Thursday, February 19, 2015

Europe isn't Dying, It's Aging

This week the Daily Telegraph published an interactive map of birth rates around the world. The map provides a choropleth view of each country's birth rate and annual population growth percentage.

The article, How Europe is Slowly Dying, uses the map to argue that Europe is slowly dying because of the low birth rates. However hidden away in the article is the fact that "Europe's population is overall increasing".

It is true that in Eastern Europe many countries are facing a drop in the annual population growth percentage. It is also true that the map does seem to show a general pattern where birth rates are lower in countries with stronger economies and higher in countries with weaker economies. This appears to conform to the controversial theory of the Demographic-Economic Paradox which argues that the higher the degree of education and GDP of a country then the fewer children are born.

Although Europe isn't dying it is aging. The Slate's interactive map, The Aging World, shows that Europe and Japan in particular have an unusually high percentage of their population over 65 years of age. However, according to the UN (projected) data that the map uses, most of the developed world will experience similar aging populations by 2100.

Japan’s aging population is explored in more detail in the Japanese Population Map. The Japanese are living longer and having fewer children and later in life. By 2060 the Japanese government are predicting that over half the population will be over 65.

This Japanese Population Map visualizes the 2040 population predictions for every Japanese prefecture. Using the map you can explore the population predictions for the number of young females and a breakdown of the overall population by age group.

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