The World Socialist Movement has described over-populationists - those who subscribe to the dystopian predictions of Thomas Malthus and advocate drastic family planning policies - as pushing against an open door as the trend towards a decline in the numbers of people is already in process.
Lord Adair Turner, former chairman of the Financial Services Authority, said that a gentle decline in birth rates would “deliver significant benefits to human welfare”. Writing in a research paper, he argued that with the right government policy an ageing population would not pose a threat to the economy. Lord Turner, said: “The biggest reason to welcome this demographic shift is that it results from the free choice of empowered people, and in particular women.
Low birth rates and an ageing population have often been seen as a looming crisis, with economists arguing there will not be enough people to work and contribute to the future economy. This, coupled with the rising cost of pensions and health care, has made people increasingly worried about shrinking populations and smaller families. But the report, 'Smaller Families and Ageing Populations,' explains this is good news.
In Japan, women give birth to an average of 1.36 children, down from 2.1 in 1974. In England and Wales the figure is 1.6. By 2035, the Japanese population is set to decrease by 9.6 per cent from 125m to 113.1m people.
The report did acknowledge that labour shortages would become an increasing problem with an ageing population. But it argued automation in the work force and migration would be key to dealing with this issue.