Final Word from Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Czech population has grown by 4% since 1980. Germany's was rising at the same speed until the immigration wave of the past few years accelerated it to 7% growth compared to 1980. The population of China has risen by 44% since the one-child policy was imposed in 1980. The world's population has grown so far this year by 34m, but the New York Times reported last month that, "All over the world, countries are confronting population stagnation and a fertility bust, a dizzying reversal unmatched in recorded history that will make first-birthday parties a rarer sight than funerals, and empty homes a common eyesore." Frank Swiaczny, a demographer who was chief of population trends and analysis for the U.N., said that, "A paradigm shift is necessary.... Countries need to learn to live with and adapt to decline." It's not all bad, the Times said, without mentioning covid or the coronavirus: "Smaller populations could lead to higher wages, more-equal societies, lower carbon emissions and a higher quality of life for the smaller numbers of children who are born." Get used to the idea, the NYT is telling its readers. [ Czech Republic global United Nations ]

Glossary of difficult words

slide - a decline in value, quality or number;

bust - a period of economic difficulty or depression;

dizzying - causing one to feel unsteady, confused or amazed;

eyesore - a thing that is very ugly, esp. a building.


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