Last lady and the end:

Ah, the dear ECONOMIST. Well they do their arithmetic.

I read (The Last Woman … and the End of History ECONOMIST vol. 400 no. 8748 August 27, 2011 page 52) that there are 83 countries and territories that have fertility below replacement.  (Less than one daughter per woman.)  Since India seems not to be among them I suppose the total fertility of the world is still above replacement.  I do wonder how long that will be so.

With a rather tongue in cheek tone, they proceed to calculate on the assumption that fertility abruptly stops falling how long it will take for various countries to vanish altogether.  (Which means getting down to one woman.)  Hong Kong would go first in the year 2788.  China would have another 1500 years left and Brazil might dwindle along until the year 5,000. 

Are they mocking me?  I flatter myself.

I have on good authority that the entire northern hemisphere is actually in very serious trouble.  Alas I do not have permission to quote the authority, so until I do you will have to look at what I offer and make up your own minds.   

If I survive, perhaps I shall tweak them some day in a few years and ask them to repeat their sums.  Then we shall see whether they are still in a jocular mood.

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