We all know it's coming. We've known it's been coming for decades.
But seeing the U.S. Census Bureau spell it out like this...it's sobering:
America will enter the 22nd century with a shrinking population unless immigration increases, according to new U.S. Census Bureau projections released Thursday. ...
Beyond changing what the country looks like, these demographic trends could profoundly reshape the economy and alter society.
Here's Axios's very helpful chart to show you just how grim and dire the situation really is:
Translation: If we don't let in an absolutely insane level of immigrants over the next eight decades, we are going to be in a Lot. Of. Trouble.
Here are two basic facts the U.S. needs to confront in the wake of this really awful news:
- You cannot maintain a functioning society with a population collapse. It won't work. Everything you've spent decades or centuries building up — all the infrastructure, the economy, the way of life, everything — depends upon current population numbers, not a reduction in them. Take away 30% of a population over the course of 80 years and you're going to see absolute armageddon.
- You cannot maintain your society as it is with massive immigration. If you have to effectively import your population increase, you're going to have a radically changed society. That's just the way it is. If your demographic spike comes from outside of the country, you're getting someone else's country, not your own. No way around that.
These are our two options, folks: Collapse or transformation. Short of having a ton more babies, that's what we're looking at over the remainder of the century.
And the severe effects of the fertility crisis are going to become apparent even before that. For instance:
The U.S. is expected to age rapidly, with people 65 years or older outnumbering children under 18 by 2029.
Before we start running out of people, we're going to start running out of young people — that's almost as bad. You need young people for your society to thrive. If you have way more old folks than young whippersnappers, you're going to be out of business real fast.
And note well: We've known about this looming crisis for a long time.
It's not going away and it's not going to end well.
Having more babies is the answer. How likely is it that current generations will have enough to reverse the trend? I don't think you need a demographic expert to know the answer.
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