A new paper from the NPG Forum asks if population growth is so important, why is Japan prospering?

Evidence is mounting that a declining population does not necessarily mean economic disaster and could even usher in some sort of renaissance.

While the United States continues to publish alarming headlines about low birth rates, one country is currently experiencing population decline and prosperity at the same time: Japan. If we are to believe that our nation’s civic and social well-being depends on a growth-based economy, then what is happening in Japan? This question is the thrust of author Nathanial Gronewold’s new Forum post, published by Negative Population Growth, Inc. His work, titled Japan’s journey into the demographic danger zone – and why there’s nothing to fearexplores some of the differences between demographic trends in Japan and the United States Gronewold’s article takes the reader from one perspective to another as he navigates demographic patterns and outcomes in Japan and their relationship to the “The evidence is mounting,” he shares, “a declining population does not necessarily mean economic disaster and may even usher in some kind of renaissance.

Gronewold summarizes the work of economist Akira Yanagisawa of the Institute of Energy Economics of Japan (IEEJ) to illustrate the “how” behind Japan’s success, sharing, “Japan is increasing its energy consumption even as the number of Japanese people decreases because the country’s economy becomes more efficient and technologically advanced, especially in its manufacturing sectors.Humans certainly consume a lot of electricity, but not as much as robots – that’s where that comes with additional energy demand.” Along with Japan’s advanced technology, Gronewold sees another bright spot: “IEEJ electricity data shows that the Japanese economy is becoming more productive. In other words, Japan generates more production with fewer workers.

After establishing Japan’s current situation, Gronewold takes the time to tackle a few naysayers on the state side. These professionals view demographic concerns as minor and irrelevant in the face of America’s urgent need to fill every square mile with workers from coast to coast to keep the lights on. He highlights their talking points such as: “The United States has too few births, too many deaths and not enough immigrants” and “it costs relatively little to allow more people to enjoy the benefits of the Constitution. US, its favorable business environment and its nuclear umbrella. Gronewold then uses examples from Japan to explain why he thinks these statements do not correspond to reality, stating: “The Japanese are already proving that you can increase production with less people…there is emerging evidence that population decline can lead to better public well-being and a happier society over time.

Based on the favorable situation in Japan, Gronewold shares research in Japan and studies conducted outside the country to strengthen its position. Data collected and analyzed in Portugal revealed, in the words of Gronewold: “Older people are more productive than economists think, and a declining population does not seem to harm workers. Savings and consumption are actually increasing, so a positive development is emerging. He also shares research by economist Atsumasa Kondo that “shows how an economy’s response to a declining population is highly dependent on policy implementation and government changes.” And “a country’s economy can grow even in the face of a declining and aging demographic profile.”

Not to mention, behind this wave of scientifically analyzed data is the wave of hype and content that population growth is the only way forward. Gronewold seizes the opportunity to challenge this noise with the small (but growing!) public narrative that questions continued growth at the expense of existing people and communities. He shares that in a recent poll, “respondents said they primarily expected to derive benefits from a declining population, particularly of an environmental nature.” Gronewold then spotlights another voice from this like-minded band, Joseph Chamie, to drive the point home. The professional demographer and former director of the United Nations Population Division recently wrote, “There is hardly any major problem facing America with a solution that would be easier if the country’s population were larger. . On the contrary, the stabilization of the population would help to solve several of them.

Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders about the harmful effects of population growth. We believe that our country is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-term carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG advocates the adoption of its Proposed National Population Policy, with the goal of eventually stabilizing the U.S. population at a sustainable level – well below that of today. We don’t just identify problems, we provide solutions. For more information visit our website at NPG.orgfollow us on facebook @NegativePopulationGrowth or follow us on Twitter @npg_org.

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