An expat's commentary on current events in national security, foreign affairs, the media, culture, technology and assorted trivia.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


No quarter

The headline I want to see splashed across the front page of tomorrow's Sun newspaper:

The Empire Strikes Back

Monday, July 04, 2005


Russia's population already shrinking

Sorry for the long hiatus in posting. Lots of work, lots of travel.

Population Shrinks 0.2%

The (Russian) population dropped by 286,600 in the first four months of the year, the State Statistics Service said Thursday.

The service said in a statement that the population dropped by 0.2 percent from Jan. 1 and stood at 143.2 million as of May 1. The service said that the number of births in 76 of 89 regions decreased, while the number of deaths in 50 regions grew. The number of deaths on average exceeded the number of births by 70 percent, it said.

source: Moscow Times, Friday June 24, 2005, print version, p.2. Link for subscribers here.

Link to St. Petersburg Times mention here.

Russia's demographic collapse is notable, but the same situation obtains in many of the major economies of the West, most importantly, Germany, Japan and Italy. China, with its 'one child' policy is facing a similar situation.

Yes, that group includes the largest Asian economy and the largest European economy.

Considering long post-retirement life expectancies and generous pension payments, this unprecedented peacetime depopulation is an enormous issue that remains below the radar. The effects of this inversion of the population pyramid over the next 40 years will pose tremendous challenges to political and economic structures.

Keep an eye on it.