terça-feira, 3 de julho de 2018

Evolution of the world population 1950/2050 - The case of Europe

In History there have always been regions more attractive to the life of the peoples and others that repelled them, due to different constraints. The dimension of humanity and the deep inequalities in its territorial distribution are not so much related to the conditions of habitability and resources but to the model of social organization that dramatically accentuates them.

In the specific case of Europe, the existing and worsening demographic inequalities correspond to the failure of the model of coexistence and (absence) of solidarity among its peoples.

1 - The world population is increasingly Asian or African
2 - Europe's geopolitical areas and their demographic profiles
              2.1 - Eastern Mediterranean
              2.2 - Western Mediterranean
              2.3 - Central Europe
              2.4 - Western Europe
              2.5 - Eastern Europe
2.6 - Conclusion

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1 - The world population is increasingly Asian or African
First of all, we will proceed to the very general distribution of the world population by continent, before separating it by geopolitical areas built around history, cultural, ethnic and economic affinities; and then applying that same classification to other approaches to each of these geopolitical areas.
                                                                                 Primary source: CNUCED / UNCTAD

Underlying the graph we have to underline:

·           The African population is the only one whose representativeness grows in a century, considering the predictions for 2050. This figure rises from 9% to 16.4% in 2016, allowing a doubling of its population between 2016 and 2050. By 2016 the African population was more of the quintuple of the registered one in 1950 hoping that, in one century, multiplies by eleven. Comparatively high fertility rates as well as substantial gains in life expectancy will justify this evolution.

·           Asia is always the most populous continent, with more than half of the human population, rising from 54.3% in 1950 to 59.8% of the total in 2016, maintaining stable indicators at that level since 1980 and expecting a decrease in its weight relative to the large population growth forecast for Africa. 

·           Europe emerges as a negative image of Africa. With about a quarter of the world's population in 1950 (22.7 per cent), it declined steadily, even in terms of the projections for 2050. The decline was more abrupt in 2000 since after the breakup of the USSR, the Asian republics that incorporated it became integrated in Asia and not in Europe, where the whole population of the USSR was incorporated into the bloc; so, between 1990 and 2000 the population of Europe fell from 790 M to 730 M. This, however, only accentuates the declining trend of the weight of the European population throughout the period; leading to an expectation of absolute loss by 2050. The very low birth rate is not significantly offset by migratory influxes; a population that does not reproduce and is obliged to resort to immigration shows a diseased political, economic and cultural system. 

·           The population of the American continent peaked in the world total in 1970 (14%), declining slowly in the following decades to reach 13.3% in 2016. The projection for 2050 points to a decline to 12.4% of the total, with a loss also referred to Asia and Europe. 

·           As for Oceania, its population is small compared to other continents - 13 M and 40 M, respectively in 1950 and 2016 - showing a growth similar to that observed for Asia. After Africa is the macro-region where it is predicted a greater population growth between 2016 and 2050 (42%). 

·           The average annual growth for each period and on each continent shows a general reduction, with exceptions for Africa in the period 1970-2010. On the other hand, the beginning of the present century reveals much more modest rates of population growth, the forecasts for 2050 being much more optimistic, except for Europe.

                                                                   Primary source: CNUCED / UNCTAD

This profile of the territorial distribution of the world's population, as early as 1950, revealed the enormous imbalances arising from the historical dominance of Europe in the world in a process begun in the sixteenth century; but was moving to the United States as the process of decolonization and the affirmation of the dollar advanced. The transition from the sceptre of power to the US led to the creation of the OECD in 1948 with only European countries and Turkey to manage the Marshall Plan which would become, under the OECD designation the club of rich countries, in 1961, 1964 and 1971/73, respectively, from the USA and Canada, Japan and Australia and New Zealand, among other European countries, Asian and Latin American integrated later on.

Over time colonization has almost come to an end, although there are small countries, especially in the Caribbean and Oceania whose independence has little meaning, serving only as an interface of parking or capital passage, in acts of tax evasion or laundering of mafia activities .
This predominance of the US would be evidenced in the military sphere, with NATO (1949), which, constructed after Soviet extinction, became a tool for Western military intervention in Western Asia, North Africa and the Sahel in the name of a "fight against terrorism". 

This "struggle" over Afghanistan has proved to be an obvious failure - as it had once been with Britain in the nineteenth century and with the USSR in the 1980s. The US is holding a containment war there in order to avoid a repetition of Vietnamese humiliation ... while Chinese and Indians settle economically. Some successes have shown restraint in the fight against al-Qaeda, but it remains active in the Sahel (AQIM), Somalia (al-Shabaab), Pakistan and Libya. One of his creatures, the ISIS / Daesh presented as a confessional (Sunni) instrument, failed to limit Iranian influence in the region and to bring Syria and Lebanon to Western influence. 

There is a strengthening of Iran's role, Turkey's unstable geopolitical position, al-Sissi's low profile of Egypt, the protagonist of a coup supported by Obama against the former president, Morsi, who was elected in the framework of the sacred principles of market democracy. In this region, the US can rely only on its Zionist fortress and the Saudi monarchy to play a role in the region; while the "international community" is silent on the barbarous intervention of the Arab monarchies in Yemen. 

The "fight against terrorism" subsequently gives way to the direct confrontation with whom the US perceives itself threatened. China's trade threat is evident; after the emergence of the euro and gradually the yuan as global currencies, the dollar tends to reduce its use, causing many countries to withdraw their gold deposited in Fort Knox (Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Venezuela...) knowing there is no gold there that supports the huge circulation of dollars. Meanwhile China and Russia increase their reserves and Iran does not accept dollars in their transactions, which is provoking the US reaction as it had been against Saddam or Libya from Kadhafi. 

Based on its military logistical device (80 military bases scattered throughout the world), the United States intends to conclude its strategy by directly confronting its opponents - Russia and China - with a cordon corresponding to the EU's eastern border and another in the China Sea involving especially Japan and South Korea. Since Russia and China meanwhile created the OCX in 2001, there is a dispute, with the use of ancient enmities, all over South Asia. 

The Europe-America binomial has increased from 36.2% of the global population in 1950 to 23.3% in 2016, even though it is seen in this aggregate form - above all in America - with a composition that includes many inequalities. This loss of relevance in the demographic chess indicates that its supremacy, economic, political and military, is weakening, as seen in the various friction scenarios, in Western and Eastern Asia or in Europe; such as the US measures to create customs duties and sanctions in full reprisal for the defense of free trade, competition, the objectives that the West defended to promote the old WTO GATT. The traditional values ​​of capitalism, free markets and free competition are yielding to the conveniences of its main advocates in recent decades. Is the refusal of major treaties or the relevance of climate change by the US a denial of capitalist globalization?

2 - Europe's geopolitical areas and their demographic profiles
The distribution of the population in a more limited space, taking into account the various geopolitical areas of the continent[1] , presents great divergences as shown in the graph below.
                                                                            Primary source: CNUCED / UNCTAD

In the period 1970-90 there has been a steady growth in all areas, albeit with some differences, which are not very pronounced but which have been brutally accentuated ever since, far beyond the political changes - break-up of the USSR and Czechoslovakia in addition to that in Yugoslavia , following conflicts, war and massive population movements.

2.1 - Eastern Mediterranean
In this case, during the 1990s, the Yugoslav separatist wars, animated initially by Germany and the Vatican and, in the final part, by the US bombings, led to a demographic regression that continued in the following decades, with no prospect for 2050, despite the integration of a number of countries in the region into the EU and NATO. As a sequel to these actions, Bosnia and Herzegovina remain in limbo as a composite unit; and Kosovo is something that resembles a "thing" that serves as the basis for the Boldsteen American base - aimed at military oversight of the Balkans - and as a platform for various Mafia trades, still receiving the EU's essential financial support. 

In summary, we register the population variations among the various national entities of the area: 

·   Albania reached its peak population in 1990, declining since then by 2050 reaching the population of ... 1980. All the countries of the former Yugoslavia had a maximum reached in 1990, lost 16% of the population then, until 2016 and the outlook for 2050 is that the combined population should be at the same level as a century ago; 

·   Compared with 2000, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia / Montenegro, which have since become autonomous, have lost between 5% and 7% of their population by 2016. Only Slovenia and Macedonia increase their population in the former Yugoslavia, in the same period, respectively 4.5 and 2.3%. However, the outlook for 2050 is negative for all countries, with extreme figures for Croatia (-18%) and Serbia (-16%) and less dramatic cases for Slovenia and Macedonia (-7% for both countries). At the end of this text, a map of Europe contemplates the global situation, individualizing each country; 

·   Lastly, it should be noted that Cyprus is the only country in the region whose population has grown uniformly since the 1980s, as well as the only one where, throughout the Eastern European Mediterranean region, population growth is projected to reach in 2050. Greece had a population growth in all the decades of 1950 to 2010 but has lost about 240 thousand inhabitants until 2016, immolated in the salvation of the global financial system; and, of course, by 2050, a fall of 11% compared to 2016 is allowed; 

·   If population dynamics are seen as central to mirroring a community's level of well-being, it is not excessive to say that the wars in the Balkans, the collapse of Yugoslavia, the integration in the EU of most of the Balkan countries were not a happiness factor of the people. Happy people do not reduce birth rates, nor do they migrate; on the contrary, they fraternize and make children. 

2.2 - Western Mediterranean
As can be seen in the description of the composition of the European geopolitical areas that accompany the chart, in this area there are four countries and four territories that are essentially offshores, referring to one of these being a neighborhood of Rome that serves as the headquarters of one religious institution and the  other one is an English colony. 

In this area, population growth is above the global average in the period that ended in 2010. In the present decade, the effects of the crisis of the financial system fell heavily on Spain, Italy and Portugal, leading to the exit of immigrants, in some cases or entry of hundreds of thousands of immigrants and refugees in Italy; and also a strong emigration of people fleeing unemployment and the degradation of the quality of life that went to Central or Western Europe. The outlook for 2050, with emigration, low birth rates, a greater precariousness in life, more financial crises and the obvious fascization of the so-called market democracies is quite probable; in this area as in other European geopolitical areas.

·   Offshore residents have grown in the period, except in Andorra after 2010 and the Vatican, whose small number of residents (you cannot call a population that does not contain women, children and families) has remained stable. For Gibraltar and S. Marino population growth is forecast for 2050. The flow of capital from Portugal to offshore has recently been treated here

·   There has been a steady population growth in all countries in the period 1950/2010, which ceased to occur in 2010/16 except in Malta. For the four countries, in those sixty years the population has grown 67% in Spain, 28% in Italy, 33% in Malta and 27% in Portugal, in the latter case, as a sign of the growing peripheralization and relative impoverishment within the peninsula. we have recently observed, here and here

·   In the last hexennium, the inhabitants decreased 300,000 in Italy, 280,000 in Portugal and 440,000 in Spain. These figures, which are not very far apart in absolute terms, have a different meaning in relative terms - 3% of the population in Portugal and 1% for the other two countries in just six years. The violence of the action of the Portuguese political class, as a performer of the impositions of the troika, is evidenced in demographic terms , in an action in reducing the purchasing power and the rights of the plebs, in taming the protests, in order to safeguard the interests of the financial capital; 

·   Under the CNUCED / UNCTAD 2050 forecast, population declines of 7 per cent for Italy, 13 per cent for Portugal and 4 per cent for Spain, attesting  the demographic regression in the Western Mediterranean, with particular emphasis on Portugal. In the same vein, the Portuguese INE has projections of a population of 8.6 M in 2060 and 7.5 M in 2080 , although the temporal distance for these epochs allows for all political, economic and demographic changes. 

2.3 - Central Europe
This area, the old Mittel Europe, roughly encompasses, besides the Swiss treasure chest, the territories of the former Prussian and Austro-Hungarian empires; in the most up-to-date way, we have Switzerland, Germany, and its ever-desired Drang nach Osten, as near land for the installation of large German industry, working cheaply, without the import of Gastarbeiter; a process that began well before German reunification, both in the Federal Republic and in the former DDR / GDR. 

As it is known, the impact of the crisis that began in 2008 was not dramatic, as in southern Europe, and therefore it has not been reflected in demography, since the influx of immigrants compensated for the low birth rate. The population, although stagnant, does not fall back until 2016, although future prospects are declining. 

·   There is a clear distinction between the demographic increase in Switzerland in 1950/2010 (68%) or Poland (54%) and the remaining, much more modest, with the highlight being Hungary (6%) and Germany (16%). Restricting this analysis to the hexennium ended in 2016, it shows a substantial annual increase in population in Austria (0.6% vs. 0.35% in the 60 years initially considered), small breaks in Germany and Switzerland, and population reductions in Poland and Hungary ; 

·   As in other geopolitical areas, there are great differences in demographic dynamics, revealing economic and social fractures that are not in line with the discourses of the Brussels or national mandarins on European cohesion. Thus the predictions for 2050 point to population declines of 15% for Hungary and Poland, 9% for Slovakia and 3% for Germany, which may change with the policy of Angela Merkel to accept hundreds of thousands of refugees of the Middle East, disregarding a large segment of the population that surrendered to AfD's xenophobic charms. Only Austria and especially Switzerland (18%) are expected to increase population by 2050. 

2.4 - Western Europe
This area encompasses almost the entire Atlantic coastline, from the Bidasoa to the Arctic, beyond Sweden and Iceland. Its anchor are the ancient colonial empires, especially France and the United Kingdom, still little understood by their regional profile, when they disguise this situation by offering themselves as bridesmaids from the USA (Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria). France tries to stay in the Sahel to forget the defeats in Indochina and Algeria, and Britain maintains the policy set by Harold Wilson, to settle west of the Suez, although it has the well-populated planet of offshores, certainly involved in business of the City. 

They all have a high standard of living and the Long Depression, which comes from 2008, touched them much more lightly than the Mediterranean countries. Its consistent homogeneity and well-being, together with some policies to support refugees and immigrants, show the regular and strong population growth throughout the period and still in expectations for 2050. 

·   Population growth is constant for all countries in the period 1950/2010, with the dynamism of Iceland (125%) or Luxembourg (72%) and lower in Great Britain (25%) and Belgium ( 30%); 

·   The situation is different if only the six years ending in 2016 are considered. Luxembourg has a rate of 2.2% annual population growth, followed by Sweden (0.8%), Great Britain and Belgium (0.65% 0.64%). Immigration of people from South Europe, Africa and Asia, many of them refugees, will not be uncommon. These influxes have reinforced the audience of the xenophobic Farage or Boris Johnson speeches that led to the English referendum that led to Brexit, producing similar drifts in other countries. The situations of lower demographic dynamism are observed in the Netherlands (0.3%) and in Ireland; 

·   When facing a scenario by 2050, the best outlook for population growth vis-a-vis 2016 lies in Luxembourg (38%), Norway (29%) and Ireland (23%) and the lowest in the Netherlands (3%) and Belgium or France (10%). 

2.5 - Eastern Europe
It encompasses, in addition to Finland, the most western of the former Soviet republics, the present Russian Federation and Romania. In demographic terms these former Soviet republics have their population contained in all the years considered in this geopolitical area, isolated since 2000 or in the USSR total before that year. From 2000 onwards the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus, integrated into the total population of the USSR, are no longer in the Russian Federation, thus justifying the great fall of the population of this geopolitical area between 1990 and 2000; but little affecting the huge population of the Asian continent. 

As for 2010, its demographic evolution is similar to that verified and expected for the Western Mediterranean. This reveals the accentuation of the peripheral character of the whole of the Mediterranean basin of Europe and of the East, compared to the western strip of the continent as we have pointed out in greater detail here, here and here

·   Finland and Romania are the only cases in which demographic developments can be assessed from 1950; and show a population growth of 34 and 26% respectively. There is, however, a striking difference; the evolution observed in Finland is observed throughout the period and, on the contrary, in Romania the population begins to decrease from 2000 (700 thousand people compared to ten years before), 1.7 M in the following decade and 660 thousand in the completed hexennium in 2016. The change of regime and integration in the EU were not a factor of well-being for Romanians, well represented in the emigration destinations in Western, Central and Western Europe: 

·   For the 2000/16 period for which data are compatible for all countries, all show population declines except for Finland with a 3% increase. For the remainder, there are population declines in the period ranging from 1% and 2% for Estonia and the Russian Federation to 11% for Latvia and Lithuania, which joined the EU in 2004; 

·   Projections for 2050 are very negative compared to 2016. Finland again emerges as the only country with a population growth forecast (7%). On the other hand, the forecast for demographic losses for Latvia (23%) and around 17/19% for Lithuania, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine is very marked; 

·   Finally, the Russian Federation itself is likely to reduce its population by 8%, which is undoubtedly a fragility for a power that intends to take a leading role in Eastern Europe and Central and Western Asia and will not want to increase the degree of subalternity towards China, within the Euro-Asian continent. It is recalled that in these data, do not consider the 2 M of people who became members of the Russian Federation and not Ukraine. 

2.6 - Conclusion
What has been mentioned above, in the chapter of expectations for 2050 can be seen, graphically below:

Evolution of the European population in 2050 compared to 2016

From a political point of view, it is a continent where the anti-democratic tendency in the EU, in forming a center and several peripheries, promotes enormous inequalities, accentuates xenophobia and falls far short of an internationalist and solidarity project as a union of peoples from Europe which, of course, the political classes and the oligarchies of capital do not subscribe to. The geopolitical decline of a fragmented Europe, politically, economically and socially, with enormous areas of poverty, tends to make it, in the global context, an Asian peninsula of a tricontinental space, like a return from Gondwana, where the role of China, with its economic and demographic power will impose itself. Is Rotterdam in the future only the final station of the Silk Road railway line, led by China? 

This fragmentation, as Brexit demonstrates, exacerbates the most radical logic within NATO, linked to the imperial and fastidious drift of the United States, by countries on the Atlantic coast, such as Norway, the Netherlands and Portugal, to beyond the already captured Great Britain; or, in Eastern Europe, where anti-Russian phobia is evident in the Baltic States or Poland, happy harbouring NATO troops on its borders. 

A Europe of solidarity corresponds to the disappearance of nation states, rooted to their borders and stories of heroes, as if they were not to vanish in time. Instead of the destruction and construction of nation-states, which reminds us of a huge flow of war and hatred, wouldn’t it be more interesting a network of self-managed regional bodies and articulated to the pursuit of common projects of mutual interest? As a matter of urgency, a broad social movement is required to form a network of regional entities with autonomous and sovereign structures, without submission to superior oligarchic bodies , with members chosen by their inhabitants, without prerogatives of perenniality such as those in the current classes policies are arrogated , with guaranteed rotation, without privileges, with functions at any moment ceased by popular will, in a context of total transparency when the decision processes and their contents. 

In the specific case of the EEC / EU, the evolution of the population (in millions) of the member countries, in several moments from the time before its creation, is observed in aggregate form: 







           Founders - Germany, Belgium, France, Holland, Italy and Luxembourg
               A - Denmark, Great Britain and Ireland, with GB excluded in 2050
               B - Spain, Greece and Portugal
               C -Austria, Finland, Sweden
               D - Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Czech Republic
               E - Bulgaria, Romania
               F - Croatia

·   Generalized population increases are observed for the various groups of integrated countries by 2010. The crisis of the so-called Long Depression is revealed in 2016, but in an asymmetrical way, reaching the peripheral countries on the Mediterranean and the East, which lose population (groups B , D, E and F). Saving precisely  the richest, who were able to impute to the rest the costs of financial drift and the incapacities of the global capitalist model 

·   As for 2050, there are only population increases between the founders, the hard core and, in the rich countries of the second enlargement (C). Large population reductions - 16 to 19% - are to be noted in the Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean countries, which have been the protagonists of the last three enlargements. For the second enlargement countries - Spain, Greece and Portugal - it is considered a possible 7% reduction of the population in the period 2016/2050. Finally, the departure of Britain, beyond its political significance, has a significant weight in total, the demographic reduction admissible. 

(to be continued)

This and other texts in:    



[1] Central Europe - Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia (data up to 1990)
Western Europe - Belgium, Denmark, France, Holland, Faroer Islands, Ireland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, United Kingdom, Sweden
Eastern Europe - Belarus, Estonia, Russian Federation (from 2000), Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and the USSR (data up to 1990)

Western Mediterranean
- Andorra, (as of 2010), Spain, Gibraltar, Italy, Malta, Portugal, S. Marino, Vatican City
Eastern Mediterranean - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (from 2000), Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia (from 2000), Slovenia (from 2000), Greece, Yugoslavia (until 1990), Macedonia (as of 2010), Serbia (as of 2010), Serbia and Montenegro (2000)

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