Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Population Trends and Future Forecasts

America in 2050 — Part 1
This is the first of a three-part series for AOL News adapted from Joel Kotkin’s new book, “The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050.” Part 2 in the series will look at America’s increasingly multiracial population in 2050.

This is an opinion piece from AOL NEWS OP/ED If you read this article carefully, you will see that the population trends he cites as promising for the USA are equally applicable to countries in the Middle East with stable economies and forward leaning plans:

Opinion: What America Will Look Like in 2050

Joel Kotkin
Special to AOL News

(March 15) — To many observers, America’s place in the world is almost certain to erode in the decades ahead. Yet if we look beyond the short-term hardship, there are many reasons to believe that America will remain ascendant well into the middle decades of this century.

And one important reason is people.

From 2000 to 2050, the U.S. will add another 100 million to its population, based on census and other projections, putting the country on a growth track far faster than most other major nations in the world. And with that growth — driven by a combination of higher fertility rates and immigration — will come a host of relative economic and social benefits.

More fertile

Of course the percentage of childless women is rising here as elsewhere, but compared to other advanced countries, America still boasts the highest fertility rate: 50 percent higher than Russia, Germany or Japan, and well above that of China, Italy, Singapore, Korea and virtually all of eastern Europe.

As a result, while the U.S. population is growing, Europe and Japan are seeing their populations stagnate — and are seemingly destined to eventually decline. Russia’s population could be less than a third of the U.S. by 2050, driven down by low birth and high mortality rates. Even Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has spoken of “the serious threat of turning into a decaying nation.”

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Database.
In East Asia, fertility is particularly low in highly crowded cities such as Tokyo, Shanghai, Tianjin, Beijing and Seoul. And China’s one-child policy — and a growing surplus of males over females — has set the stage for a rapidly aging population by mid-century. South Korea, meanwhile, has experienced arguably the fastest drop in fertility in world history, which perhaps explains its extraordinary, if scandal-plagued, interest in human cloning.

Even more remarkably, America will expand its population in the midst of a global demographic slowdown. Global population growth rates of 2 percent in the 1960s have dropped to less than half that rate today, and this downward trend is likely to continue — falling to less than 0.8 percent by 2025 — largely due to an unanticipated drop in birthrates in developing countries such as Mexico and Iran. These declines are in part the result of increased urbanization, the education of women and higher property prices. The world’s population, according to some estimates, could peak as early as 2050 and begin to fall by the end of the century.

Younger and More Vibrant

Population growth has very different effects on wealthy and poor nations. In the developing world, a slowdown of population growth can offer at least short-term economic and environmental benefits. But in advanced countries, a rapidly aging or decreasing population does not bode well for societal or economic health, whereas a growing one offers the hope of expanding markets, new workers and entrepreneurial innovation.

In fact, throughout history, low fertility and socioeconomic decline have been inextricably linked, creating a vicious cycle that affected such once-vibrant civilizations as ancient Rome and 17th-century Venice and that now affects contemporary Europe , Russia and Japan.

Within the next four decades, most of the developed countries in both Europe and East Asia will become veritable old-age homes: a third or more of their populations will be older than 65, compared with only a fifth in the U.S. By 2050, roughly 30 percent of China’s population will be older than 60, according to the United Nations. The U.S. will have to cope with an aging population and lower population growth, in relative terms, but it will maintain a youthful, dynamic demographic.

More Hopeful About the Future

The reasons behind these diverging trends is complex. In some countries, a sense of diminished prospects, combined with a chronic lack of space, appear to be the root causes for plunging birthrates. As Italians, Germans, Japanese, Koreans and Russians have fewer offspring — one recent survey found that only half of Italian women 16 to 24 said they wanted to have children — they will have less concern for future generations.

In contrast, in the United States roughly three-quarters of young people report they plan to have offspring. Such individual decisions suggest that America, for all its problems, is diverging from its prime competitors, placing its faith in a future that can accommodate 100 million more people.

As author Michael Chabon recently wrote, “In having children, in engendering them, in loving them, in teaching them to love and care about the world,” parents are “betting” that life can be better for them and their progeny

Joel Kotkin is a distinguished presidential fellow at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., and an adjunct fellow with the Legatum Institute in London.

To submit an op-ed to AOL News, write to opinion@aolnews.com.

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March 16, 2010 Posted by | Civility, Community, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Interconnected, Social Issues, Values, Work Related Issues | 1 Comment

Which Restaurant??? Which Hotel???

From Gulf Times

Restaurant at five-star hotel ordered to close

Municipal authorities have ordered the closure of a restaurant in a prominent five-star hotel in Doha for non-compliance of regulations, says a report published in a local daily.

The hotel authorities have been charged on the count of not obtaining health clearance certificate for the staff employed in the restaurant. A charge-sheet was framed by the prosecution after a full investigation and the matter has been referred to a court of law.

“It is the result of the periodic random inspection carried out by the authorities on all the eateries,” says the report.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | Doha, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Hygiene, Living Conditions, Qatar | Leave a comment

Camelot

Another highlight of the day yesterday – husband came home early. I can count the number of times that has happened on one hand. He said he would take me for dinner, any restaurant in the souks. I decided on the Cafe Brussels, because I thought a salad would be good on a warm March evening.

As we parked, AdventureMan’s sharp eyes spotted something new, something I have either totally missed, or something that really is new – a herd of camels, enclosed near the old fort.

He started whistling. Camelot.

He always knows how to make me laugh. While I was shooting photos, he was going to get me in to get up close for some shots. ‘no! no! I protested, I am fine here, behind the fence!’ He said that was good, because the policeman/guard was busy texting, and didn’t want to be bothered. . .

The souk is filled with people, people shopping, people eating. It delights me to see that this area has become such a magnet for all peoples, expats and locals. The evening weather is perfect right now, and so many people were there, taking advantage of the lovely evening.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, Doha, Eating Out, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Humor, Living Conditions, Qatar | 2 Comments

A Great Day in Doha

Yesterday, I had a great day.

Most of my boxes are packed. Many addresses are changed. I know what I will take in my suitcases. The Qatteri Cat has a reservation. All the little details, by the grace of God, are falling into place.

So I could relax for a day.

I hit the pool with my long-time (I did not say OLD!) exercise buddy, and oh, that felt good! We swam, we exercised, but mostly we talked and laughed.

Joined up with another friend for coffee. Took a few minutes to shower and fix up, then treated ourselves to a Doha delight, where photos are forbidden:

Normally, and astonishingly, in the Doha Museum of Islamic Art, photos are not only allowed, they are graciously encouraged, so I was surprised and embarrassed to be told I was not allowed to take photos in the magnificent Pearl exhibit. It truly is a fabulous display. My favorite part was not the pearls, but a very very beautiful old pearling box, complete with inlay, and compartments, and a set of pearl size sifters. I know, I am weird. I would rather have that than the pearl of great price. I would worry about the pearl being stolen. The box would give me pleasure every single day, for it’s beauty and its usefulness. I have one, a plain one, and I am delighted to have it, but seeing this glorious pearl box also gave me joy.

On Mondays the special exhibit is free, but we still had most of it to ourselves, and could peruse the treasures at a leisurely pace.

I really love this place; I love the building, the spaciousness, the graciousness and serenity of it. I love that it attracts people, and that huge numbers can be in the building and you never know it.

This is what I call a phone call with a view:

Tourists can’t resist snapping:

It’s a great place for photographs:

One of these guys told me that he could see when I was younger, I must have been very beautiful. I am guessing he thought I would take it as a compliment, LLLOOOLLLL.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Community, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions | 9 Comments