do you panic when you think about the expansion of the human race? Yes, the world faces great challenges but it is possible to solve them, and some are in fact already being solved.

I’m a statistician — but don’t stop reading. Because the latest demographic data show that the future may not be that gloomy, and that mankind is already doing better than many of us think.

In 1800, the world’s population stood at barely one billion. But with the industrial revolution everything changed, and in little more than a hundred years, the population reached two billion and then, when I was at school, three billion. Now we are seven billion. More than half of the world’s population has been added during my lifetime and the number is still rising.

Yet paradoxically, the number of children in the world is not going to rise from now on. Let me first bust a few myths. How many babies do Bangladeshi women have on average — 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 or 5.5? We posed the question to Britons, and most chose 4.5 and 5.5. The right answer is 2.5 (in fact, by now it’s actually 2.2). This is what Brits don’t know: that in Bangladesh — and also in Brazil, Vietnam, India and big African cities like Addis Ababa — two-child families are the norm. This change from big families down to two-child families is one of the most important things to happen in my lifetime. It’s unprecedented in human history. It also means that we’ll see the end of fast population growth by the end of this century.

Hans peak child

[Alt-Text]


Here’s the thing. Around 2000 we reached the period of ‘peak child’ — from then on, the number of people under the age of 15 stayed at about two billion of the global population, and shouldn’t grow from that proportion from now on. But how can this be, you may ask, if the world population has been rising so much? The answer lies in better education and family planning versus higher child survival rates, in how the former came to outbalance the latter.

The population growth since 1800 was due to a much longed-for drop in child mortality. A wonderful thing occurred, which is that medical advances meant fewer people died in childhood, while humans in general could expect to live longer. In 1972, the year of Bangladesh’s independence, there was on average seven babies per woman, and the lifespan was less than 50 years. Today, the average Bangladeshi family has 2.2 children, while life expectancy is 70. Now, the statistical 2.2 children are much more likely to survive to old age — but that doesn’t mean a continuous fast population growth, because the number of children being born has fallen dramatically. (Greater longevity does mean that old people like me will be sticking around on earth longer than we used to, but we won’t make up that significant a chunk of the global population.)

This pattern is occurring everywhere — especially in countries like China and India, which people normally think of as contributing most to the population ‘explosion’. Fifty years ago, the global average number of babies born per woman was five; today it’s 2.5 and decreasing. People think that countries like Bangladesh are the epicentre of a population bomb but they couldn’t be more wrong.

The one place where the population is still set to boom is Africa, but even there, with better education, family planning and economic opportunities, people could slowly but steadily reach the ‘peak child’ stage. By 2050, Asia will have one billion more people — then its population growth is over. During this time, Africa’s population will double to two billion, and is set to double again to four billion by 2100. By the end of the century, with no more population growth in Europe, the Americas and Asia, there will be 11 billion people on earth, with four billion of that in Africa.

Hans population graph

By 2100, eighty percent of the world’s population will be in Africa and Asia. The big question is: will there be resources enough to sustain them? Thirty years ago, I spent the two most intense years of my life working as a medical doctor in one of the poorest countries, Mozambique. Conditions were miserable. Today Mozambique is still a very poor country but things have improved immensely— there’s a brand new hospital in the town where I used to work, where all the staff are well trained and routinely save women in childbirth by performing Caesareans. Such examples can be found throughout Africa, which is developing just as Asia did.

Education is key. Here’s another question we posed to British people: what’s the literacy rate of the world — 20, 40, 60 or 80 percent? Half chose 20 and 40 percent, nearly 45 percent of them chose 60 percent, and only 8 percent picked 80 percent. The answer, of course, is 80 percent (and rising). Four-fifths of the world can read and write, and thus hold the means to pull themselves out of poverty. You see? Our perception of things is very different from the reality.

I am not an optimist, but I do call myself a possiblist. And I say the world is much better than many think.

Watch numbers guru Hans Rosling on iPlayer presenting ‘Don’t Panic: The Truth About Population.


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Show comments
  • Bob Young

    However, an over bloated, overly large, inefficient bureaucratic government bomb is a real threat.

  • Shaka

    Mr Sumartran Tiger is certainly feeling the population explosion in South East Asia. Remember the crap the professional scientists gave us about poor Mr. Polar Bear with his realtively huge population suffering from climate change?

  • Littlegrayman

    “Our planet is now home to seven billion people, with ravenous appetites
    for fuel and food — and the number keeps growing. Do you panic when you
    think about the expansion of the human race?”

    Yes because our politicians want em all to live in the UK.

  • Trofim

    I’m finding that my comments are not being displayed. On the other hand, I’ve found myself being able to edit other people’s comments. Attention to software, please.

  • Makroon

    It is one of life’s mysteries that sensible people like Hans Rosling can discuss population realistically, but just can’t grasp the fundamentals of resource economics. T H E R E I S N O R E S O U R C E “S H O R T A G E ” !

    • Trofim

      Is space a resource? Is access to wild places a resource? Is a view unencumbered by buildings a resource?

  • David Prentice

    Yes, Bangladeshi women – let’s call them what they are, muslims – have 2.2 children on average in Third World hell-hole Bangladesh. It’s in the UK where they realise they can get a host of taxpayer funded benefits per child that we see burqua-clad females surrounded by serried ranks of little mohammads…

    • Scott Moore

      Bangladesh was more of a hell-hole in the 1960s when the fertility rate was close to 10. What most reduces fertility rates is the education of women. But I don’t hear you calling for more access to education for Bangladeshi women in the UK. And, by the way, the average Bangladeshi woman in the UK has fewer than 4 children. But, of course, don’t let reality get in the way of your prejudices, and don’t let the facts spoil your opinions.

      • David Prentice

        Islam means submission. Eventually, when demographics allow, muslims will try to force the indigenous population to submit. Not if. When. England doesn’t need any more Bangladeshi children named Mohammad. And it needs even fewer of these monstrosities

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ELM_and_LMC_Angled_View_1.jpg

        • Scott Moore

          That mosque is only a monstrosity because it had to comply with English planning laws – if it had been built anywhere else it would probably have been beautiful.

          England doesn’t need any more Davids either – we have far too many and they are far too powerful. I mean, one Prime Minister called David was acceptable, but another one within a century is really taking the piss. Don’t think that we non-Davids will put up with your cheek any longer!

        • hmbguy

          This is a very interesting point of view.

          At this very moment, secular and liberal Indians are fighting for the right of Christians to build churches in eastern India. It took a lot of work, but churches have been built even in places like Qatar and Dubai.

          Our case gets a lot weaker when you people express disgust at Muslims building mosques in your country.

  • global city

    No global warming
    Capitalism isn’t evil
    No mass starvation or population explosion…so

    We don’t need the IPCC, massive transfers from N to S so we can trade rather than give aid. We don’t need Agenda 21 or all those local sustainability officers, or green levies, windmills and rewilding. We do not need socialism or any other attempt to engineer the New Man… and we certainly don’t need mass depopulation theorists creeping round the UN.

    We don’t need the UN for global governance to coordinate any of the above, nor do we need their regional dispensaries like the EU…..so!

    That is a lot of guilt, money and liberty we can save and regain for ourselves. Then we can decide how we help to develop the country and the world properly!

    Why won’t our politicians allow us to do things properly… and do them for ourselves?

  • artemis in france

    In general terms you are quite right. It’s just that in Europe where many countries are quite small, overcrowding is becoming a problem, and particularly so in the UK. Try telling the people of certain Northern towns and those who live in Tower Hamlets in London that population growith isn’t really a problem at all. And if Bangladeshi women in their own land stick to 2.5 children why do so many of them who arrive in Britain start reproducing at a greater rate? Could it be the availability of so much state-funded help? This is the elephant in the room which dare not be mentioned – those who are doing a great deal of the multiplying also follow a faith which is very unfriendly towards other people who don’t follow it.

    • Scott Moore

      “why do so many of them who arrive in Britain start reproducing at a greater rate?” actually, fertility rates among ethnic Bangladeshis in the UK are dropping rapidly, down from 9.30 in 1971 to 4.9 in 1996 and 3.9 in 2001. Within a generation their fertility rate may be close to the UK average.

    • Scott Moore

      Oh, and religious people in general have more children than the non-religious. If you want to bring down the birth rate, then get rid of faith schools and other props to the various religions.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    The next World War is going to be between Christianity and Islam. Over population`s going to be the least of your problems.

    • Scott Moore

      I’ll be watching from the sidelines then, because I dislike both.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Too right, Scott. It really is getting difficult to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys. All I see are bad guys and worse guys.
        Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1105020409 Sue Swbk

    I actually don’t care about how many Bangladeshi women are having less children. I DO HOWEVER CARE ABOUT MY COUNTRY and its ever failing infrastructure. Lack of housing, school places, cheap labour and price rises affect us all, not just the newcomers. We have to put a stop to immigration for the foreseeable future, at least with low skilled people. We cannot support anymore and tensions in local towns are running high. All over Europe there have been clashes between migrants and the local populations, its causing mayhem for the police. It has to stop, a FULL STOP!

  • hfrruugtrfu7t

    Didn’t you know when more immigrants arrive hospitals, schools and jobs will magically appear

    Please sign and share, blog, tweet, facebook the Daily
    Express petition to stop EU immigration. Over 80,000 have signed in a week.

    Sign here- https://petitions.express.co.uk/Say-NO-to-new-EU-migrants

  • Robert Taggart

    At least our conscience be clear – there be no ‘issue’ – having sired no sprogs !
    Signed, ‘lucky’ to be alive mid-century !

  • Trofim

    Mr Rosling obviously doesn’t sit in the lobby at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

    • Scott Moore

      Maybe he does, but he clearly bases his opinions on more than just his prejudices and personal experiences. I realise that makes him unusual – a recent survey in Britain showed that a significant proportion of respondents had a completely unrealistic view about the composition of the UK population.

  • JTurner11

    I’ve done a little research on the number of people that have ever lived, and the estimates from a variety of sources seem to be >100 billion. I haven’t been able to confirm this, but as I wrote, the sources are varied (and seemingly more credible than Wikipedia) and use different methods to arrive at these figures. Not challenging your other conclusions, but it would mean less than 1 in 12 is alive today. Do you have different data or assumptions?

    • Bonkim

      How many have lived from the beginnings of the industrial age – say the last two centuries? From that the accelerated population growth, consumption, and resource depletion and making estimates of key resources remaining globally, not difficult to draw a life-time curve for mankind on earth and ball-park estimate of the balance remaining.

    • Daniel Maris

      If correct, and it sounds correct – what is that supposed to prove?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Oh, and this guy is merely repeating what’s been passed around for about 20-30 years now, in terms of world population in year 2100. Nothing to see here, unless you’re one of the Speccie teenagers and think this is groundbreaking news, simply because you haven’t been paying attention.

  • Bonkim

    Utter rubbish – even if population is halved – resource depletion is already so severe that mankind’s tenure on earth will only be prolonged a little – yes we are running out of land, water, energy, and mineral resources, and the future is not that far.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …goodness, it sounds like we better all repent.

      Did you hear, ye sinners? Ye blasphemous heathens? The dark place beckons, wherein Mother Gaia shall cast you forever. So, repent.

      • Bonkim

        Repentance will not bring salvation – sin as much as you wish until the lights are turned off for good.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Heed, oh ye heathens. Abandon all hope.

          We’re all phukkked.

      • Bob Sapp

        Eh.
        While it might be overly dramatic, I agree with the sentiment – mankind has spent far too long in its cradle.
        It’s time we grew up and started to strike out into the void.

        • Daniel Maris

          Fortunately we have a visionary in Elon Musk who is prepared to lead the way.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Lead to where? Fiscal insolvency? Debt servitude? Fascist-corporatist enslavement?

    • Weaver

      What does your belief imply for your own interest rate, and can I buy your position long?

      Mischeviously, W.

      • Bonkim

        negative %

        • Weaver

          I think I meant discount rate :) Apologies if that was confusing. Shouldn’t it be high +ve?

          If you think civilisation ends tomorrow (OK, in a few decades) you should be looking to take out all the long coupon credit you can.

          • Bonkim

            Time to give rather than take – can’t take it all with you to nowhere.

            • Weaver

              But…but…he who dies with the most stuff WINS 😀

              • Bonkim

                You won’t be there to collect your Oscar.

    • Scott Moore

      Some of the future (e.g. tomorrow) is very close, while other bits of the future (e.g. the death of the Sun) are an extremely long way away.

      • Bonkim

        How far in the future will you live to see – that is your future.

        • Scott Moore

          And is my past also what I can see? Because if I look up into the night sky I can see things that took place millions of years ago.

          • Bonkim

            Just an illusion – Space is a mobius plane – you can be on both sides, near and far, past and present at the same time – not sure where I am at the moment but wait long enough will return in space time.

  • Smithersjones2013

    The great fallacy of this article is that anyone has the faintest idea what might actually be the population challenges in 2100. Was anyone predicting World War Two in 1913. No they were in the run up to the “War To End All Wars. Had anyone a clue of the properties of stem cells in 1911? Were they predicting the explosion in the Chinese population after World War II (it trebled its 1900 population between 1950 and 2000)

    At best all one can describe such speculation as is complacent and unhelpful.

    Can we have Mystic Meg next week?

    • Randy McDonald

      Actually, yes, Chinese population growth _was_ considered a potentially existential threat to the world. That’s where the term “yellow peril” came from.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Peril

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …but not since 1950, as he mentions. If the “yellow peril” was considered a threat then, it was more due to communism and China’s closed society. I doubt people had a firm idea of their population growth numbers that the guy spoke of. That was his point, nobody predicted that growth.

        The “population bomb” was sort of a scare tactic used during the later 20th century, much like global warmingism today.

        • Randy McDonald

          As the link to Wikipedia I included describes, the use of the term “yellow peril” long predates Communism in China. It was widely used from the late 19th century on, when an increasingly large and mobile Chinese population was seen as an existential threat.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Agreed, that term long predated the Chinese population explosion of the second half of the 20th century, which is what I and that other poster cited, and you seemed to disagree with.

            • Randy McDonald

              You asked “Were they predicting the explosion in the Chinese population after World
              War II (it trebled its 1900 population between 1950 and 2000)”.

              I provided evidence that they not only predicted it but feared it.

              No?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                No, I did not ask that.

                No, nobody predicted the trebling of Chinese population in the second half of the 20th century.

                You certainly provided no evidence of any foreknowledge of that, mostly because it didn’t exist.

                The “yellow peril” was used in relationship to Chinese immigration to the West in the 19th Century. It was also used in relationship to the closed communist society in China after Mao, as mentioned above, and didn’t have anything to do with population growth then. As mentioned, it was just a scare tactic, sort of like global warmingism today.

                I don’t know what point you’re trying to make, but you seem confused about it.

                • Randy McDonald

                  Many people did predict rapid population growth in the Third World, including China. Many people writing on the “yellow peril” were concerned with the potential for rapid population growth. As a single example, Jack London’s 1910 story “The Unparalleled Invasion” goes into great detail about this (http://london.sonoma.edu/Writings/StrengthStrong/invasion.html).

                  “For many centuries China’s population had been constant. Her territory had been saturated with population; that is to say, her territory, with the primitive method of production, had supported the maximum limit of population. But when she awoke and inaugurated the machine-civilization, her productive power had been enormously increased. Thus, on the same territory, she was able to support a far larger population. At once the birth rate began to rise and the
                  death rate to fall. Before, when population pressed against the means of subsistence, the excess population had been swept away by famine. But now, thanks to the machine-civilization, China’s means of subsistence had been enormously extended, and there were no famines; her population followed on the heels of the increase in the means of subsistence.

                  During this time of transition and development of power, China had entertained no dreams of conquest. The Chinese was not an imperial race. It was industrious, thrifty, and peace-loving. War was looked upon as an unpleasant but necessary task that at times must be performed. And so, while the Western races had squabbled and fought, and world-adventured against one another, China had
                  calmly gone on working at her machines and growing. Now she was spilling over the boundaries of her Empire – that was all, just spilling over into the adjacent territories with all the certainty and terrifying slow momentum of a glacier.

                  [. . .]

                  Burchaldter revised his figures. He had been mistaken. China’s population must be seven hundred millions, eight hundred millions, nobody knew how many millions, but at any rate it would soon be a billion. There were two Chinese for every white-skinned human in the world, Burchaldter announced, and the world trembled. China’s increase must have begun immediately, in 1904. It was remembered that since that date there had not been a single famine. At 5,000,000 a year increase, her total increase in the intervening seventy years must be 350,000,000. But who was to know? It might be more. Who was to know anything of this strange new menace of the twentieth century – China, old ChinaThe Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy (1920), by Lothrop Stoddard,, rejuvenescent, fruitful, and militant!”

                  The fictional demographer Burchaldter was writing in 1975. London, then, _was_ predicting a trebling of the Chinese population.

                  He wasn’t alone. Lothrop Stoddard in his 1920 _The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy_, a book so popular it was alluded to by Fitzgerald in _The Great Gatsby_, also wrote in terms of rapid population growth in China and elsewhere, substantially more rapid than anything in the “white” world.

                  “[The] world of color which, as already seen, outnumbers the white world two to one. That is a formidable ratio, and its significance is heightened by the fact that this ratio seems destined to shift still further in favor of color. There can be no doubt that at present the colored races are increasing very much faster than the white. Treating the primary race-stocks as units, it would appear that whites tend to double in eighty years, yellows and browns in sixty years, blacks in forty years. The whites are thus the slowest breeders, and they will undoubtedly become slower still, since section after section of the white race is revealing that lowered birth-rate[Pg 8] which in France has reached the extreme of a stationary population.

                  On the other hand, none of the colored races shows perceptible signs of declining birth-rate, all tending to breed up to the limits of available subsistence. Such checks as now limit the increase of colored populations are wholly external, like famine, disease, and tribal warfare. But by a curious irony of fate, the white man has long been busy removing these checks to colored multiplication. The greater part of the colored world is to-day under white political control. Wherever the white man goes he attempts to impose the bases of his ordered civilization. He puts down tribal war, he wages truceless combat against epidemic disease, and he so improves communications that augmented and better distributed food-supplies minimize the blight of famine. In response to these life-saving activities the enormous death-rate which in the past has kept the colored races from excessive multiplication is falling to proportions comparable with the death-rate of white countries. But to lower the colored world’s prodigious birth-rate is quite another matter. The consequence is a portentous increase of population in nearly every portion of the colored world now under white political sway. In fact, even those colored countries which have maintained their independence, such as China and Japan, are adopting the white man’s life-conserving methods and are experiencing the same accelerated increase of population.”

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You linked to a piece of Jack London fiction, to prove your point? You are a charlatan, laddie.

                  A pure charlatan. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of you come along.

                  No, lad, obscure rantings and works of fiction don’t count.

                • Randy McDonald

                  No, I linked to a piece of fiction reflecting some of the things that were in the air in the early 20th century. One of these things was that the population of China–like the population of the Third World, generally–was set to boom to a degree unknown in the countries of the rich West.

                  I understand if you don’t want to acknowledge you’re wrong in the face of evidence. It’s sad, but hey? what can be done.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  So you’re a charlatan, you were actually caught linking to fiction to support your fantasies, AND you’re still going to stick with your tales?

                  You’re doubling down on the charlatan, are you?

  • e2toe4

    Decent article!

    One key accelerator for development though apart from ‘more people’ is ‘cheap energy’ and the ‘weight’ of the 11 billion, in terms of their impact on resources etc, is likely to arrive as ‘they’ up shift to what ‘we’ have in the West.

    But even liking the article I can’t help thinking it’s been a bit of a weird conceit masquerading as forehead wrinkling care to feel that the only way to get through the next 100 years is through a kind of calvinistic response in respect of human created global warming— a bit like not developing air travel because scientists point out all that flying machines that crash kill all passengers, and if adopted, by 1980 projecting current air death rates millions of people will be dying in crashes every year..

    Any predictions that start looking 20 years ahead need a sanity check …. the current craze for looking out half a century and more doesn’t, the sanity of them being uncheckable by mortal man..

  • Daniel Maris

    I thought we’d had enough of German profs telling us what to believe this week.

    Firstly on world population, no one knows what is going to happen re life extension. If experiments with animals can be replicated in humans then rejuvenation techniques will greatly extend life and population will resume a steep rise. Even as things stand he is predicting an increase of something like 60% up from 7 billion to 11 billion in less than 100 years. If the world economy grows 300% in that time, resource demand will grow hugely and the impact on the planet in that period will be horrific.

    If the question had been about Pakistan rather than Bangladesh, the respondents would have been nearer the mark. Pakistani women still have over 3 children on average.

    Then there’s this country. How does the Prof explain the inexorable rise in our population – up a staggering 0.8% in one year (2012)?

    I too am a possibilist, but don’t be naive about the challenges ahead.

    • Weaver

      Lifespan is irrelevant; you could live a million years, but so long as you only had 2.1 kids, the population would be stable.

      But imagine the huge productivity bonus!

      • Bonkim

        assuming you have access to infinite resources. Curtains down soon regardless of reduction in birth rates.

        • dalai guevara

          You know, this energy depletion nonsense, we have heard this decades ago – no one believes it anymore, only fossil fuel corporations come out with this carp, for obvious reasons.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Actually, no, it’s only you authoritarian socialist nutters who come out with that nonsense, for obvious reasons.

            • dalai guevara

              Oh heeello, missed you too tovarishch.
              The author is Arian? That makes no sense at all dude.
              The national socialist Ukip Greenie points out that the “we’re running out of oil” nonsense is just that, nonsense.
              We have never had more energy options available to us, ever.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                What would an ignorant and poorly educated socialist nutter like you know about energy, laddie? You nutters shriek about the end of days and the global warming kookiness.

                • dalai guevara

                  Never did vice guy, erhm gaia.
                  I never ever did that.

                  You OTOH conflated Carbon (oil gas coal) with oxidised carbon (CO2) many times, repeatedly – you still do.
                  This nonsense must end.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I agree. The sooner you stop posting, the sooner your nonsense will end.

                • dalai guevara

                  Will I ever stop responding to your weasel words?
                  We will never know.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You will never know much, that’s certain.

              • Trofim

                I guess that’s why we’re warned of almost certain energy shortfalls this winter.

                • dalai guevara

                  Trofim
                  Let’s play a little game, it’s fun.
                  It’s called “SpongeTheSubs”, in four stages:

                  Stage 1: talk up a power cut
                  Stage 2: deliver a power cut
                  Stage 3: repeat stage two until panic breaks out
                  Stage 4: then frantically fund new coal plant with taxpayers’ subsidies.

                  I love it. What do you think?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, and Gaia knows you authoritarian socialist nutters know exactly how that and everything else is supposed to work.

      • Daniel Maris

        Er back to Maths class for you. If no one’s dying population increases inexorably.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          So your going-in assumption is that “no one’s dying”?

          You really are a thick lump, aren’t you?

          • Daniel Maris

            It was Weaver who made the claim about living for a million years and there being no population increase as long as people only had 2.1 kids. Don’t blame me for his thickness.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Yes, Gaia knows you have enough of your own thickness to explain away.

            • Weaver

              Daniel,

              No need for insults, please. Bonkim actually has the maths right here. The important factor for population growth is the birth / death ratios. Longetivity (and when children are born in a lifetime) doesn’t effect growth except in the short term.

              If everyone, right now, lived to 1 million years old, but the birth/death ratio fell to parity then in the long term global population would stabilise between 7 and 14 billion, depending on whether kids were born at the start of that lifetime or at the end. There wouldn’t be exponential growth.

              • Daniel Maris

                My response was directed more at VG who was his usual pleasant self.

                I’ll set it out simply…

                Population 100 million with 2.1 fertility rate

                So (roughly) after 30 years we have

                100 million not dead people (because they are living for a million years on your example) but we also have 100 million additional people. Those 100 million additional people will also go on to have families

                So after the NEXT 30 years we have:

                200 million not dead yet people (because they are living for a million years on your example) plus 100 million MORE making a total of 300 million.

                So we have a doubling of the population on the first, third ,seventh, 15th generations and so on down the generations….after 450 years your population will be 1600 million – an increase of 1500 million. You’ve still got a long way to go before the first of your citizens reaches one million year old and dies.

                • Weaver

                  Yes, I think I said that. Sorry if I didn’t make the algebra clear.

                  You’ve started with everyone childless and L –> 0, which is kind of the extreme case. It would give you a very high population, yes. If L–> 1 (or even 0.5) then you get the opposite result.

                • Daniel Maris

                  No, you didn’t say that. You never referred to a childless population. This is what you said:

                  “Lifespan is irrelevant; you could live a million years, but so long as you only had 2.1 kids, the population would be stable.Lifespan is irrelevant; you could live a million years, but so long as you only had 2.1 kids, the population would be stable.”

                  You were clearly stating that with a fertility rate of 2.1 and a population where people lived to a million years, the population “would be stable”.

                • Weaver

                  Daniel,

                  I’m worried that we’re talking at cross purposes, or I’m not expressing myself clearly. Let me walk through an example with you using the equation given.

                  Assume replacement fertility at 2.1, at t = 0 population 7 billion, no children in initial population, human lifespan = 1 million years, mean reproduction age 500,000 years (L=0.5) [uniform distribution].

                  Under this scenario population would rise linearly to 14B over a course of 1M years, and then stabilise there. If you change the values then you can get smaller stable number (e.g. initial population does not all have Life Expectancy = 1M, some children in initial population etc) .

        • Bonkim

          But Weaver didn’t say 2.1 children every year – but in a lifetime – so over the long period – beyond a million years, population will remain stable.

          • Daniel Maris

            You – and Weaver seem to be forgetting that children beget children. They will still be having kids in their 20s even if they live for a million years. So you have a birth rate and no death rate, hence population goes up.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              No death rate?

              You are as dumb as a box of rocks, lad.

    • Randy McDonald

      1. Actually, Rosling is Swedish.

      2. I don’t know where you get your figures. A recent 2010 study using the example of Sweden suggested that even if people stopped aging after 60, there would still be less population growth.

      “A general conclusion of this study is that population changes are
      surprisingly slow in their response to a dramatic life extension. For
      example, we applied the cohort-component method of population
      projections to 2005 Swedish population for several scenarios of life
      extension and a fertility schedule observed in 2005. Even for very long
      100-year projection horizon, with the most radical life extension
      scenario (assuming no aging at all after age 60), the total population
      increases by 22% only (from 9.1 to 11.0 million).”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20426616

      3. British population growth can be explained by net immigration, a falling death rate and a rising birth rate.

      • Daniel Maris

        Well that shows how little thought you give the subject.

        Sweden’s experience is irrelevant to our own. Our population is already growing at 0.8% per annum.

        Who chose the 60 year cut off? If you can stop ageing at 60 you can stop it at 40. With advances in fertility technology, I see no reason why if people were living to 200 they wouldn’t start to think in terms of
        having a second family at some stage, often with new partners.

        3. Wow, you don’t say.

        • Randy McDonald

          Sweden’s population grew last year by 0.77%, a consequence of immigration and a rising birth rate.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sweden

          0.77% isn’t exactly 0.8%, but it’s close enough, right?
          You wanted a link to a study. I pointed out that there were long-term studies suggesting population growth wouldn’t be that substantial compared to historical trends, even in the case of functional immortality.

          • Daniel Maris

            Well we have our own Office of National Statistics telling us our population will grow nearly 20% by 2030. This in a crowded mountainous island with plent of flood plains i.e. not a lot of building land available. Where are these people going? Either we build on agricultural land and lose all that productive land or we become a crowded huddled mass in our cities.

            I don’t doubt that Mr Rosling’s projections are the best available. My query is more over why we are being asked to focus on this. A jump from 7 to 11 billion is still huge – even more so as living standards mean consumption will probably double. It’s still an environmental disaster for the planet’s animal and plant life. It might not be completely out of control – good. But I see from his answers to questions on BBC that he dreams of removing international borders. I think that tells you where is coming from.

            • Randy McDonald

              “I see from his answers to questions on BBC that he dreams of removing
              international borders. I think that tells you where is coming from.”

              Where is it coming from? And what does it have to do with Rosling’s demonstrated command of the facts?

    • Scott Moore

      Who care about the Hans’ nationality (apart from a racist)? It is the validity of his arguments that counts. He is not “telling you what to believe” any more than you are telling people what to believe.

      • Daniel Maris

        I care about it if we are being lulled into accepting as inevitable an increase in our population to 100 million via 70 million by 2028. It’s a decision for UK citizens to make.

        • Scott Moore

          No, we are not. No credible source is estimating that the UK population is going to increase to 100 million by 2028. Eurostat predicts that it will reach 72 million by 2035, while the UK ONS puts the figure at 73 million.

          There is nothing “staggering” about a 0.8% annual increase in population. The average annual growth rate was 1.1% from 1750 to 1851 and 0.9% from 1851 to 1951. So, in fact, the current growth rate is slower than the average during the past 250 years.

          What exactly do you think UK citizens need to decide on? I assume that you are not seriously suggesting any measures to reduce the birth rate? So that leaves net immigration as the only source of population increase that can be affected by government. I agree that UK citizens should ultimately decide on such matters, but many of those who give the very misleading impression of soaring population growth are attempting to manipulate the electorate into backing restrictions of immigration that are motivated more by xenophobia than any concern about population size.

          • Daniel Maris

            You misread my post – I said we are heading to 100 million via 70 million by 2028, meaning 70 million in 2028 will be a staging post on the way to 100 million.

            Our population went up from 11 million in around to 1800 to

            55 million by 1950. So a multiple of 5 in 150 years. If we replicated that now, we would have a population of 315 million in 2150. Don’t forget though that we exported millions to the Empire and USA in that period.

            Of course I am suggesting measures to bring down the birth rate – e.g. creating financial and benefits incentives to stay at two children maximum. At the moment we have built in incentives for large families.

            What you call “xenophobia” is a perfectly acceptable position to take with regard to immigration – or are you going to make the absurd claim that all cultures are the same, sitting easily with our cultural values?

            • Scott Moore

              I didn’t actually misread your post – I had to make some assumptions about what you meant because you expressed it poorly. I any case, my point still stands that UK population growth now is lower than it was up until 1950. Clearly population growth (or decline) is driven by many factors but one of the main drivers of growth from 1750 to 1950 – the incredible decline in rates of infant mortality – is not going to be repeated. I think that any reasonable prediction about the future UK population would not merely project historical rates of growth into the future (especially given the impact of immigration, which is less predictable than fertility and mortality rates). Another point – the UK still is exporting millions of people. There are about 6 million British expats around the world. The recent increase in net immigration (up from 153,000 in 2011 to 176,000 in 2012) was due not to more immigrants but to fewer emigrants.

              It was far from obvious that you were suggesting measures to bring down the birth rate. Apart from the well-known one child policy in China (which I assume you wouldn’t want to repeat here), do you know of any examples of government measures that have had a significant effect on reducing birth rates? I know that many countries in Europe are trying to do the opposite (ie. increase birth rates), without much success.

              You may think “xenophobia” is perfectly acceptable – I strongly disagree. I probably know a lot more than you about other cultures, having lived in several other countries, so I know full well about the differences between them. But I wonder what you mean by “our cultural values” because clearly the two of us don’t share all of our values, and that is only replicated across the UK. In any case, the best way to ensure that differences in cultural values do not cause problems is to have well-functioning legal, political and social systems that ensure that everyone is treated equally and must play according to the same rules. For this reason I am strongly opposed to faith schools, because they segregate children along religious and cultural lines, which is only storing up problems for the future. I regard faith schools as a bigger threat to British cultural values than immigration. Indeed, the inevitable result of state support of faith schools will be hundreds of Muslim schools up and down the country, which is hardly going to ease cross-cultural tensions between the non-religious majority in Britain and the various minority religious communities.

              • Daniel Maris

                Since you write “I any case” immediately after criticising me for ambiguous expression, I think we can agree that nearly all posts are capable of improvement ni power of expression if we but had the time.

                Until recently increases in population in Europe were not a problem in the mid 20th century, countries were replacing millions of war dead. Subsequently population growth levelled off. It didn’t seem a problem. But we have also had the green movement, mass immigration and globalisation in teh post war period. Now, we are faced with a huge increase in population when we know exactly how damaging that is to the environment. We have been through a recession, and we see how mass immigration causes downward pressure on labour costs, high unemployment and huge infrastructure costs.

                I am saying that your definition of xenophobia [is wrong], since it includes not irrational fear of people but well considered objections to mass immigration, especially from cultures that have values opposing our own.

                Our common values include democracy, , free speech, sport, the arts, child protection and gender equality.

                Some cultures don’t respect any of these. They want a system of religious law, no free speech, bans on sport especially involving women, stopping music and visual arts,

                child marriage/FGM and inequality for women, who will not be allowed to live except under male guardianship.

                • Scott Moore

                  “I think we can agree that nearly all posts are capable of improvement ni power of expression if we but had the time.” Indeed, so before you criticise someone for misreading, you should think whether you could improve the quality of your writing and argumentation. If you want to convince someone of something then you need to work hard for it – as I know very well myself.

                  I still disagree with your analysis of population growth in the UK. And I haven’t actually written my definition of xenophobia, so I’m not sure what you are disagreeing with. I do not regard “well considered objections to mass immigration” as xenophobia. But I think that few people have such well-considered objections – you appear to be a rare exception. Maybe you believe that most people who oppose immigration have also considered the topic in as much depth as you have. If that is the case, then that is where we disagree and not on what constitutes xenophobia.

                  But I do agree with most of what you have written in your last post. Regarding respect of common values – that is precisely why we have laws about some of these issues and organisations to enforce those laws. Gender equality, child protection, freedom from discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. – these are recent phenomena in historical terms. Respect had to be enforced because they were not ‘natural’ to our culture. You could argue that our culture has changed and that these values are now fundamental to our culture, and I wouldn’t disagree with you. But other cultures can change too and I believe the best way to ensure that they do change is to repeat the process of enforcing and encouraging change through our legal, political and social institutions.

                  In some ways, I believe the UK has taken backward steps in this latter regard. Many of those “wants” you mentioned are related to, or reinforced by, religion. Government policies towards faith schools are, in effect, providing tax payers’ money to promote religious discrimination – that is, discrimination by religious people against others of other or no religion. What sort of example is that providing to Muslim immigrants? If state schools can reject pupils because their parents don’t have the right religion, if they can insist that parents have certain religious values and engage in certain religious practices (otherwise their kids won’t get into the school) then I can easily imagine that being used as an excuse or a justification for some of the religious practises you listed. Indeed, if the reports about the Al-Madinah school in Derby are true, then the British state has been financially supporting religiously-inspired discrimination against female teachers and pupils.

            • Scott Moore

              “Of course I am suggesting measures to bring down the birth rate – e.g. creating financial and benefits incentives to stay at two children maximum. At the moment we have built in incentives for large families.” I’d like to tackle this point again in more detail. If Britain really has built in incentives for large families that have any significant effect then I’m sure many politicians from across Europe would be flocking here to find out what we are doing right. Many other European countries are suffering from a declining population and have introduced various financial incentives to no avail. What exactly is Britain doing to encourage large families that other countries are failing to do even though they are desperate for more babies? Certainly not child benefit or other direct payments for children because they exist in other countries with very low fertility rates.

              • Daniel Maris

                Well then, read this thread and you’ll find Sweden also is managing a growth rate of 0.7%.

                You’re living in the past. Even Germany’s population is on the up now.

                https://www.google.co.uk/#q=germany%27s+population+growth

                So where are these “many European countries” with plummeting populations?

                In the UK we add the same amount of child benefit per child and we offer free social housing to large families, with no limit. We also have no social stigma about people divorcing and starting second families.

                • Scott Moore

                  Thanks for providing a link that helps to prove my point. As the first article in the link says: “German population shrinks as QUARTER of men say ‘no’ to kids”. Here are more:
                  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/world/europe/germany-fights-population-drop.html?_r=0
                  http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/sep/08/germany-little-growth-few-babies
                  If you look beyond the headlines, you’ll realise that an increase in immigration to Germany in 2012 is NOT evidence of any change in the long term trend of a declining population in Germany. Those immigrants came from within the EU, so can easily return to their home countries when their local economies start to pick up.

                  Other European countries experiencing a significant decline in population include: Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. As to where they are – look at a map if you don’t know.

                • Daniel Maris

                  This was your claim:

                  “Many other European countries are suffering from a declining population ”

                  You said “population” . If you mean fertility rates you have to say so.

                  Most of the countries experiencing depopulation, which you mention, are doing so primarily through emigration as Ireland once did. Ireland experienced depopulation even when it had very high fertility rates.

                • Scott Moore

                  No, I wasn’t referring to fertility rates, I was referring to population – that was why I wrote “declining population”. Most countries in Central and Eastern Europe have a declining population, a fact that you seem to agree with. The populations of most of these countries are mainly declining due to low fertility rates, not due to emigration. Even countries with high levels of emigration also have low fertility rates e.g. Bulgaria has a fertility rate of 1.43.

                • Scott Moore

                  “There is a band of fertility in Europe, stretching from France to Britain and the Scandinavian countries, helped along by immigrants and social services that support working women.

                  Raising fertility levels in Germany has not proved easy. Critics say the country has accomplished very little in throwing money at families in a system of benefits and tax breaks that includes allowances for children and stay-at-home mothers, and a tax break for married couples.”

                  This is a quote from a NY Times article. Evidence that financial incentives such as benefits and tax breaks do not raise fertility levels.

                • Daniel Maris

                  “not proved easy” is not the same as “completely failed”.

                  Furthermore your quote states explicitly that fertility have been “helped along by…social services that support working women”. So there are incentives to help women maintain fertility. Equally if you feel your population growth is getting out of hand, you can apply incentives the other way.

                  So your quote helpfully argues against your original proposition.

                • Scott Moore

                  I didn’t claim that anything had “completely failed” so I wonder what point you are making now.

                  Yes, I agree, there are incentives that help women maintain fertility – such as laws around maternity and paternity leave, tackling discrimination in the workplace against women etc. But these are not financial incentives. Direct financial incentives (benefits, tax breaks) do exist but I believe that they don’t work. If you have evidence that they do then I’d gladly consider it.

                • Scott Moore

                  “Equally if you feel your population growth is getting out of hand, you can apply incentives the other way.” Yes, you could, but I doubt that these would be acceptable to most people. You could make it more difficult for working mothers by, for example, reducing legal requirements for maternity leave and holding job positions open. This might encourage couples and, especially, single women to have fewer children. But it could also encourage single women not to work and rely on benefits.

                • Scott Moore

                  At some points I begin to think you are serious about debating, then you throw in a cheap insult such as “you’re living in the past”. Germany’s population is still in long-term decline. An increase in 2012 was due to immigration from other EU countries due directly to the economic recession. It is unlikely to continue and, indeed, many of those immigrants are likely to return home when their local economies improve.

                  The many European countries with declining populations include: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. So, to answer your question, they are mainly in Central and Eastern Europe.

                • Scott Moore

                  More from a report on population in Germany. Whether or not the population is increasing or decreasing, it is clear that it would be falling rapidly without immigration. In Germany, huge subsidies for families are failing to increase the fertility rate. So why do you think that the far less generous benefits in the UK are contributing to higher fertility rates here?

                  “Germany is currenty fighting a major population drop, and many towns that were thriving just a few decades ago are now filled with vacant homes that may never be sold.

                  The country is now spending about $265 billion every year on family subsidies in an attempt to reverse this trend, with little success. Germany has many issues to overcome, including attitudes in the country where working women with children are dubbed “raven mothers” with an implication of neglectfulness and immigrants are not always welcomed with open arms.

                  Some experts worry that the country has waited too long to try to address its population problem, and raising fertility rates have proven difficult. Giving money to families and tax breaks for stay-at-home mothers and married couples has done little, and demographers believe expanding after-school and day care programs would be a better investment for the country.”

  • 2trueblue

    It will be interesting to see what happens to the populations of the so called developed parts of the world. The health of the next generation is going to have an impact, both in terms of physical health and capability to engage in fruitful employment. The last government took their eye of the ball and did forgot about real education and aspiration. the UK is now unable to feed itself, in more ways than one. That is our biggest challenge.

  • Dogsnob

    “One…is alive…”

  • dalai guevara

    Please please please please please let this not lead to Monsanto and a solution that ought to involve GMO.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      I wonder if Monsanto could develop something to cure the parasite that’s obviously eating away your brain?

  • Agrippina

    Your figures for women overseas apparently only having 2.5 children may be correct. But I think all the folks that came over here from faraway lands haven’t changed their ways. Around here the muslims have 5kids or more as do the catholic eastern europeans. Are you sure you only counted the child bearing age females, because your numbers don’t add up. Every time we watch comic relief etc we see hordes of kids, never seen just 2kids ever.

    • HookesLaw

      The national statistics prove you wrong.
      The CIA say that in Poland there is 1.32 children born to every woman. In Hungary its 1.41
      Estonia its 1.45
      We actually need 2.1.

      The fertility rate for muslim women in the UK is falling Indeed it is falling world wide and falling faster than European rates..
      You want to keep people out and at the same time decry measures thet would help sustain them make them more prosperous and keep them at home with a lower birth rate.

      • Trofim

        we “need” 2.1? What does that mean exactly? Oregon functions OK – it’s slightly larger than the UK and has 60 million fewer people. Louisiana functions OK – slightly larger than England and 5.5 million people as against England’s 58. Scandinavia does very very well indeed, and despite having 4 times the area of the UK has less than half the population of England. Canada, the USA, New Zealand and Australia are doing fine. Small populations are part of the good life. Smaller populations of human beings are good news for the rest of the living world too.

        • Weaver

          No.

          Smaller populations give you a larger endowment factor, of primary resources per head. But you lose innovation, trade and specialisation bonuses. Those effects are very large. Even in Sweden wealth is mostly value-added higher up the chain, not primary resources, so it doesn’t even illustrate your point. (e.g. why is Scotland so poor with its low population densities?)

          You would be poorer with half the number of people on the planet.

          There’s proably an optimum point somewhere, but small isn’t necessarily beautiful.

          • Colonel Mustard

            “innovation, trade and specialisation bonuses”.

            Wonk gobbledygook. The UK as a production plant generating income and wealth for the wonk gobbledygook elite.

            • dalai guevara

              The term you are looking for is Mehrwert.

              • Colonel Mustard

                I am not looking for any term. You look to your comments Schulz, and I’ll look to mine.

                • dalai guevara

                  Then effing grow up, dad.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Which just means “think and express as I do or face abuse”. The accusation of immaturity and or lack of intellect is just another elitist left wing tactic for undermining dissent.

                  No “Jawohl!” in this case, Schulz, but rather “Droppenziedead”.

                  PS I am probably not your dad.

                • dalai guevara

                  Probably not. You know exacly why I made that comment.
                  I will not explain it to everyone, because you already know.
                  Is that also (opens his draws) *lefty*, *immature* – oh let’s see, a display of *juvenile dissent for the sake of it*?

                  I think you will find that you have been observed (by my national socialist self, yes) being the latter.

            • sarahsmith232

              LOL, great response.

            • Weaver

              Intermediate economics terminology, I’m afraid.

          • Daniel Maris

            Yes, California with its population density at one third of the UK’s is so lacking in innovation, trade and specialisation isn’t it?

            Of course there’s an optimum point. In a modern developed society I would put it at around 30 million for the UK. To let the population rise to 100 million is criminally irresponsible bequeathing a host of unpleasant problems to your descendants.

            With 30 million we would lose none of the economies of scale – we can still have big football teams, all the arts, big businesses and world class universities.

            But housing would be much cheaper. Business enterprises could operate more efficiently. There would be less pollution, no erosion of green belt and the natural habitat would be protected. We would be able to feed ourselves. The problem of dealing with an ageing population would be more manageable.

            • dalai guevara

              Daniel, seriously, Britain isn’t “full” – that’s just balls.
              Hong Kong not innovative? Singapore, Mumbai, Paris, Barcelona, Belgium (?), Tokyo. All these places and many more are far more densly populated than three storey Londinium, never mind two storey Kent.
              Our infrastructure needs an upgrade, look at any of these places to see how it’s done.

              • Weaver

                I don’t think density effects are completely scale free, so I hesitate to compare with the City-states, but I agree its not as bad as commonly supposed around here.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Define “bad”. You might like “vibrant diversity” and high density multi-culturalism. Plenty of people don’t. Imposing it on them with a justification of wonk gobbledygook doesn’t invalidate their right to dissent.

                • Weaver

                  I share your distaste for multi-culturalism too, but that appears to be a bit of Red Herring here, Colonel, we’re just discussing density in an abstract sense.

                • dalai guevara

                  Londinium is a city. It’s also a city state. That is at least obvious to me.

                • Weaver

                  Respectfully and technically, London is not a city state in the proper sense. London is not a sovereign state, despite its size and relative importance to the UK.

                  I don’t think you need that claim to establish a reasonable point about comparative densities.

                • dalai guevara

                  Ok – comparative densities

                  London, NY, Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore. Who comes last? Correct, London.

                  The South East, Belgium, Osaka-Kyoto-Nagoya, Holland, the Ruhrgebiet, Milan-Turin-Genoa, Shenzhen region. The South East is well placed.

                  Britain, Japan, any city region in India or China or Indonesia, Germany, South Korea.
                  Again, nothing new to see here other than a lopsided concentration of infrastructure, economic activity and wealth on the perimeter, not the geographical centre of the nation.
                  Decentralisation is the answer.

                • Weaver

                  Those are better comparisons.

                  Note, however, your density is not scale free, the concern I was alluding to. The density of all the cities given falls as you move from the centre, measuring across a wider and wider area. Where do you draw the line and say “this is city” and “this is not”? This is something that concerns me from a methodological point of view.

                • dalai guevara

                  Ok, I think I know where you are going with this.
                  What about the Detroit donut, an inversion of what we believe is a good thing? Did this not affect Manchester – Cheshire, Liverpool – the Wirral et al also? Is it not a good thing this is now reversed?

              • Trofim

                Hong Kong? Singapore? Mumbai? Tokyo?
                More than three quarters of Scandinavians have a second home by a lake in a forest with a sauna bigger than the living quarters of anyone who lives in these places. If the good life to you is not seeing a horizon, noise, pollution and a constant supply of cooler gizmos, then I guess you can tolerate it. I’d much rather be able to hear a skylark when I’m standing at the top of the garden and see blue hills shimmering on the horizon. Mind you, the skylarks have already gone, victim of loss of habitat due to the unending proliferation of human beings.

                • dalai guevara

                  The average life expectancy in high-density Japan is 93!

                • Trofim

                  And what’s their life expectancy got to do with anything?

                  They are famed for their extraordinarily cramped living space. If I could offer an average Japanese family twice their living space and a second home out of town for the same price as what they pay now, do you think they would all refuse?

                • dalai guevara

                  Well, it’s a quality indicator, that’s all.
                  We are moving away from the point. More than half the planet is in fact more densly populated than Britain. Yes, we have a hub in the South East, but even that cannot be compared to the cities and regions I list (and many more I did not care to list).
                  This perceived ‘overcrowding is due to what?
                  1- you cannot afford a decent house?
                  2- your options of transportation to and from work are dismal?
                  3- your neigbours are cretinous morons playing Beethoven all night, only paper thin walls separate you?

                  What is it? Britain is densly populated? We need to upgrade ALL our infrastructure to combat this perception, as it is clearly, after checking most of the data, a red herring.

              • Trofim

                I hadn’t noticed Daniel Maris use the word “full”. I think that has come out of your head and you have attributed it to him.

            • Bonkim

              I would suggest 15 or 17 million for the UK. However given that we have managed to dig out most of the earth’s useful resources – doubt even if a million will survive beyond another 4 or 5 centuries. I suppose you can buy your food from Mars and pay by paypal.

            • Weaver

              Daniel,

              The short answer on Cal (and for any country) is that you need to look at the actual scaling factors for the population distribution not just the mean density. You can’t assume that the population is poisson distributed (it isn’t). This is a bit technically esoteric, but (for example) in the case of Cal a lot of trade and population is focussed on 2 points; the greater LA and SF areas. In terms of a trade network it’s really almost two (globally) connected cities linked by a narrow strip of land.

              Anyhow, for the UK its a bit tricky. At 30M you would lose a LOT of economy of scale. Mean transit distance for all internal trade would go up by a factor of up to root 2, depending on certain parameters for your population. You would indeed lose some of your world class facillities due to “winner-take-all” effects. The other “advantages” leave me a bit non-plussed from an economics perspective, I’m afraid.

              Food Sufficiency – Yes. (But we could feed ourselves locally even now, if it were really profitable to do so. it isn’t. And I don’t put much weight on food security anyway, I’m afraid.)
              Housing – Minimal effect – cost is overwhelmingly supply side restrictions, not physical lack of space.
              Pollution – Yes, better. .
              Natural habitat – Yes, better (but probably by smaller amount that you imagine – 5% or so, genorously assuming no substitution effects.)
              Aging population – No effect, surely? Your worker-retiree ratios are still the same!

              Regards, W.

            • Bonkim

              I suppose you were just trying out – but even with all of California’s ingenuity, and innovative people and access to the sun and natural resources, check if California can sustain itself without the rest of the world buying its high value products and services.

              I bet Califorian agriculture benefits immensely from the sun and cheap immigrant labour, and the US overall with its 300M population is much less dependent on outside resources than the rest of the world – so lucky for the time being. Even fracting gas will run out within decades, population will expand – irrigated agricultural land turn to salt pans, and global warming take its toll – all this without the dreaded geologic fault opening up and gobbling up the more productive parts of the state.

              Don’t forget – everything in nature has a life-cycle and why should California or human societies not have one?

            • Scott Moore

              No, the problem of dealing with an ageing population would be unmanageable if the overall population (and therefore the proportion of the population that is not old) declined rapidly.

          • Bonkim

            You are assuming infinite supply of resources to be converted to high value goods by greater numbers of people and then consuming all that at high rates.

            Not enough feedstock for the factory to be kept running to allow all those people to be fed and kept warm.

            • Weaver

              Energy is the important resource and energy intensity the important coefficient. Everything else is pretty much intermediating constraints.

              Well, I think we’re good for another couple of billion years until the sun cools. We only use about 1% of incoming solar energy, so we have a bit of slack.

              • Bonkim

                This has already been evaluated. In fact almost all our energy comes from the sun – present day and also historic – it is a question distribution, concentration, storage and total needed to support present and anticipated future increase.

                You will find solar sourced fossil energy is running out simply because of the intensity of its depletion, diurnal solar radiation creates the climate systems, wind, wave, biomass and other energy some intermittent and needing storage, land and water running out due to population pressures, electricity (high value form) requires much higher input to generate, biomass cycle from planting to harvesting takes time – for wood years if not decades, it is just the sheer scale and intensity of use.

                If the industrial revolution had not occurred and man continued a subsistence lifestyle, and consumed what the natural cycles of growth provided – even using modern technologies harvesting solar, wind and wave power for basic applications, perhaps a chance fr a small – pre-1800s level of population to continue at least for the foreseeable future.

                The real issue there will be who will be selected to continue into the new dawn of human history.

          • Trofim

            “You would be poorer with half the number of people on the planet”.

            You mean materially poorer? Can you clarify for me: there seems to be an unspoken assumption that being poorer is a bad thing, because, apparently poorer means unhappier. We were poorer in the 1970’s, but no less happy. Ditto 1950’s. I remember it all well. Let’s say that within a year or two we reverted to the levels of prosperity which we enjoyed in the 1970’s – would most of the population top themselves because life was unbearable?

            • Weaver

              Trofim,

              Happy to clarify. The answer is, yes, poorer is unhappier, generally. Here is the data.

              http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/27561613?uid=3738032&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21102882316277

              • Trofim

                When I grew up in the 1950’s people were no more and no less happier than we are now. If it were true that increasing prosperity makes people happier then we would now be in a state of constant orgasmic bliss. We’re not. I was poorer in 1979, but no less happy.

                • Gareth

                  It seems you can’t tell the difference between “what people say” and a body of evidence. (Now which coalition government does that remind me of?)

                • Trofim

                  “what people say” – not something I referred to
                  “body of evidence” – some data and some conclusions based on it. So for you that’s good enough? The conclusions are incontrovertible? Do you have an opinion of your own based on your own experience and cognitive processes or it the opinion of the “experts” enough?

                • Gareth

                  No, the quote I referred to was, “you do have a blithe acceptance of what other people say.” I fully agree with you that people some weigh the quality of data and examine whether the conclusions drawn from it are valid.

                  But to be precise, the question we’re posing is whether one should choose to believe their gut instinct based on their own recollection of life over sixty years ago, or the detailed research of two senior academic professors (one of whom is a senior Economic advisor to the US government) who have spent a number of years working on this area, both of whom also have many years of being alive.

                  It’s fine to debate this sort of issue, but if you’re not open to altering your opinions in the light of other evidence, you shouldn’t expect other people to place much value on them.

                • Trofim

                  Weaver said “poorer is unhappier”. Therefore, in the 1950’s we must have been desperately unhappy, mostly suicidal. That’s not my memory. In 1957 Mac told us we’d never had it so good. So if we weren’t unhappy then, in light of our fantastic level of material wellbeing in comparison with the 1950’s, it follows that we must now be living in a state of blissful ecstasy. Which is it?

                • Trofim

                  Which coalition government does that remind you of? Lloyd George 1916-1922?

                  You might be interested to look at a different body of evidence with different conclusions.

                  http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/academic/oswald/happecperf.pdf

                • Weaver

                  Indeed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have different conclusions, it support slight happiness rises with income, whilst you claim a fall.

                  Additonally, please try to find a more recent paper, 1997 is a LONG time ago in this field. The data set here is tiny, the questionnaires are non-standard, the statistical techniques weak to non-existent, and the study is badly superseded by others, including the one I quote.

                • Gareth

                  See, that’s the substance of real debate., much stronger than your original point.

                  So of the two papers which have been cited:
                  – which set of data do you think most accurately captures the phenomenon it sets out to measure?
                  – which concept (‘happiness’ or ‘subjective wellbeing’) is most relevant to our discussion?
                  – which paper has the strongest rationale for drawing its conclusions from its data?

                • Weaver

                  Trofim,

                  You’re entitled to your own opinions, and memory, of course.

                  But you can’t expect us to take your personal experience and memory as a universal human truth. How do you know everyone else was happy in the way you claim to have been? How can you reliably generalise from your personal experience to people in general?

                  I can generate reams of contrary “say-so” to, and it would (should) be just as unconvincing to you as your account appears to me. Not because I don’t believe you, but because a single story proves nothing. That is why science has data and statistics, rather than anecdote.

      • Wessex Man

        Where did you get this need from Hooky? your central office? which is now going to do away with the 10 year census that has been running since 1801 because they don’t want the ‘common’ people to know that theres actually 80+ million and rising in this country already!

      • Mr Grumpy

        You haven’t quoted any relevant statistics at all. Why should Polish women with access to UK Child Benefit, NHS, etc. stick to the same number of kids as their sisters back home? And re UK Muslim women, why don’t you tell us how fast the rate is falling and from what starting point? Figures and sources, please.

    • lyndon666

      Statistics on the fertility of different ethnic groups in the UK are available from the ONS. Women of Pakistani origin have an average of about 3 children, Bangladeshis slightly less.

      Other than that, your comment makes little sense.

    • Bonkim

      4wives x 5children each = 20 per family of 5 to start with. Do your Maths properly. If on firtility treatment multiply that by 2 or 3.

      • Randy McDonald

        How many people are actually doing that?

    • Randy McDonald

      “Catholic Eastern Europeans”–Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, Lithuanians, and the like–have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world, substantially lower than that of Britons.

      It’s quite possible that the sorts of Catholic eastern Europeans who emigrate to the United Kingdom have higher fertility rates than the sorts who stay home. That much higher, though, is implausible. Cites?

    • BenFriman

      Indeed, the numbers don’t add up. Look at World Population Clock: If correct, there are 2.4 births per death, indicating around 2.4 births globally per person. Rosling claims about 2.4 PER WOMAN. One of them has to be wrong.

      • Scott Moore

        No, 2.4 births per death does not indicate 2.4 births per person. Rosling’s claim is correct – the fertility rate (children born per woman over the course of her lifetime) is currently estimated at 2.45.

        • BenFriman

          I’d be happy to believe that, but I need it explaining to me! In 1 second, about 100 people die, but 240 are born. Doesn’t that mean that births per person is somewhere around 2.4?

          • Scott Moore

            How can I put it simply? A death is not the same as a person. Births per death is 2.4 and not births per person. Given that the current population is about 7 billion, if 240 people are born per second, then there are 240/700000000=0.000000034 births per person per second.

            • BenFriman

              My first mistake was saying “per second” when I mean per minute! And your mistake was writing 7 hundred million when you meant 7 billion. Anyway, looking at the maths this way, 240 births per minute = 345,600 per day or 126 million per year or 8.8 billion per lifespan of 70 years. So births per person in their lifetime is 1.26. Phew.

              • Scott Moore

                Yes, I should have just used 7X10^9 – a much easier convention when dealing with large numbers.

  • http://moraymint.wordpress.com/ moraymint

    Great analysis; thank you. Like you, I am not an optimist; I’m a ‘defensive pessimist’. Here’s my take on life, the universe and everything …

    ‘Almost Time to Look to the Positives’: http://moraymint.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/almost-time-to-look-to-the-positives/

    • Kennybhoy

      Hey man!

      Long time! :-)

  • sarahsmith232

    that’s just great, Africa a continent no more than 9 miles away from Europe, is going to colonise us all within just a few decades. ‘course, this is already happening. large parts of Portugal are Africa. large areas in London are Africa. we’re over, the country is gone. Europe is over.

    • HookesLaw

      hysteria.

      • RKae

        The word is “arithmetic.” Of course, you’re free to stroll through Tower Hamlets with a crucifix pendant, but I won’t be walking next to you.

      • UKSteve

        One man’s hysteria is another person’s realism.

    • lyndon666

      Lucky the Africans didn’t succumb to knicker-wetting hysteria when we colonised them, eh?

      • Hello

        This is the 21st Century. We’re intensely relaxed about our colonial past: we won. Are you going to criticise us for our magnanimity in attempting to spread our good fortune to the rest of the world?

        • Shazza

          Our magnanimity also included introducing the wheel to the indigenous folk of North America, sub Sahara Africa and the Antipodes not forgetting the skills of reading and writing. What are they bringing us?

          • cabo79

            Cheap labor

        • Bob Young

          Yes they will, they think good fortune sucks. It is communism that the ignorant masses think is good for them. How dare anyone have more than anyone else, unless of course it belongs to the elitist thug dictator and their cronies.

      • crosscop

        What do you mean “we”? I definitely wasn’t with you when you went colonising Africa. Neither were my ancestors who stayed here, working in the fields, mines and factories of their ancestral homeland.Who did you take with you?

        • global city

          That’s just so deep, so clever.

      • sarahsmith232

        to be fair, you did do really well in trying to avoid the ‘you stupid slag’ ‘you stupid dog’ ‘you stupid fat dog slag’ cliché. but it was obviously absolutely beyond you to not go in for the unoriginal, bog standard dismissal of a female opinion as hysterical. and that old, done to death chestnut ‘well, we colonised Africa so why would anyone have a problem with them destroying us’ response, again, old, tired, clapped out, unoriginal and that’s before you get onto how absolutely idiotic it is. you’re not even picking all of this up from the journalists, you’re copying it from other equally sheep like posters.
        must try harder next time dear, your response was so predictably tired it wasn’t worth making

      • chan chan

        You must be the oldest person in the world. Well done!

      • GentlemanPugilist

        Interesting. When you say ‘we’ you’re of course referring to the British. Thus you’re tacitly implying that black and Asian people aren’t truly British. One cannot have it both ways, if we’re the heirs of our ancestors’ colonial guilt, then it logically follows that we’re also the rightful heirs to a lot more too.

      • Dalek_1963

        But Lyndon Im always being told we are all really Africans. How can ‘we’ have colonized ‘them’, we are all the same arent we? Surely you’re not implying there might be some sort of difference between white and black people?

        I hear some racists used to get really upset about Apartheid. How silly. It was just one group of Africans ruling another group of Africans, why on earth would they get upset about that?

        • chan chan

          One set of those africans will kill the other set of those africans when mandela dies.

    • dalai guevara

      Europe will be the world’s “playground”.
      This is the description given to a well-respected retired politician on his last tours around the globe, the phrase was coined in Asia.

      • dalai guevara

        ??? you don’t understand a word and vote it down? Grumpy pensioners, Jeez Louise.

        Just seen Rosling on Newsnight. He is the one to watch.

      • Randy McDonald

        Is that actually accurate?

        • dalai guevara

          Yes, I will give you another clue – the discussion took place between top ranking old men from Germany and Singapore.

          • Randy McDonald

            Which ones? When? Data, sir, please.

            Anyway, to what extent can this prediction be taken as actually accurate?

            • dalai guevara

              It’s not about accuracy, it’s about opinion of a set of very ‘enlightened’ individuals, both in their 90s, both have released publications about it this year. Now that should do.

              • Randy McDonald

                So, you’re not going to say who, when, why? That doesn’t do, actually, not if you want to convince people of your argument. Cites, please.

                (There’s also the non-trivial question as to whether these people might actually be right, or not.)

                • dalai guevara

                  Helmut Schmidt – Lee Kuan Yew
                  Both have publicised this year.
                  Good stuff in my opinion.
                  (nb. apologies – had to sideline the trolls)

    • telemachus

      Gloom gloom gloom
      The only part of the article not to be celebrated is the part on education
      I simply do not believe that 80% of the worlds population can read and write
      This is certainly not true of the exploding African population

      • Wessex Man

        that’s what you are hoping for, just the Labour had been doing for 13 years here an uneducated population are easier to control right?

    • Scott Moore

      Your comment displays no more than racist hysteria. A (relatively small) minority of the population being Immigrants from Africa does not turn a country into part of Africa.

      • sarahsmith232

        your comment shows that it’/s obviously been a very long time since you set foot in any of England’s most successful cities. nobody that has any knowledge of London would say that Africans are a ‘relatively small’ part.

        • Scott Moore

          I was last in London on Sunday – does 4 days count as a “very long time”?!? According to the last census in 2011 (rather than, say, your personal, no doubt skewed, impressions) ethnic Africans formed 7% of London’s population. Considering that many of them are British born, I’d repeat that the London population of actual Africans (ie people born in Africa) is relatively small (no more than a few percent). Only someone who had a reason to dislike or hate Africans would think that is too large a proportion.

          • wattys123

            but how massive are they in terms of benefit dependency and crime – it won’t take many Africans to crash the system

            • Scott Moore

              Yes, it would take a lot of Africans to “crash the system”. Has the system crashed yet? No? Because it is very robust, having been built up over centuries. It has also survived large scale immigration in the recent past.

              • GentlemanPugilist

                Apparently more immigrants arrived in 2006 than did the whole of the period between 1066 and 1948.

                • Scott Moore

                  Only slightly more immigrants arrived in 2006 than did in 2004 and 2008 – around 600,000. In the same year about 400,000 people emigrated. Indeed net immigration was higher in 2004.

                • GentlemanPugilist

                  So what you’re saying is that on several occasions recently, more immigrants arrived at these shores in a single year than did so during the entire period 1066 to 1948, then?

                • Scott Moore

                  Not I’m not saying that because I don’t know how many immigrants arrived from 1066-1948 and neither do you.

                • GentlemanPugilist

                  ‘Before the twentieth century settlement which we are now experiencing, the last great invasion of Britain was that of the Danes in the ninth century. They settled here after the Peace of Wedmore in 875 AD. From then until 1950 Britain remained, save for a few minor incursions, undisturbed. William and the Normans came in 1066, followed by 100,000 Huguenots at the end of the seventeenth century, and 150,000 Jews from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries.’

                  ‘Four our of five European males share a Y chromosome belonging to a Palaeolithic ancestor who lived 40,000 years ago. Very few areas of the world were so distinct, and none more so than the island of Britain which for nearly 2,000 years remained as racially distinct as Polynesia.’

                  ‘When Winston Churchill came to power he was strongly opposed to immigration, but bureaucratic drift and a lack of policy led to its increase. Under his administration, immigration rose from 3,000 in 1953 to 42,650 in 1955.’

                  Tomorrow is Another Country; Myles Harris; Civitas :Institute for the Study of Civil Society 2003; pp 17-18

                • GentlemanPugilist

                  ’15. ‘Britain is a nation of immigrants’

                  More people have now migrated to the UK in a single year (2010) than did so in the entire period from 1066 to 1950, excluding wartime.

                  In fact, in the nearly 900 years between 1066 and 1950 just a quarter of a million people migrated to what is now the UK, mainly Jews and Huguenots, excluding the Irish of course who were for a long period a part of the same country.[17]’

                  http://www.migrationwatch.co.uk/briefing-paper/12.4

                • Scott Moore

                  Ah I see, Irish immigrants are conveniently excluded from the figures in order to keep them low. I also note that the start date of 1066 is rather arbitrary – there was plenty of immigration before then which would also be inconvenient for the anti-immigration argument. Perhaps a million Irish emigrated to Britain in the 19th century, and many emigrated from 1930-1960, during which period Ireland was not part of the UK so there is absolutely no reason to exclude them from the immigration figure. In any case, there are an estimated 6 million people in the UK with Irish ancestry, dwarfing any other group with non-British ancestry.

                • GentlemanPugilist

                  The Irish are British, in that they’re from the British Isles. I myself have Irish ancestry. Ireland was fully part of the United Kingdom until 1922, with the Irish people electing Members of Parliament to Westminster, and of course the Union Jack comprises the flags of St. Patrick representing Ireland, St. George (England) and St. Andrew Scotland. You really are clutching at straws, now.

                • Scott Moore

                  No, those who are clutching at straws are Immigration Watch. It is interesting that they do not mention emigration. Around 6 million British citizens live abroad, which is not much lower a figure than the number of non-British citizens living here.

                  I defy you find anyone from the Republic of Ireland who agrees that the Irish are British. Ireland was historically (no longer) regarded as part of the British Isles because it was essentially a colony of Britain. That did not make the Irish ethnically British then and it doesn’t now. Indeed, the term ethnically British is questionable, as Britain is a political entity rather than a nation.

                • GentlemanPugilist

                  The British Isles are a geographical concept, so of course Ireland remains part of it.
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles

                  The fact that they’ve seceded from the United Kingdom, a political construct and not a geographical term, doesn’t make them any the less British. It’s akin to saying the Swiss are not a European people because they’re not part of the EU. Whilst I’m sure many Irish people would not like to be referred to as British, because they want to see themselves as distinct from the British identity, they nevertheless are a people from the British Isles, i.e. ethnically British. The same is true of many Scots – if they left the United Kingdom, they would still be regarded as ethnically British.

                • Scott Moore

                  Now we are just discussing semantics. This has next to no bearing on the people themselves. The geographical term British Isles is disputed as is not used officially by the UK government.
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles_naming_dispute

                  Ireland being part of a geographical entity called the British Isles does not make the Irish people British. They were named the British Isles because Ireland belonged to Britain. But Ireland was and still is distinct from Britain hence the term United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (now Northern Ireland).

                  As I wrote before, the term ethnically British does not make much sense, except in a historical context when referring to the native Britons. If Scotland leaves the UK then the Scots would not be regarded as ethnically British – they would be ethnically Scottish. I’m not disputing that the various ethnicities of the British Isles have something in common – clearly they have a lot in common. But they are still distinct in terms of religion, language (in some cases) and culture.

                • UKSteve

                  What is the point in mentioning emigration? What does it have to do with the rights of people to come here (given absolutely open and unrestricted borders thanks to Tory and Labour sh1tb4ags) and take advantage of an extremely generous welfare system (if you have kids – and by God, the North Africans do!), the NHS, education and everything else?

                  People who’ve emigrated (assuming you’re taking the line of the pro-destruction-by-immigration lobby) mainly consisted in the late 2000’s of British people, but they have the right to return and have been – in droves – because of basket case euro-sunbelt economies.

                  Immigration is the biggest betrayal of the Briitsh people, second only to the Common Market / EU.

                • Scott Moore

                  The article is about population! Emigration is just as relevant as immigration – in fact, they are the same process, only the direction is different.

                  Why are you mentioning “rights of people to come here”? That has nothing to do with population growth across the world.

                  “People who’ve emigrated mainly consist in the late 2000’s of British people” – a lot of Eastern Europeans have also emigrated ie. returned home.

                • UKSteve

                  Yes, I’m very concerned about the population globally, but even more so in this country. This is because we face pressures that the rest of the world does not, and if I have to explain those, you really haven’t got a clue of what you’re talking about.

                  Another spectacular howler: “Emigration is just as relevant as immigration – in fact, they are the same process, only the direction is different…..”

                  It is far too foolish to warrant a serious reply, and was countered in my original piece, which you clearly haven’t read or understood.

                  When the BBC aired this programme of an obscure academic with his almost singular view, he clearly didn’t take into full account these factors, but then he is a statistician, so…

                  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/may/24/global-majority-water-shortages-two-generations

                  http://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/blog/22/07/2013/food-crisis-real-problem-poverty

                • Scott Moore

                  You are clearly too foolish to warrant a reply to any of your ridiculous attempts at making an argument. When you included a link to a Daily Mail article, I knew that I had been wasting my time with an idiot.

                • UKSteve

                  This is correct.

          • GentlemanPugilist

            Your definition of an African is lacking. Kipling was born in India, but that didn’t make him an Indian. Indeed just looking at him it would be apparent to anybody that his for millennia his ancestors had resided in Europe, just as it is with the Boers today. One can detect, with just a cursory glance, that some people’s ancestry here doesn’t stretch back further than the reign of our current Monarch. And when ‘liberals’ remind ‘us’ of ‘our’ colonial past, these ‘Britons’ are not somehow burdened with this guilt.

            • Scott Moore

              My definition of African is perfectly adequate for discussing the number of Africans living in London. A few modern day Kiplings will not have a significant effect on population estimates.

              • GentlemanPugilist

                But it’s not a few is it? It’s several hundred thousand, possibly more than a million.

                • Scott Moore

                  No, it is not anywhere near a million. Are you just inventing numbers? Total number of ethnic Africans in London is about 600,000 but as I pointed out before not all of them were born in Africa – many were born in Britain and hence are British nationals rather than Africans.

                • GentlemanPugilist

                  I was referring to ‘Kiplings’ as well as foreign born Africans, and I imagine those statistics are out of date and do not include illegal immigrants.

                • Scott Moore

                  No, the statistics I gave are not out of date. Whereas your statistics appear to be pure fantasy. The number of ‘Kiplings’ (Brits born in Africa) is insignificant.

                • GentlemanPugilist

                  When I referred to Kipling, it was to make the point that the fact he was born in India didn’t make him Indian. Africans born here are still African, just like the children of Pakistani and Indian people born here are still Asian.

                • Scott Moore

                  Kipling was never an Indian citizen so he wasn’t Indian. But Africans born in Britain are British citizens. Furthermore Kipling returned to England at age 5, so his connection to Indian was limited to living there in infancy. Whereas Africans born, brought up and intending to remain in Britain have a much stronger connection to this country.

                  Africans born here are still ethnically African, but that’s no more relevant than you or I being ethnically Irish. I call them British for the same reason that I call myself British – on the basis of citizenship.

                • GentlemanPugilist

                  Yes, I’m not disputing that they’re British citizens, my point is they’re ethnically, and to a great extent, culturally African, just like the Boers are ethnically and culturally European. The government had no mandate from the people to irrevocably impose multiculturalism and mass-immigration on the British people, certainly they didn’t declare it in their manifestos.

                • Scott Moore

                  Okay, so then we agree that they are British (in terms of citizenship). I don’t recognise British as an ethnicity – I’m certainly not ethnically British myself – so I don’t regard them as not British because they are ethnically African. Besides I think ethnicity, besides any elements of ethnicity related to culture, is irrelevant to the debate. What is relevant to the debate is culture (including language and religion). I agree that many ethnic Africans in the UK are culturally African. Others are not. That is one of the problems with tarring all Africans with the same brush, and the same goes for Asians. Many of those born here are culturally no different from you or I.

                  Multiculturalism is not something that is imposed by the government, though the government can of course influence it. In terms of one of the most important aspects of cultural identity – religion – I’m probably in the same camp as you. I regard the British government’s increasing tolerance of and, in some cases, active support of religious practises, as a potential danger to the fabric of our society. Faith schools are indeed a menace as are laws that enable religious discrimination/privilege (two sides of the same coin). Britain is a firmly secular society with a long tradition of religion being a largely private affair. The government’s financial support of public religious institutions (principally faith schools) is a very dangerous game to play. The case of the Al-Madinah free school in Derby is just an early warning of the potential consequences of Michael Gove’s obsession with allowing a free-for-all in the state education sector.

                • sarahsmith232

                  official stat’s on Somalians says there’s only just over 100,000 in London. the police, on the other hand, say that there’s at least 300,000. i’m going with the police. the official stat’s are less than useless. I was in Tower Hamlets when the last census was taken, believe me, the stat’s are based on nothing. add at least another 3million to your ‘official’ stat’s.

                • Scott Moore

                  However reliable official stats are (and I know that the census is less than reliable on some issues – there certainly are far fewer religious people in the UK than the census would indicate), they are no doubt better than your estimates. “Add at least another 3 million” is just your personal fantasy number. You have your opinions and prejudices and aligning your numbers with them, rather than looking at the evidence. Even if we go with what you claim are police numbers (and why should the police be any better at population estimates than the ONS?) that’s only another 200,000 and not 3 million. Where is the evidence for the other 2.1 million?

                • Scott Moore

                  Actually, I don’t believe you when you claim that the stats are “based on nothing”. From what you have written so far, I judge you to be desperately throwing out numbers in order to support your bizarre views that “large areas in London are Africa…the country is gone. Europe is over”. Regardless of how many Africans are living in London, it is still part of Europe. That is a geographical fact.

                • Scott Moore

                  There are an estimated 250-380,000 Somalis in the UK (including both immigrants and British born). So an estimate of 100,000 for London is too small, but 300,000 is clearly too large.
                  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/london-wikileaks/8304729/SOMALIA-UK-BASED-DIASPORA-AND-ITS-ECONOMIC-IMPACT-IN-SOMALIA.html

                • UKSteve

                  So in a debate about immigration, you have changed the subject to nationality?

                • Scott Moore

                  No, I haven’t – please read the original article! It is about population, not about immigration. Then please read the rest of the comment thread. It was Sarah Smith who began with the subject of nationality and others have responded to her.

                • UKSteve

                  Yes you did, I have read it. You seem to have selective amnesia, and to be quite frank, given some of your “sentences”, I wonder if they taught English at your school.

                  This one (of yours) is an absolute howler: “….Multiculturalism is not something that is imposed by the government…..”

                  Spectacularly ignorant.

                  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1222613/Labour-let-migrants-engineer-multicultural-UK.html

                • Scott Moore

                  I wonder if they taught you how to read at school – you seem to have problems with reading anything longer than a couple of sentences.

                • UKSteve

                  As I suspected, you’re no-but a double-digit IQ forum troll. A degree in English Lit from Durham would belie your moronic statement.

                  To counter your ludicrous prejudices and absolute ignorance, here’s the Telegraph article (a source you yourself have quoted), telling the same story – on the same day:

                  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6418456/Labour-wanted-mass-immigration-to-make-UK-more-multicultural-says-former-adviser.html

                • Scott Moore

                  Oh dear, English Lit from Durham…that’s all I needed to know to confirm my suspicions.

                • Scott Moore

                  Being called ignorant by someone who “reads” the Daily Mail is an honour for me – if I’ve upset a Mail “reader” then it is a good day’s work for me.

                • UKSteve

                  I don’t read the Daily Mail – never have. So that’s screwed your day I guess hopefully :-) Mind you, judging by your idea of a good day’s work, your sights are set mercifully low.

                  But it conforms to me – by this petty-mindedness – that you’re nothing but a forum troll with no intelligence, awareness or perception of current affairs and topical issues with nothing to say. I’ve seen some of your “sentences”. I’d say ‘read’, but that’s taking thing a bit far.

                  Most likely a new Labour apparatchik.

                • Scott Moore

                  Yes, because anyone who has a different opinion from you must support Labour. Obvious really.

                • UKSteve

                  No – but half-baked know-nothing forum trolls on here usually have ‘New Labour’ stamped all over them.

    • Bob Young

      I would suggest that Europe insist in immigrants adopting to the culture of Europe and to stop being so “tolerant.”

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