Saturday, May 11, 2013

Can a country 'die'?


Of course, a country can simply cease to exist if it is divided, conquered, or absorbed into another country. 

And we may soon see our first examples of entire countries becoming uninhabitable due to environmental factors.  

In all cases of low fertility societies young population exodus is a problem, but in Ukraine’s case it is well nigh lethal. The country has a little over 45.5 inhabitants and the population is shrinking by 330,000 per year. Besides the birth/death deficit emigration obviously contributes significantly to this sharp downward demographic trend.

Even without emigration the population would be falling, since the birth rate is around 1.3 (well short of the 2.1 replacement level) and far more die each year than are born, but the fact that so many also chose the exit route raises deep and preoccupying questions about the future of such countries.

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