Futuribles Journal n° 333

Géopolitique - Population

Demographic Exceptionalism in the United States: Tendancies and Implications


In April 2000, Futuribles published an article by Nicholas Eberstadt warning of the risks of serious problems in Russia arising from the declining health of the Russian population and the demographic consequences; his analysis seems so far to be accurate. In this issue we are publishing another article by Nicholas Eberstadt, devoted this time to population change in the United States, which he says is the demographic exception because its population growth sets it apart from the other major industrialized countries.
First he describes the exceptionally high fertility rates of American women (a long-term trend that he reckons is likely to continue and perhaps even become stronger) compared with European rates and he outlines the factors that may explain this difference. He goes on to discuss the special contribution of immigration in the American case and the influence that this migration model continues to have on strong population growth. Lastly, extrapolating from the trends that he has described, Nicholas Eberstadt suggests several possible trends for American demographics between now and 2025: he stresses in particular the growing gap between the United States and Europe with regard to population change and the possible economic and geopolitical consequences that this may have.

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