Demographic Winter

Demographic Winter

Demographic Winter

Demographic Winter is a documentary directed and produced by Rick Stout. It is a sobering film that aims at awakening us from the slumber we seem to have fallen into a long time ago. We do not appear to realize the fact that there has been a decline in the stable, intact family that we used to have. This seems to have started over the past four decades. It poses a threat to the whole society since it comes with confusion and chaos.

The documentary is a 54-minute-long film that explores each aspect of population decline. The documentary is based on data collected from numerous interviews with researchers, scholars, academics, activists and elected officials.  The film has brought together multiple disciplines that analyze and examine a threat confronting the humanity that could be potentially the greatest one in the 21st century.

Seeking to understand what “demographic winter” means, we get a denotation of a widespread decline in the birth rates. The same is also expressed as a “birth dearth.”

According to the film, time will come when the world’s population decline to its all-time lowest. Then after a period, the decline will intensify. We a\re told that we might even experience population free-fall. This is true since some countries such as Russia have already started going through a demographic decline. The country is losing almost three seven hundred and fifty people in a year. The current population which stands at 145 million is expected to be 48 million by 2050.

Philip Longman, who is a demographer observes that the decline that is continuing to spread quickly all over the world will affect the fate of many nations. It will negatively affect the future generations. According to his observations, the Worldwide, birthrates have declined in the past half a millennium. The remaining 59 nations have only remained with 44% of the world’s overall population, which is way much below replacement fertility.

As a sociologist, I can see that there requires a Population stability that will act as an equilibrium point where the population of a country or region neither increases nor decreases. For this to be achieved and the current population to remain as it is, then every woman should get 2.1 children. What she is supposed actually to do is to replace herself and her husband. And because there will be those children who will die before reaching maturity, the number needs to be slightly higher than two.

Factors that contribute to population decline include some trends after the post-war era. They seem to have come together to create the Demographic Winter. These days, ladies and men delay in getting married. This reduces their chances of having more than two children. As is the trend today, many marriages end up in divorce. This passes on the fear of marriage to the children who are brought up by a divorced parent. Women are putting off the idea of getting married due to their career. Before they know it, they are already 35 years of age after which it becomes progressively harder for women to conceive.

After watching this documentary, I was hit by the hard, cold and seemingly the most inconvenient truth that Population decline is a reality.  The film opened up my eyes to see that the whole overpopulation paranoia is a misconception.