Fewer babies will be born in all of Europe than in Nigeria alone.
In Europe, "at the rate at which things are going, the population will have halved before 2070, with the continent at risk of losing 400 million inhabitants by 2100," noted James Pomeroy, an economist at China's HSBC bank.
The growth of the world population has already reached its lowest rate since 1950 and Europe's population will continue to contract until the end of the century, noted the Financial Times, citing the United Nations World Population Prospects report.
A collateral question is: where?
In the next four minutes 1,000 children will be born: 172 in India, 103 in China, 57 in Nigeria, 47 in Pakistan -- but in all of Europe, only 52.
India, next year, is expected to overtake China as the world's most populous country. India will also be 20% Muslim as well as the world's largest Islamic community. How will this demographic trend impact the fragile coexistence between Muslims and Hindus?
In 2021, Europe's population shrank by 1.4 million, the largest decline on any continent since 1950, when these rates were first recorded. Two-thirds of the world's people live in a country where the fertility rate is below the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman. China's population is projected to decline by 6 million per year in the mid-2040s and by 12 million per year by the end of the 2050s, the largest slump ever recorded in a country's history. China's population will halve over the next 45 years and it will become a very old country: its GDP will contract as never before and society will have to manage an aging population it never before encountered.
Japan's unprecedented aging is having a frightening impact on its military. Since 1994, the number of young people between 18 and 26 -- the age for recruitment -- has been dwindling. Between 1994 and 2015, there was a fall off of 11 million, or 40%. "Japan no longer has people to wage war," wrote Forbes. For the first time, the Japanese bought more diapers for adults than for babies. The same holds true for South Korea. "The decline in births in South Korea has become a challenge to national security," the Wall Street Journal reported in 2019.
"[F]ewer young people are around for military service. That is why Seoul officials said that South Korea's army will shrink to half a million, from the current total of 600,000 by 2022."
"Taiwan has long lived with the terrifying prospect of an invasion of China, but one of the biggest threats to its security lies from within: the lowest birth rates in the world", noted the Telegraph. Taiwan today claims the lowest birth rate in the world; by 2050 it will have just 20 million inhabitants, their the average age rising to 57, from 39 today. Taiwan might be so irrelevant that perhaps China will not even have to invade it.
The same downturn is expected in Italy, where the population will reportedly halve in 50 years. This year in Italy, 121,000 fewer students will enter school than last year, and 2,300 classes will disappear. Last year, there were 100,000 fewer students and 196 schools were closed. The previous year, 177 schools were shuttered, and 124 the year before that. Every year Italy loses 1-2% of its pupils. From 7.4 million students (latest available data: 2021), the number will supposedly drop by 2034 to 6 million in "waves" of 110-120,000 fewer students each year. During the last eight years, according to data published by the ministry, 1,301 schools have shut, representing 13.3% of the 9,769 schools that are still active.
This crisis is not a projection, it is happening right now. By 2050, 60% of Italians will have no brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles or aunts. The Italian family, with the father who pours the wine and the mother who serves the pasta to a table of grandparents, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, will be gone, as extinct as dinosaurs.
Yemen, on the other hand, a failed country in the middle of a terrible civil war, will show a population increase that is double Italy's.
In the north-central African Sahel region, the population is expected to reach 330 million, seven times its population of 2000. Egypt will reach 190 million. Algeria will go from the current 42 to 72 million (most of whom will likely head for Europe). Morocco will grow from 36 million to 43 million.
So, the "old Europe" will find itself facing a North Africa of 318 million inhabitants, not counting those residing beneath the immense sub-Saharan plateau. In France today, 29.6% of the population aged 0 - 4 is of non-European origin, compared to 17.1% percent aged 18-24. Non-Europeans are also 18.8% percent in those aged 40 -44; 7.6% aged 60-64, and 3.1% for those over 80, according to the national statistics institute, Insee. The institute also recently examined the last three generations in France: 16.2% of all children between the ages of 0- 4 are children or grandchildren of North African origin; 7.3% are from the rest of Africa, and 4% are from Asia.
George Soros' Open Society Foundation, which provides financial support for immigration to Western countries, disclosed as early as 2011 that in Marseille, the second-largest city in France, "between 30 and 40 percent of the population is Muslim". It is not difficult to assume that by now, the symbolic threshold of 50% has already been exceeded, even if there are not yet official reports. The monthly Causeur bluntly states: "Well over 50 per cent of the Marseille population is North African and black African".
Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish exclaves on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, form the only land border between the European Union and Africa. In Ceuta, two parallel fences, six meters high and topped with razor wire, run for eight kilometers along the border with Morocco. In Melilla, similar fences run 12 kilometers along the border. Nets, cameras, noise and motion sensors, spotlights and surveillance posts help to monitor it. Every year, tens of thousands of migrants, hundreds at a time, try to cross the barriers of Ceuta and Melilla. According to the Spanish newspaper El Pais:
"In 1887 there was only one Muslim registered in Melilla, he was originally from Casablanca and worked as a servant; today Muslims exceed 40 percent of the population and are approaching the majority".
"We are a first observatory of what is happening in other cities of Europe", said Jesús Vivas, president of the Ceuta Assembly. A local newspaper reported:
"Only in Ceuta, between April 1960 and today, 49 per cent of the population is Muslim, even if the real figure is significantly higher. Miracle? No, the incompetence and stupidity of the stormy nationalization process started between 1985 and 1990".
Ceuta and Melilla are what most of Europe's cities will look like in 20-30 years. Melilla is now the first Spanish city that has surpassed a 50% Muslim population due to immigration, family reunification and a high birth rate.
This expansion was foreseen by Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the former UN secretary general, an Egyptian Copt who, on May 22, 2007, outlined his view of the future of Europe:
"The unprecedented collapse of the population of Europe and its accelerated aging contrast with the still very rapid population increase in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. This will result in very acute imbalances!.... Immigration without precaution risks imploding Western societies at the cost of very serious problems (culture shock, neo-colonial structures, unemployment, etc.)"
Pakistan will become a young cauldron of 403 million people, almost the same as the population of the entire European Union (448 million); and its youth will go to the "stans" that will have been created around Europe. Afghanistan, one of the largest geopolitical black holes after the US withdrawal last summer, will double its population to 64 million.
What will Poland build to keep out the mass of people who will press on the external borders of the EU? Eastern Europe will collapse in a terrifying picture. Romania will lose 22% of its population, followed by Moldova (20%), Lithuania (17%), Croatia (16%) and Hungary (16%). Le Monde cries that today Central and Eastern Europe are "confronted with the anguish of disappearance". The UN's figures are impressive:
"Bulgaria, which went from 9 million inhabitants in the 1990s to 6.8 million in 2022, could have only 5.2 million in 2050. Serbia had 8 million inhabitants in collapse [sic] of the iron curtain. It currently has 7.2 million and could drop to 5.8 million in thirty years. Over the same period, the population of Lithuania could plummet from 3.8 million to 2.2 million, that of Latvia from 2.7 million to 1.4 million."
Germany as we know it is, according to Die Zeit, disappearing: "22 million people, or more than a quarter of the population, are from another country or have parents born outside Germany". Germany is poised to become a "country of legal immigration" after it has long been a de facto one -- but with major political and legislative breakthroughs, according to Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Christian Doleschal of the CSU denounced the open immigration plan of the German government: "This will destroy Europe in the long term", he warned.
The celebrated German writer Uwe Tellkamp also criticized his country's immigration policy. "While respecting other cultures, I would still like to preserve mine. I do not want to be like Frankfurt," he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung, referring to the German city where the majority of the population is no longer native German. In Frankfurt, the first German city where Germans became a minority, 15% of the population is of Turkish origin.
The Western world has provided more wealth and convenience to more citizens than any other civilization in history. We are practically inundated with resources, but we are running out of people, the only truly indispensable resource.
Russia is the most obvious example: it is the largest country on earth, it is full of natural resources, yet it is dying: its population is declining disastrously. Vladimir Putin will no longer be Russia's president when his country will have lost approximately 15 million inhabitants, and a third to a half of those remaining will be Muslims.
"Is Russia afraid of disappearing?" was the question asked in the weekly Le Point by Bruno Tertrais, the scholar author of the book Le choc démographique and vice-president of the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. "Behind the conflict over Ukraine loom Russian demographic anxieties about the increase in Muslim immigration".
Kamil Galeev, a researcher at the Washington DC-based Wilson Center, recently posted a map of Russia:
"Let's talk about Russian demographics. As you can see, vast spaces in Siberia and European Russia are depopulating. There are two factors behind it. First, low fertility. The only places with natural growth are the Muslim areas..."
The official Russian news outlet, Pravda, posed the same question: "Islam to become Russia's predominant religion by 2050?"
Janis Garisons, Latvia's defense secretary, just offered Politico among potential scenarios after Putin's eventual fall, "an internal war... the disintegration and fragmentation of Russia, with pockets controlled by militias and warlords."
In that eventuality, Islam will have a unique opportunity to fulfill its dream of a caliphate by creating an unbroken chain of Muslim entities from Pakistan and Afghanistan to the North Caucasus and the Volga. In the worst-case scenario, the situation could get out of control. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, weapons of mass destruction began to spread around the world, posing a threat to human existence itself. Nobody knows what will happen if Russian missiles and high-tech weapons fall into the hands of the "caliphs" or "emirs" of the new Islamic Russian states.
By 2050, more than half the increase of the global population projected will be concentrated in just eight countries, mostly in Africa, according to The Economist: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and Tanzania. Nigeria will have more inhabitants than Europe and the United States.
In addition, Islam will have overtaken Christianity as the largest religion in the world. The Islamic population of the European Union, depending on the migratory flows, could reach 75 million within a generation -- like an entire Muslim Germany or, if one prefers, like Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Belgium, Holland, Portugal and Sweden combined. Does that sound better?
"They have not managed to change us. It is we who will change them," Norwegian imam "Mullah Krekar" told the newspaper Dagbladet.
"Look at the development of the population in Europe, where the number of Muslims increases like mosquitoes. Each Western woman in the E.U. produces, on average, 1.4 children. Each Muslim woman in these same countries produces 3.5 children. By 2050, 30% of the European population will be Muslim... Our way of thinking in Islam stands in opposition to the Western way of thinking. Today it is our way of thinking that comes in and shows itself stronger than theirs...."
Already today, Islam is the leading religion in Brussels.
Algerian author Boualem Sansal recently said on French radio:
"France has made deals with Islamists: in France there were once 10 mosques, today there are 3,000 and Arabia and Qatar finance the Islamization of suburbs. The French government has been overwhelmed".
"Islam is a growing social force in Britain's second city," headlined The Economist, referring to England's second-largest city after London, Birmingham, where the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer. A small portrait of a conquered city:
"In the city's 200 mosques, Muslims come not only to pray, but also to buy books, receive instructions, marry, divorce and bury their dead. Every year hundreds of people approach its 'sharia council', which administers family law."
When Birmingham's annual Eid Festival began in 2012, it was attended by 20,000 worshipers. In 2014 there were 40,000. In 2015, 70,000. In 2016, 90,000. In 2017, 100,000. In 2018, 140,000. Then Covid stopped all large gatherings. Now they are resuming.
The population of Birmingham will soon be half Muslim. "Muslims in Birmingham in 2018 amounted to 27 per cent of the population," noted the Birmingham Mail . "The number of Muslims increased from 21 percent in 2011". Business Live revealed that the number of Muslim children in the city has surpassed the number of Christian children:
"In addition to Birmingham, Islam is now the dominant religion among children in Leicester, Bradford, Luton, Slough and the London boroughs of Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets."
The recent clashes between Muslims and Hindus in Leicester have now moved to other British cities, including Birmingham, where a Hindu temple was attacked with the cry of "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is the greatest"). Sectarian and religious hatred "can spread all over England". The clashes between Muslims and Hindus at the birth of India and at the partition with Pakistan have now reached the multicultural enclaves of Europe.
According to Hungarian journalist Károly Lorán in the newspaper Magyar Hirlap:
"[T]he United Nations estimates that world population will reach a peak of 11 billion people in 2100, three billion more than today. The increase will come from the sub-Saharan region. The Asian population will change little. The population of North America will grow by 120 million and that of the European Union will decrease by 60 million, due to Poland, Germany, Italy and Spain. If we fail to change the birthrate of 1.5 that characterizes the European Union and the current immigration of 1 million people per year remains, by the end of the century the share of the Muslim population will reach 40 percent on average. Some Western European countries will already have a Muslim majority. If we want to replace the declining population with immigrants, we will need 1.5 million immigrants a year and, by the end of the century, 60 per cent of the population of the European Union will be Muslim".
Do we fantasize that immigration at this rate will be able to integrate happily into host societies and that the migrants will become like us? Do we hope that before long, Europeans will return to having more children? What if we are wrong and these projections become reality? Are we resigned to the disappearance of our civilization?
In 1996, Samuel Huntington wrote in The Clash of Civilizations:
"The balance of power between the various civilizations is changing: the influence of the West is decreasing; Asian civilizations increase their economic, military and political strength; the Islamic world is experiencing a demographic explosion with destabilizing consequences for Muslim countries and their neighbors; non-Western civilizations in general reaffirm the value of their own cultures"
"What do you leave behind?", asked Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair.
It's the demographics, stupid.
"Great demographics, great power", Nicholas Eberstadt, the American political economist summed up in Foreign Affairs. Crumbling demographics, crumbling powers....
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.