Empty Planet | Darrell Bricker

Summary of: Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline
By: Darrell Bricker


In the thought-provoking book ‘Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline’, author Darrell Bricker and journalist John Ibbitson challenge conventional wisdom with their counter-argument about global population decline. The authors employ data-rich analysis to unravel the factors contributing to lowered fertility rates and the nearing decline of human population. Touching upon critical concepts such as Demographic Transition Model and examples from countries trying to reverse their shrinking populations, the book ultimately presents a persuasive case for immigration as a solution for advanced nations to maintain and grow their economies.

Immigration as Solution

Darrell Bricker, Chief Executive Officer of Ipsos Public Affairs, and award-winning journalist John Ibbitson, offer a new perspective on the immigration debate. They argue that declining fertility rates in developed countries require welcoming immigrants to mitigate a population decline. In their data-rich book, the authors describe the factors affecting fertility and the implications of fewer people, challenging common paradigms. Their subversive and illuminating perspective received acclaim for linking global trends to individual choices, providing a gripping narrative of a world on the brink of profound change.

The Future of Population

Bricker and Ibbitson challenge the widely held belief that global population growth threatens humanity and the planet. They argue that the world’s population will begin to decline in 30 years, contrary to the United Nations’ projections. Population decline, according to the authors, is neither good nor bad, but it is a significant change that will shape the future of the human race for generations to come. Bricker and Ibbitson affirm that conventional wisdom is mistaken and that the shrinking human population will be a big thing.

Demographic Trends and India’s Population

Bricker and Ibbitson discuss Warren Thompson’s Demographic Transition Model and its four stages depicting population movement in societies. As India is set to become the most populous nation, their numbers are expected to stabilize in a generation before declining. The authors argue that developed countries have below-replacement birth rates caused by urbanization, education, modernization, public health improvements, and government policies to curb population growth.

Boosting Population Growth

Bricker and Ibbitson present solutions to reverse declining population growth by welcoming more immigrants and offering incentives for childbirth. Canada’s merit-based immigration system is admired, while Singapore even created a government-sponsored dating service. Though immigration can temporarily supplement population decline, the authors advise it’s not a permanent solution as migrants typically embrace low-fertility norms. Sweden offers parenting benefits, and Canada recognizes immigration as an economic boost, suggesting advanced nations implement similar measures. The authors remind readers that the US built a vibrant culture and economy through welcoming immigrants to its melting pot.

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