This is really a post to apologise to all our readers for a rather lengthy absence. This blog is far from dead, and we have simply been busy with other matters, possibly for a lot longer than we realised. Anyway Claus is now back up with a new post, and while I am here I would just mention the fact that....
Germany lost about 97,000 inhabitants in 2007. According to recent data from the Federal Statistics Office, births were up by 1.8% and deaths increased slightly by 0.7%, whereas marriages were down by 1.3%.
There were in fact 685,000 live births registered, that was 12,000 births or 1.8% more than in 2006. Thus the number of births thus increased for the first time since 1997. In 1996 and 1997, the number of births rose slightly, but this was an exception to an otherwise downward trend since 1991.
The number of deaths was down in 2006, but then increased again slightly in 2007 - from 822,000 to 827,000 (+6,000 or +0.7%). The number of deaths declined continuously from 1994 to 2001 but started an upward trend in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
In 2007, the number of deaths thus exceeded births by about 142,000. In the previous year, the birth deficit was 7,000 more.
According to provisional results, Germany had about 82,218,000 inhabitants on 31 December 2007. That was 97,000 inhabitants or 0.1% less than at the end of 2006 (82,315,000).
The Japanese government reported at the end of May that the number of children (all individuals under the age of 15 years old) had fallen to approximately 17,400,000. According to Japanese government estimates, if this trend continues, Japan is on course to lose somewhere between 26% and 31% of its total population.
There were 17,250,000 children aged 14 or under in Japan as of April 1, down by 130,000 from a year earlier, according to an annual survey by the Internal Affairs Ministry which was released to coincide with the May 5 Children's Day national holiday. Japan's population has been shrinking since 2005.
The number of Japanese children in the age group dropped by 0.7 percent from a year earlier. Children are now at a record low, constituting only 13.5 percent of the total population, down from 13.6 percent in April 2006.
Update 14 July 2008
Japan's population did in fact increase slightly in 2007, making for the first gain in three years, according to the latest estimates from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The increase of 12,707 - which took Japan's total population to 127,066,178 as of March 31 2007 occurred entirely as a result of Japanese returning home from overseas and non-Japanese obtaining Japanese citizenship.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
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"Japan's population has been shrinking since 2005."
It seems that the population of Japan declined for the first time from Dec. 2003 to Jan. 2004 (from 127,727 to 127,719, www.stat.go.jp/english/data/jinsui/2.htm. Since then, Japan's population remained quite constant. The final estimate from your source is 127,735 million for January 2008. Thus the demographic evolution of the "closed country" Japan is rather evidence of demographic saturation (where birth figures converge to death figures in the process of demographic transition) and not evidence of the predicted population decline (assumed to follow fertility decline).
Also in the case of German, the constancy of the birth deficit over decades (instead of an increasing birth deficit) is not in agreement with the often predicted population decline.
Dear Edward Hugh and Wolfgang Gasser,
Thanks for these comments.
At least to me, the "theory of the demographic transition" bears little relationship to what is happening in the real world and, unfortunately, continues to presented as if it was a reality-based theory because many too many leaders have found this 'scientific' theory beneficial for purposes of political convenience and economic expediency.
The widely shared and consensually-validated belief in the overall decline in absolute global human population numbers in our time, leading to population stabilization worldwide in 2050, is a simply and straightforwardly a specious, inadequate product of preternatural thought and a colossal misperception. Please note that the "demographic transition theory" has been directly contradicted by new, unwelcome, unchallenged and apparently unforeseen scientific evidence of the human overpopulation of Earth from Russell Hopfenberg, Ph.D., and David Pimentel, Ph.D. According to their research, we can understand the growth or decline of the population numbers of the human species primarily as a function of food supply. This means that human population dynamics of the human species is essentially common to, not different from, the population dynamics of other species.
Could someone carefully and skillfully examine the science from Dr. Hopfenberg and Dr. Pimentel and report your findings?
Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population, established 2001
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