Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Not-so-gloomy demographics

If France is doomed, then its doom is very slow in coming.
Of late, it has frequently been suggested that France--and increasingly, not only France but western Europe as a whole--is heading for a Muslim majority. No longer will France be plausibly described as the "eldest daughter" of the Catholic Church; no longer will Luther’s church have any sway in his homeland; no longer will local Christianities mark the daily lives of people in Spain and Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. Instead of church towers, we will have minarets. Instead of the code napoléon, we will have the shari’a. Instead of women sunning themselves on Mediterranean beaches and same-sex marriage in the Low Countries, we’ll have women forced to wear burqas and gays once again closeted. The past centuries of social liberalization in Europe will be brutally reversed, as Europe enters a new dark age. (But particularly France, since it has too many Muslims to be saved.)

Why? Well, rates of immigration are high enough, but the main factor is the high Muslim birth rate. In the context of a generalized European birth dearth, high fertility rates on the part of Muslim immigrants will inevitably lead to a replacement of the native European population by non-natives....

Figures of eight million French Muslims are regularly tossed around, based, it seems, on panicked fears of high Muslim immigration and a high Muslim birth rate. These figures are vastly overestimated, though. Figures on religious affiliation and ethnic background aren’t kept by the French government, as part of a long-standing reaction against the misuse of those figures by Vichy to deport immigrant Jews to the concentration camps. The suggestions of The Economist that there are a bit over four million French Muslims seem to be more sensible and generally accepted. This amounts to roughly 7% of the French population--a significant number, to be sure, but not an overwhelming majority.

If this minority population grew for the next 50 years at a rate of 2% per annum (a high rate, and one that doesn’t seem to be supported by signs of an ongoing demographic transition), while the remainder of the population shrunk at a rate of 0.5% per annum (also a high rate of decrease, and one that doesn’t seem likely to be achieved for a while given generally high French fertility rates), at the end of this 50 year period the total French population would have shrunk by 9%, and France’s Muslim population would amount to roughly one-fifth of the total. You’d have to wait for a century to approach a position of parity between the two populations, assuming the same unrealistic growth rates. This is definitely not any sort of imminent threat, nor as I shall demonstrate is it a very plausible threat at all.


Blogger D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

I have to disagree.

The numbers are not the threat.

This spring, I met a British couple who were visiting Arkansas in search of a Bed and Breakfast to buy. My wife and I had breakfast with them and they had lost faith in their country. They were very adamant that Britain is controlled by its immigrant population. Political correctness has eliminated fairness and discipline in almost every area.

The wife, Sarah, even voiced her belief that Emgland will have civil-war in the near furure.

The threat comes from capitulation. As the Islamic population grows and gains influence on laws and policy, they become ever more powerful. Eventually, sooner rather than later if you are to believe a political-savvy Brit, the Islamic community will be in a position to exert its power.

That's a danger to Europe and the rest of the world.

6/21/2006 2:35 PM  
Blogger Dave Milovich said...

I can only reply that numbers matter. A majority capitulating to escalating demands of a minority is not a sustainable trend.

6/21/2006 5:13 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Thanks for the link!

On the subject of "Islamization," I have to say that people who think that the old established nation-states of western Europe--the polities that developed nationalism in the first place and pioneered the modern state--really underestimate the durability of these states. As events demonstrate, Britain and France and the Netherlands are not going to be joining the Caliphate any time soon.

6/26/2006 8:06 PM  

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