Monday, October 23, 2006

The 300 millionth American

At some point last week, the population of the United States passed 300 million according to official figures, but as the Guardian puts it, there's a good chance the 300 millionth American walked across the border from Mexico several months ago.

The demographic make up of the United States is changing rapidly, and in ways that many Americans may feel uncomfortable with. Today, Hispanics make up around 15% of the population, but by 2043 when the population is expected to hit 400 million, they could make up almost half the population, by which point English may no longer be the first language!

It's interesting to note how Europe's liberal commentators have bemoaned the population increase. Andrew Buncombe, writing in the Independent asks whether the population growth is sustainable? i.e. Can Planet Earth sustain ever more Americans polluting the Environment? But a far more pertinent question would be: Is Europe's continued population decline sustainable? How is Europe's generous welfare system, funded by an ever dwindling workforce supposed to support the rapidly increasing population of retired people? The United States is one of the few Western countries that is registering a net increase to its population, and as a result, is far more likely than Europe to be able to support its growing army of pensioners.

Europe's welfare state is a great idea. Except that they haven't figured whose going to pay for it!