The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information

 TeasersiSteve Blog

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
🔊 Listen RSS

Ron Unz asked me to collect all my recent graphs based on data published in the United Nations’ World Population Prospects 2017 in one jaw-dropping post. First, here’s the latest version of what I’ve been calling The World’s Most Important Graph:

Most of my graphs represent the medium / most likely projections according to the United Nations’ Population Division. Here is the UN’s own graph of different possibilities for Sub-Saharan Africa:

Here, however, is the UN’s most high end projection for Africa: assume decreasing mortality due to improved health technologies and constant fertility, and the population of Africa exceeds 15,000,000,000 by century’s end:

All the rest of the graphs reflect the UN’s best guess rather than high or low estimates.

Note that the UN doesn’t include much in the way of mass migrations into its forecasts, since those are political decisions (e.g., the German Chancellor’s arbitrary 2015 decision).

Here’s four countries in Sub-Saharan Africa versus four famous countries in Europe:

One country in Africa, Nigeria, is expected to outnumber the entire population of Europe:

Or Portugal vs. its former colony of Angola:

Due to oil, Angola has been quite prosperous in this century until the last couple of years, but this hasn’t yet had a noticeable effect on fertility.

North Africa appears to be on a different trajectory from Sub-Saharan Africa:

un population 2017 africa a to z algeria zambia

I like to point out that other Third World countries have started to get their populations under control. For example, Bangladesh and Nigeria had virtually identical populations in 1950, and Bangladesh was ahead for much of the rest of the 20th Century. But today, Nigeria looks far more irresponsible:

Here’s Iran, where the mullahs have taken steps to get population growth under control, vs. Niger, an obscure country in the desert north of Nigeria, where the average woman has seven babies and wishes she had nine:

Fertility has yet to come down at all in Niger, which, due to “demographic momentum,” means, no matter what happens tomorrow, the population will be growing into the second half of the century:

Within Africa, Rwanda and Burundi are like New Hampshire and Vermont. Following its quasi-Malthusian 1994 genocide and the subsequent rise of strong leadership under Tutsi dictator Paul Kagame, there appears to be hope for Rwanda (red line) to have more moderate population growth, while Burundi (black line) is still on the fast track:

un population 2017 rwanda burundi

While the UN Population Division is quietly churning out data, the UN Migration Agency is propagandizing about why you’ll enjoy the coming tsunami of African migrants:

Close your eyes, lie back and think of England …

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Africa, Demographics 
🔊 Listen RSS

From the ominously entitled Slaughter & Rees Report issued by Dartmouth’s Tuck MBA school:

Slaughter & Rees Report: How Refugees Can Revive Europe’s Economies


Continuing to stream into and across Europe, the refugees risking their lives for hope confront the continent’s policymakers with a more prosaic question: What will the refugees mean for the economies of individual countries and the broader European economy?

A recent report by the Swiss bank Credit Suisse contains a refreshingly well-reasoned answer: the refugees, far from being an economic drag, will deliver a long-term economic stimulus to the region.

… A central driver of the continent’s economic woes is its demographics. Consider this: only three of the European Union’s 28 member states—France, Ireland, and Sweden—have birthrates high enough to maintain the size of their working-age populations. Seven of the world’s ten oldest countries are in Europe (Germany is 2nd; Italy, 4th; Portugal, 5th; Greece, 6th; Bulgaria, 7th; Austria, 8th; and Spain, 10th). And last year the population of seven European countries actually declined.

All this adds up to “demographic suicide,” as the European Central Bank’s vice president put it recently. As countries experience a lower ratio of those working to those in retirement, along with little economic growth, their fiscal burdens can grow quickly and without clear end. …

But as the Credit Suisse report demonstrates, the refugees flowing into Europe can help reverse its demographic challenge. They are projected to increase the EU’s population over the next five years by five million people—about 1.5 percent of the region’s total population. In purely economic terms, it helps that most of the migrants are young and male. More than half of those entering Germany are men between the ages of 18 and 34, and more than 75 percent are of working age. Many are also well-educated. Among the Syrians in Sweden, more than 40 percent have completed at least an upper secondary education, reports the Financial Times.

Nothing says Quality Education like a Syrian high school diploma.

Thus the conclusion by Credit Suisse that the impact of Europe’s migrants will be modestly positive through 2023, increasing the continent’s average annual growth rate to 1.3 percent.

In addition to providing a demographic boost to Europe, the refugees are also likely to provide a dynamic boost as well. The decision to uproot oneself and one’s family requires a degree of enterprise and risk-taking that frequently translates into the economic realm. … It is clear that the refugees can enrich the economic and cultural fabric of countries across Europe. It is up to the continent’s policymakers to ensure that the refugees are given the opportunity to do so.

Tuition at the Tuck School of Business to hear this kind of incisive analysis is $64,200 per year, but with room, board, and various fees, Tuck totals $99,655 annually. So, you get $345 change back on your Woodrow Wilson. Over the two years of your MBA program, that’s $690 in change on your two $100,000 bills.

And another graph that explains the migrant crises of 2016-2100
🔊 Listen RSS

Population 1950-2015-b

The demographers of the United Nation’s Population Division have quietly released their World Population Prospects: 2015 Revision report.

Above is a graph I put together from their new data that explains much about the “Migrant Crisis” of 2015.

As you can see, way back in 1950, the population of the Middle East was only 18% as great as the population of Europe, while Sub-Saharan Africa was only 33% as large. Even in 2000, the Middle East had only 49% of the population of Europe, while Africa had almost caught up to Europe with 88% of its population.

But from 2000 to 2015, the Middle East added 124 million people, making it now 65% as populous as Europe.

In this century alone, Sub-Saharan Africa has added 320 million people, making it 130% as populated as Europe.

Some of this information about the past is new. For example, the U.N.’s estimate of the population of the continent of Africa back in 2010 has grown by 13 million people, or over 1% between the 2012 Revision and the 2015 Revision. When it comes to population, the past just isn’t what it used to be.

But what about the future?

As a general pattern, the U.N. has found, the completeness of the counts tends to be worse in the fastest growing countries. Thus, the harder the U.N. has looked at Africa in this decade, the more people and more new babies it keeps uncovering.

It turns out that while the total fertility rate in Africa is falling, it’s falling quite a bit more slowly than the U.N. had expected before its disturbing 2012 Revision.

Sub-Saharan Africa simply isn’t behaving like the rest of the world:

Screenshot 2015-09-19 16.44.14

This U.N. map of total fertility rates can be found here. I reviewed the deep structure reasons for Sub-Saharan Africa’s anomalously high fertility here.

The upward adjustment in Africa’s population projections in the 2012 Revision of World Population Prospects came as a shock. But the 2015 Revision forecasts Africa’s population in 2100, about one lifetime from now, to be another 5% higher than the U.N. projected just back in 2012.

And here’s my full graph of the U.N.’s 2015 Revision numbers:

Population 1950-2100-b


The U.N. now projects that, despite lower fertility in some Muslim countries such as Iran, the population of the Middle East will surpass that of Europe in 2045 and reach 937 million by 2100.

As for Sub-Saharan Africa, the U.N. foresees the population growing to 3,935,000,000 (3.9 billion and change) by 2100. (The total population of Africa and the Middle East will be 4,872,000,000.)

That’s probably not going to happen due to some combination of (A) intelligent self-restraint, (B) mass migration, and (C) Malthusian Nightmares (war, famine, disease, etc. etc.) keeping the population of Sub-Saharan Africa in 2100 from being more than six times as great as Europe, which would be an 18-fold increase in 150 years.

Keep in mind that there’s not a one to one relationship between population growth and emigration. In general, people try to assess whether the future at home looks brighter than the present. But people in Africa and the Middle East can see their countries’ futures will be more crowded and constrained.

Personally, I hope the reason that this graph doesn’t prove accurate is largely (A) intelligent self-restraint. But at present, white people don’t seem to be making much of an effort to facilitate and encourage reasonable family planning in Africa. Because that would be, you know, racist.

Which is the worst thing in the world, much worse than the U.N.’s population forecast.

🔊 Listen RSS

The first 2016 general election poll of September is also the first poll to show Trump beating Hillary. From May through July, Hillary was up by anywhere from 12 to 24 points over Trump. He’s now up by five points, continuing a trend in Trump’s direction in August:

Poll Date Sample MoE Clinton (D) Trump (R) Spread
RCP Average 8/11 – 9/3 45.8 43.4 Clinton +2.4
SurveyUSA 9/2 – 9/3 900 RV 3.3 40 45 Trump +5
PPP (D) 8/28 – 8/30 1254 RV 2.8 46 44 Clinton +2
Quinnipiac 8/20 – 8/25 1563 RV 2.5 45 41 Clinton +4
CNN/ORC 8/13 – 8/16 897 RV 3.5 51 45 Clinton +6
FOX News 8/11 – 8/13 1008 RV 3.0 47 42 Clinton +5

The demographics in this new SurveyUSA poll are interesting, although the sample sizes are small.

They are pretty much the opposite of the conventional wisdom. Relative to traditional Republican candidates, Trump is doing very well among blacks (down only 25-59) and Asians (leading 41-39) and doing reasonably well among Hispanics (down 31-50). Among whites, however, Trump is leading Hillary only 51-34, which might be a little under what would be expected for a Republican up 5 points.

Trump is winning heavily (54-36) among those who say they pay a lot of attention to politics, and is winning 48-40 among college graduates.

Trump’s strongest region is the Midwest, where he is up 49-31.

The news that Trump, who tends to strike hip-hop fans as having the kind of style that they’d want to have if they were a rich old white guy and whose positions on immigration and trade sound more likely to help black Americans earn a living than just about anybody else’s, is on track to win, say, 30% of the black vote will likely start to panic Democratic strategists, especially if it holds up in additional polls.

Expect to see a concerted effort to demonize Trump among blacks. Obama carried the Great Lakes Rust Belt (outside of Indiana) in 2012 by running up huge margins among blacks while the Romney-Ryan ticket kept whites in the region depressed and divided. A Republican who is strong in the upper Midwest is an Electoral College nightmare for the Democrats.

One thing that’s going on is that Trump is benefiting from the Revolt of the Comedians. Awhile ago, beloved elder statesman Jerry Seinfeld spoke up against comedy-killing campus conformity, citing his friend Chris Rock as support. Some people wondered why I wrote a Taki column recently quoting at length the somewhat obscure comedian Colin Quinn. But he’s an old friend of Seinfeld, Rock, and some other well-known comedy names, and I suspect Quinn articulates in public how a lot of comedians feel in private.

Trump is not himself hugely funny (except in a meta sense, in which he’s hilarious), but he exemplifies an American value that we feel slipping away: liberty. Americans used to say, “Well, it’s a free country.” They don’t anymore. The Statue of Liberty once stood for an American’s right to say what he felt was true. Now the Statue of Liberty has been repurposed as an icon of how Americans had better shut up about immigration and diversity.

Donald J. Trump is the living embodiment of the First Amendment.

On the other hand, there are a lot of foreign policy issues on which the President really shouldn’t mouth off. For example, the official stance of the United States government since February 1972 has been that China and Taiwan are one country that should be under one government; we just won’t say which one.

Granted, that’s ridiculous, but, at least so far it has worked. And therefore the President shouldn’t say it’s ridiculous even though everybody knows it is.

A low energy guy like Obama, who more or less was raised to be some kind of Foreign Service diplomat, is probably not going to tell an interviewer that of course China and Taiwan are separate countries: everybody knows that. But a President Trump might.

In contrast, domestic policy (e.g., immigration policy) should be far more of a free for all than it is under the current rules of what’s respectable. Obama’s diplomatic Blank Screen approach where nobody is supposed to get the joke about why we elected this guy President has been a slow-moving disaster. I suspect that deep down Obama feels bad about how his Administration has, in effect, agitated blacks to murder each other, all in the name of #BlackLivesMatter. But “personnel is policy” and a lot of Obama’s appointees, such as Eric Holder, have been too dim to figure out what they are doing to America.

When it comes to domestic policy, Congress and the courts have huge says, so the President using his bully pulpit is a good thing: the embodiment of democracy.

But much of foreign policy, perhaps too much, is handed over to the President under the guise of the National Security state. So the President has less freedom to spout off his opinion about whatever comes to his attention, such as, say, the division of Cyprus into Greek and Turkish spheres. Trump the Dealmaker might just be able to spitball aloud some wacky Cyprus innovation he dreamed up that actually improves that less-than-optimal but 4-decade long stable situation. But Trump the President could also destabilize it by sounding off about how everybody on the island would be better off if only they’d work out a deal and the U.S. wants change.

Did, say, Obama blow up the Arab world (with the present dire consequences) by going to Cairo in 2009 and making an ambiguous speech? Perhaps.

Trump has a little under a year and a half to grow into the job. It’s a challenge, but not impossible. Mostly, he needs to get across that he’s not going to upset settled foreign policy just for fun.

There are two sides to Trump:

- The no-publicity-is-bad-publicity-as-long-as-they-spell-”Trump”-right TV time hound

- The expert negotiator who plays his cards close to the vest

The good news is that Trump likely doesn’t care much about foreign policy, especially areas like Taiwan and Cyprus where sleeping dogs can probably be let lie a few years longer. Moreover as President, Trump would hardly be in pressing need of more publicity by stirring up unneeded foreign policy controversies beyond the ones in which he has a carefully decided upon strategy for making a deal on his terms.

🔊 Listen RSS


To understand what’s at stake regarding the Mediterranean, here’s a graph I made from the numbers in World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision: Volume II: Demographic Profiles, which was published in 2013 by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat.

The United Nations’ population projections for the continent of Africa are on p. 10 of the paper document (p. 36 of the PDF); the data for the continent of Europe are on p. 23 (p. 49 of the PDF).

(Now, of course, these UN projections are based on the highly arguable premise that the emigration rate out of Africa will decline steadily. The million or so Africans currently massed in Libya waiting to set sail for the EU, where they will invite their relatives back home to join them, would probably not agree with that heroic assumption.)

P.S., I’ve created an updated graph showing the numbers from the U.N.’s new 2015 Revision. In it, I break out population forecasts for Europe, Middle East (North Africa & West Asia), and Sub-Saharan Africa.

No Items Found
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation