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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:
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:
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 …