Skip to comments.Europe’s Low Birth Rates Threaten Euro 2048?
Posted on 07/08/2008 6:10:02 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
I was surfing the web late the other night and stumbled on an interesting article in the New York Times. Entitled No Babies?, it is a lengthy and fascinating look at demographic trends in Europe. There was no mention of football or any other sport. Instead, the articles author examined the reasons for low European birth rates and offered a rather unsettling suggestion of what the continent might be like in coming decades. (Think of a depopulated place that resembles a theme park, like Venice). Yesterday morning, after the first critical sips of coffee had worked their magic, a serious question popped into my head: Does this mean that European football will be irrelevant by mid-century?
Its fairly well-known that Europes birth rate has declined drastically in the past fifteen years or so. But compared to the replacement birth rate of 2.1 children per woman, the current Italian and Spanish rates of 1.3 are especially low. In some parts of Italy, it hovers around 1.0, a rate that is deemed pathological. And its not just Italy and Spain. Birth rates throughout eastern and southern Europe are equally low. Dutch and Scandanavian birth rates are somewhat higher, though at 1.7-1.8 they still lag behind the replacement level. In Germany, well over a quarter of women born in 1960 have remained childless, far more than in any other European country. In fact, Germanys population actually declines by around 100,000 per year and a very high percentage of German women believe that the optimal number of children is zero.
There are lots more statistics to mull over. In Spain only 22% of the population will be 24 or younger by 2025, compared to 42% in India. And Europes share of world population has been steadily declining: it was 12.5% in 1960, 7.2% today, and is projected to fall to 5% by 2050. A quick visit to Wikipedia (where else?), provides a basis for comparison. Argentinas fertility rate is a healthy 2.4 children per woman, even though most Argentinians are of Italian and Spanish ancestry and its GDP is currently comparable to Polands. (Note, however, that the Argentinian rate is expected to decline to 2.09 for 2008). Other projected 2008 fertility rates: 2.10 for the US, 1.86 for Brazil, and 1.85 for both the UK and Ireland.
Lets have some fun with idle speculation. The demographers remind us that the first place the population bust will be noticed isobviouslyon the playground. But what about the football pitch? Soccer skills cant be learned, let alone perfected, in isolation. There may be some value in juggling a soccer ball, or practicing spot-kicks into an empty net. But its much better to practice with a critical mass of kids. Isnt that why the Europeans and South Americans and Africanspretty much the rest of the worldare so much better at soccer than Americans? There are plenty of kids to play pick-up games with all day long, while our young players spend hours in the back of moms mini-van getting shuttled from one highly-structured practice to another. Will the disappearance of Europes children from streets and playgrounds mean that European player development will begin to resemble the American pattern?
The interaction of economic factors and cultural attitudes lies behind the collapsing European birth rate. Those families who take the plunge and produce a child tend to be wealthier. Do these families view football as a priority? I ask this because it has often been noted that in America the socioeconomic profile of the sport is very different from what it has historically been in the rest of the world. Here its a pastime of middle and upper-middle-class suburban kids, whereas players in Europe and elsewhere are usually from less privileged backgrounds. If child-rearing in Europe ultimately becomes the sole province of the upper classes, will soccer practice be just another activity for busy kids, along with piano practice, swimming, tennis, and golf? Worse yet, might this demographic simply abandon football? A football career does seem to be incompatible with a European university education.
Footballs European roots and traditions are so deep that there will always be Spanish and Italian and German children who live for the sport. But will there be enough of them? Today, Europes presence in world footballboth international competition and the prestige of its domestic leaguesis a commanding one. Its teams have won exactly half of the eighteen World Cup finals, with South American sides victorious in the other nine. Italy and (West) Germany lead the way among European teams with four and three World Cup titles, respectively. Three of the five most recent World Cups have been won by European teams.
But demographic changes work their way through society very slowly. The drastic decline in birth rates began in the 1990s, so for now we can only guess about the eventual effects of European depopulation on the world balance of power in football. Questions, questions
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"If there were a nuclear war, what would happen to the world cup? We just can't let that happen, man!"
The same thing is happening to the west in North America too as well as Australia and New Zealand. Low birth rates and out of control legal and illegal immigration. Very disturbing.
Might not be bad if it kills soccer.
The author should be more concerned about Muslims than the fact that soccer might disappear.
This seems to be some sort of mass cultural pathology, and has to be turned around. Those populations that are most likely to promote eco-technology, preserve natural habitat and wildlife, and be of benefit on Earth are strangely in the thrall of some kind of death-wish. What will it take to change this?
I guess to some extent it’s evolution in action. A few generations from now the only people left will be the descendants of those who wanted to reproduce and perhaps those too lazy to use birth control. Presumably they will pass on their desire to have kids and those who are content to remain childless will be eliminated from the gene pool.
Several things created this mess that Western Civ (Europeans + European-Americans) find themselves in.
1) They were told back in the 60’s that they need to have less kids because fossil fuels were going to run dry.
2) Birth control and abortion was promoted during the 60’s.
3) Hysteria about global overpopulation was introduced to them as well and again, this was given as a reason why they should have less if any kids.
4) Deconstruction of Christianity and Western Civ culture came into full force resulting in “white guilt”. Notice that most guilt-ridden liberals have few if any kids.
Funny how here in 2008 we’re told there’s not enough people to fill jobs therefore we must import millions of fast-breeding people from unstable countries.
I’m almost convinced it was a set up to shrink the populations in countries with large Euro populations because at least half of those populations (i.e, conservatives) stands in the way of global socialism.
Ever noticed that diversity and multi-culturalism is pushed ONLY in European countries and the US which was 90% Euro-American back in 1960? You don’t need a billion dollar campaign to tell you to celebrate ice cream do you?
Yes there’s an agenda going on in the background. See the Book of Revelation.
Think about it ...
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