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Sobotka, Tomáš

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The Guardian - United Kingdom | 05/02/2010

Tomáš Sobotka on demographic change in Europe

Demographer Tomáš Sobotka suggests, in the daily paper The Guardian, that the drop in population in Europe is anything but a catastrophe: "Yes, Europe as a whole is projected to experience a gradual decline of its population, from 732 million now to 691 million in 2050 according to the United Nations. But, although further decline after 2050 will most probably follow, this gets nowhere close to a collapse. ... Since the late 19th century, when a massive decline in birth rates began in most of Europe, some demographers and long-forgotten futurologists have been busy envisioning an inevitable demise of Europe and 'western civilisation'. However, it is not population size but affluence and technology that make some countries more powerful than others. Switzerland, with a population of 8 million, is globally more significant than, say, Bangladesh, with a population 20 times larger. In any case, a slow decline in European population should be cheerfully welcomed by all who care about climate change and global pressure on resources."

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