Friday, August 07, 2009

Babies are BACK, baby!


This reproductive collapse is particularly worrying because it comes in combination with an increase in life expectancy which suggests that, by the middle of the century, not only will populations in the most developed countries have shrunk (unless they are propped up by historically huge levels of immigration) but also that the number of retired individuals supported by each person of working age will increase significantly. If Mikko Myrskyla of the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues are correct, though, things might not be quite as bad as that. A study they have just published in Nature suggests that as development continues, the demographic transition goes into reverse.