Europe: Birth rates rising

The second development to note is that INED, France's National Institute of Demographic Studies, has done some detailed research and concluded that France's immigrant population is responsible for only 5 percent of the rise in the birthrate and that France's population would be rising anyway even without the immigrant population.

That is important in a country where the number of immigrants from traditionally Muslim countries and their French-born children and grandchildren is now reckoned to be more than 6 million from a total population of 60.7 million. The anti-immigration Front National Party has claimed the rise in births came from Muslims, who were thus on track to become an eventual majority, and this appears not to be the case.

In fact in France, like everywhere else in Europe, the birthrate among immigrant mothers drops quickly toward the local norm in less than two generations. The measure most commonly used in international statistics is the Total Fertility Rate, which seeks to measure the number of children born to the average woman in her fertile years. (The formal definition of TFR is the average number of children a woman would have during her reproductive lifetime if current age-specific fertility rates remained constant over her reproductive life.)

In France, the TFR has risen from 1.66 in 1993 to 2.0 in 2003 and 2.1 last year. If maintained, that means the population of France will rise from 60.7 million today to 70 million sometime before 2050.

The United Nations' own projections demonstrate the impact of TFR. If the global rate falls to 2.1, the level of a stable population, then by 2050 the world population will be 11 billion and will remain stable.

If the global TFR falls to 1.6 (about Europe's level today), then the world population in 2050 will be 8 billion and falling. But if the global TFR rate remains at 2.6 (about where it is today) then the world population in 2050 will be 27 billion (four times more than today) and rising.

The birthrates of Muslim women in Europe have been falling significantly for some time. In the Netherlands, for example, the TFR among Dutch-born women rose between 1990 and 2005 from 1.6 to 1.7. In the same period for Moroccan-born women in Holland it fell from 4.9 to 2.9, and for Turkish-born women in Holland from 3.2 to 1.9.

In Austria, the TFR of Muslim women fell from 3.1 to 2.3 from 1981 to 2001. In 1970 Turkish-born women in Germany had on average two children more than German-born women. By 1996 the difference had fallen to one child and has now dropped to 0.5. These sharp falls reflect important cultural shifts, which include the impact of universal female education, rising living standards, the effect of local cultural norms and availability of contraception.

The third item of real interest is that France is not alone. Birthrates are also rising in the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden and Germany.


A trend seems to be emerging under which birthrates are falling sharply in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, while they have started to rise again in Europe. The global trend is down, very sharply down. In all, 80 countries around the world, comprising almost half the Earth's population, are now experiencing a birthrate that is below replacement.


Birthrates are falling almost everywhere. With a few exceptions like Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, Haiti and Guatemala, the countries still experiencing strong population growth are all in sub-Saharan Africa. Depending on its birthrate, the current 750 million are likely to become between 1.5 billion and 3 billion by the end of this century. And if European, Latin American and Arab birthrates continue to decline, then Islam as well as Christianity will be a predominantly African religion, with some outposts in Europe.

Source: UPI (English), h/t A New Dark Age is Dawning


Evan said...

I think the demographic tide in several countries is cresting, so that Steyn-like fears of demographic takeover are overblown. Immigration and asylum claims are sharply down not just in hard-line Denmark but in jumpier Holland too. Other than through misplaced simple linear extrapolations of today's trends (or, more accurately, the trends of a few years ago), I think the numbers no longer support the most pessimistic demographic forecasts.

European fertility will never be what it was right after World War II, and I suspect some of the current uptick in France is moving children forward in time rather than decisions to have bigger families (so that the recent TFR increases will peter out), but the worst is perhaps over in my view. The primary wild cards at this point are emigration of young Europeans and illegal immigration from the east and south. The former, at least, is still increasing.

Anonymous said...

Birth rates are falling everywhere , but they are not falling sharply but slowly. In Europe there is still difference between muslim women and non-muslim women, people are forgetting that the 0.5 difference in TFR means that for every 2 non-muslim births there are 3 muslim births. Add to that illegal immigration.
As for Christianity and Islam being religions only in Africa - some people forget that Europe consist not only of Western Europe but also Eastern Europe which is not secular. People also forget that there are many conversions (should I say reversions) to Islam in Western Europe.

Long duration said...

There is something that I would like to know if anyone can illuminate.

According to the Daily Mail something like 64% of births in England were to people of "white british" ancestry.

What would this mean if immigration were stopped or drastically reduced.

Would the extra-British ancestry origin population eventually reached 25-50% of the population or would declining total fertility rates bring a different result?

Could 10-15% of the population really become 25%-50% without immigration?

Will many parts of Western Europe become 25%+ Middle Eastern/African origin population in this century or is this unlikely?

One more question:

Is it likely that the Islamic population in Europe will retain higher birth rates than the indigenous population or is there a chance they will go below the indigenous (being more urban and maybe more like traditional like South Europe and East Asia)?