Immigration feels like it is a matter of policy choice. Elected officials open the borders to a large number of migrants each year for whatever ends they might have.
But it turns out that the decision to allow migrants to enter the country might be less about some ideological campaign and more about brute reality.
Fertility rates in the West have plummeted over the last fifty years. In some countries, the native replacement rate is below one, which means that couples are only producing one new human being between them over the course of their lifetimes.
In most western countries, the domestic fertility rate is well below the replacement rate. Native populations aren’t producing the 2.1 children per couple that they need to sustain the population and keep the society stable. It’s more like 1.5 and falling.
There are all sorts of reasons for this. The leading theory at the moment is the widespread education of women and the current belief that women need to get jobs and join the labor market in the same way that men did historically.
Researchers believe that this philosophy is having an effect on fertility rates. Women still want children, but their careers are meaning that they’re having them later in life. And that means that there is literally less time for them to produce children before the fertility window closes.
The consequences of these trends are staggering. It means that countries like Italy and Japan will have less than half their current population by the year 2100, and only a quarter of their populations by 2150.
What’s more, what we’re going to see is going to happen on a global scale. Practically all countries will see declining populations, meaning that there will be competition for immigrants if things don’t change. Think about how remarkable that situation will be compared to today.
Currently, officials make it difficult to get into various wealthy countries. According to Manchester Immigration Lawyer Ltd, professional help is essential. But in the future, governments may choose to roll out the red carpet to people entering the country of working age. They will be so rare and the rest of the population so old that they become an economic necessity.
Ways Out Of The Current Conundrum
So what are the solutions? Will this scenario play out.
There are two ways out of the current situation, both of which seem quite unlikely.
The first is to increase the domestic fertility rate by encouraging women to have families instead of careers. That sort of policy seems politically unthinkable right now, and anyone who proposed it would be shouted down as the most dreadful kind of sexist. Perhaps economic realities will change opinions, but it could be decades before that happens.
The second solution is to extend people’s lives with drugs and medicines. Again, it seems unlikely, but there are currently a number of options on the table. The 21st century might be the one that future (and current) generations look back on as the one in which science addressed mortality.