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Confronting The Demographic Trilemma Of Low Fertility, Ageing And Depopulation

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Chapter Summary

The 1960s and 1970s witnessed the world's population growing explosively. The 'Population Explosion' was seen as the world's greatest population-related problem at that time. Particularly sharp declines occurred in those developed countries where population movements had previously differed sharply: Europe, North America (US and Canada), Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Today, in all of these countries, fertility rates have fallen below replacement level. Countries in southern and eastern Europe, which lagged behind in industrialization and modernization, on the other hand, did not record below-replacement levels. There are three direct causes of population decline: (1) declining fertility, (2) increasing mortality, and (3) excess emigration. This chapter summarizes and compares the advantages and disadvantages of population decline for developed nations such as Japan. Historically, East Asian countries have been overcrowded and virtually all of them have until recently pursued family planning policies, a situation totally different from that in Western Europe.

Keywords: East Asian; Europe; Japan; population explosion; US



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